In the modern age of football, there is one question that floats in the air with unease ready to unnerve anyone who gets asked it: Ronaldo or Messi?
Ronaldo, the latest documentary directed by Anthony Wonke, examines this question in great detail, following Ronaldo as he battles Messi yet another time for the illustrious Ballon D’or award.
With his previous works exploring such fields as Syria and the Piper Alpha disaster, it seems a little odd that someone with a superstar status in the footballing world would be the subject of Wonke’s latest film; unfortunately, it has proved to be odd and a huge waste of Wonke’s time.
The film is so obviously tampered with it’s painful, almost as if Ronaldo and his agent, Jorge Mendes, have paid everyone off to create a love letter to themselves. Ronaldo often throughout the film discusses what the most important things in his life are: winning, family, and football. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the biggest component here was actually Mendes as they both feed off the other’s ego.
Ronaldo’s life hasn’t exactly been easy, what with his father being an alcoholic who fell ill just before Portugal; Ronaldo’s home nation were hosting the European Championships in his first tournament playing for his country. Along with this, his mother left her son alone in the capital of Portugal at the age of twelve in order to give him the life that he wanted, but she could not offer. Despite the many things surrounding Ronaldo’s life and career that have shaped him into one of the worlds best, Ronaldo misses the majority of it out. The film manages to skip out key moments in his short stint at his first club, Sporting CP, and even the six years in which he worked in England under Sir Alex Ferguson, a man he describes as his “father of football”.
With the names attached to the production side of Ronaldo, I was highly anticipating a real insight into a man who, as a football fan, I can’t help but admire. However, the body of work is shallow and egotistical, providing no depth to anything other than how much Jorge Mendes has a hatred for Ronaldo’s counterpart, Lionel Messi; Mendes never says his name, always calling him “the other guy” as if he is some sort of evil entity. It is only a matter of time before Mendes warps Ronaldo’s mind for good and all that is left is a man staring at himself in the mirror. Although not as drastic as that, this film is extremely close to it.
Ronaldo is a documentary that shows a loving father, a devoted family man and a workaholic footballer. However, you have to ask yourself how much of it is actually true.