Cristiano Ronaldo and the art of not taking the coward’s way out | Cristiano Ronaldo


The debate has raged for years, dividing families, ending friendships and causing a lot of teenagers to throw games controllers across the room following a lengthy argument with a child in another country. The Fiver, naturally, does not want to show its political leaning on such important matters – it is not trivial like Brexit – but we feel it is necessary to support our man. Messi or Ronaldo? There is only one option.

The Fiver knows a thing or two about betrayal. People have been trying to force us out of Fiver Towers ever since we let Weird Uncle Fiver use the office printer in 2001. Ronaldo has only been unwanted for a year-and-a half, The Fiver has been undermined by ‘the man’ for years, without randomly being given the captain’s armband. “I don’t have respect for [Ten Hag] because he doesn’t show respect for me,” sobbed CR7 on Sunday night. We feel you buddy.

The man knows good journalism, too. When he wants to tell the world how awful everything is, he goes straight to the top to find the modern day Woodward and Bernstein: Piers Morgan. The Brit is an expert in carrying out interviews with people who blame others for their ills, such as Kayne ‘Ye’ West and Donald Trump, putting Ronaldo in ruddy good company.

People have said all season that if you take the winner’s mentality out of Ronaldo’s psyche (that saw him refuse to come on as a sub against Spurs and leave a pre-season friendly early) then you diminish the man.

When Messi was forced to leave his beloved Barcelona because they forgot how to run a business, the little magician carried out a press conference where he bawled his eyes out. Pathetic. Ronaldo took the stronger route of dowsing everything in petrol and lighting a match because that is the alpha thing to do. The Fiver respects that.


“[Andrea’] Belotti was not the designated penalty taker. I won’t tell you who was. This is the type of situation that can happen. The problem is when people don’t give what they can, I don’t like psychological frailty” – four days after slamming an unnamed Roma player for “betraying” the team and vowing to sell him, José Mourinho digs out another. The Brutal One?

Ah. Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA

Join Max Rushden and co for a final dose of Premier League chat before the Human Rights World Cup takes over.


“I don’t think you should try to trademark ‘Big Seven’ (Friday’s Fiver) as you could have Judge Dread, Snodland’s finest (and only) reggae artist, who made the charts in 1972 with the song ‘Big Seven’. Well Skanking!” – Nigel Deas.

“Learning of Sadio Mané’s fibia-ouch, I hoped you could clarify if it’s his tibia or fibula that’s gone twang (along with no other anatomical pedants). I guess I shouldn’t expect any better though, as The Fiver can rarely differentiate between its @rse and its elbow” – Dan Westacott (and surprisingly few others).

“Surely Jürgen is more likely to play at right-back or as a central defender since Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas are not going to the HRWC but Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk are (Friday’s News, Bits and Bobs). I look forward to Pep’s managerial tweaks for the Fizzy Cup match” – Martin Jachnik.

“I’ve learned more about the appalling conditions in Doha from David Squires’ two (I can’t call them cartoons) masterpieces than from the many well-intentioned articles in Big Paper. Well done David, good stuff mate!” – Pat Kelly.

Send your letters to And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winners of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Nigel Deas.

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