Ronaldo’s Coming Home

Football may not be coming home, after England’s Euros finals defeat earlier this year, but football’s greatest star, and perhaps the world’s most famous face and body, is going to be ‘back where I belong’. In England. According to his recent Insta post (336m followers).

The striking Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo is returning, in total triumph, from Juventus to the place where he began his international career, Manchester United FC – with a two year contract: a cool 20M Euros for those hot lallies.

Now 36-years-old, he left Manchester United for Real Madrid back in 2009, when he was 24, with a then-record transfer deal, after a stellar but stormy six year career at Old Trafford. Leaving these shores to boos and catcalls, he got hench – and gained five Ballon d’Ors, scored the most goals ever in international football (111), the Champions League (134) and professional football (785).

He’s still a shredded power on the pitch, but his glory days, like his once-phenomenal speed, are probably mostly behind him. Still, it should be a passionate reunion.

But if England was ‘home’, then it was an abusive one. It will be memory-holed by today’s virtue-signalling press, but for much of his time here, ‘Twinkle toes’ as he was dubbed, was a figure of tabloid hate, and perhaps the nearest thing to an ‘out’ gay footballer in the UK.

Ronaldo in his Noughties pastel pomp

Not for his sexual habits, which seemed to involve female supermodels, but because he likes the colour pink, wore a flower behind his ear on holiday, cries, is openly physically affectionate towards male friends, wears Speedos, is Portuguese, and most particularly for being apparently completely unafraid of being called GAY!! by the British press.

He was happy to be light in his pink loafers.

Ronaldophobia – the pathological fear and loathing of an immodest young man too pretty and talented by halves – was a national obsession. His looks, his gifts, his unabashed vanity and vulgarity, and, worst of all, this once dirt poor, now filthy-rich Madeiran’s total lack of interest in what the press called him brought out the absolute worst in the English.

Especially, of course, middle-aged, male hacks who might have been young once, but never pretty.

Inevitably, this footballer who desired to be desired for his sculpted physique and pouting face as much as his sporting prowess, has long been an object of fascination for metrodaddy. Although he seemed like his apprentice to begin with, Ronaldo was even prettier and much more talented than David Beckham.

And also the ‘total package’ physically and commercially, in a way that Beckham, now 46, never quite was. DB7 was essentially just a prototype for CR7.

Although Becks was very happy to strip off for Armani and Esquire and be ‘objectified’, launching his own underwear design for H&M with his, er, bum, he was ‘athletic’ but not ‘buff’ – preferring to decorate his upper body with ink, rather than muscles. Sometimes, especially in the Armani campaigns, it seemed as if Photoshop had done much of the ab-work.

Ronaldo however, had Photoshopped himself in real life. (And eschews ink.)

Ronaldo is digital, Beckham was analogue. Social media, to Becks’ glossy magazine. Spornosexual, to Beckham’s metrosexual.

To mark his return to English football, and perhaps his soccer swansong, I’ve collected below some of my musings on the made Madeiran, in chronological order. Starting with a piece from 2008 about The Sun‘s blatantly homophobic obsession with the ‘arch metrosexual’ footballer as they call him – and his ‘too dark’ tan. Even today’s Sun wouldn’t dream of publishing this stuff: which is perhaps why it’s vanished from their website.

His departure from Manchester United – and English life, June 2009:

We Loved You Really, Ronaldo

The ‘boyfriend’ faux scandal, April 2016:

THAT ad, May 2017

How Ronaldo became the most Insta man eva, Jan 2021:

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Insta-Lovefest

The world’s most famous man this week became the first person to pass 250 million followers on Instagram. A milestone in human e-volution.

Already the most popular personality on social media, 35-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is now just rubbing our noses in it. The Juventus star has 100 million more followers than all 20 Premier League clubs combined. His arch-rival Lionel Messi trails way behind him, in seventh place, with ‘only’ 174 million followers.

Obviously they’re not posting enough totally shredded topless pics.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is bigger and hencher than football. So, for a while, was his UK metrosexual prototype, David Beckham in his pretty early Noughties prime. But Ronaldo’s humongous fame has dwarfed Beckhams’.

Partly because Ronaldo really is the astonishing once-in-a-lifetime footballer that Beckham was imagined to be by those who didn’t really follow football. But also because the Portuguese chap somehow manages to be even more tarty than his hardly retiring Brit predecessor. (And was regularly queer bashed for it by the UK media when he played for Manchester United.)

Born into a modest, working class Madeiran family, his pride in showing off the shiny symbols of his extraordinary success – the pools, the houses, the yachts, and the shiny bod again – is also part of his willingness to share. He also includes lots of photos of himself with his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez, his four children, his mother, relations and friends. But fame is necessarily a lonely business, especially at these stratospheric levels, so it is the photos of him alone in his Olympian palaces, nearly naked and tensing his abs and quads ready to receive our lonely gaze that are the most ‘Insta’.

He also is even more intimately and profitably connected to his fans than Beckham ever was: Ronaldo reputedly makes a cool $1m per Instagram post. Helping to pay for all those palaces.

Perhaps that’s because he knows exactly what he’s doing, is completely unashamed of his full-body vanity, and isn’t afraid to play with his desire for our desire of him. In one Insta post he poses in swimwear on his yacht next to a gorgeous sunset, with the caption:

‘There are only two options: the view or ME. I let you choose your favourite one?! ??’

There is of course no question. Ronaldo’s beauty eclipses the sunset.

Ronaldo is sporno to Beckham’s metro, digital to Beckham’s analogue, social media to Beckham’s glossy magazine.

And 2.0 to Beckham’s 1.0 when it comes to the insatiable, uncorked, totally ripped genie that is the male desire to be desired.

Further reading:

Flappy Shorts, Footie Fluffers & Stagey Divers: The 2018 World Cup In Rearview

I’m not a footie fan – you’ll probably not be shocked to hear. But I don’t really mind the World Cup – which is good of me, I know.

I watched some of the just-finished Russia 2018 matches on telly, as non-football fans tend to do during World Cups. Partly because you can’t escape it, especially when ‘our team’ is playing, and not watching becomes too self-consciously misanthropic, even for me.

And partly because I think: maybe this time I’ll finally understand the appeal of this dull kickabout game and rejoin the male race.

But watching this year’s World Cup in Russia I rapidly came to the same conclusion I do every time there’s a World Cup on: they should dispense with the game and extra time and go straight to the penalty shoot out. Saving everyone the bother of all that running hither and thither to little or no avail for two hours.

Even more urgently, they should do something about those criminally baggy and ludicrously long ‘shorts’.

Yes, thanks very much for the tight tops, but they just made the shorts look EVEN FLAPPIER – like opaque net curtains, forever twitching but never drawing. Or leg lampshades.

Footie shorts or ‘leg lampshades’?

Footballers may be gym bunnies these days but their best ass-ets are exactly that. And a knee-length veil was drawn over them by the jealous old men of FIFA. Barely a sliver of flesh was allowed peek out between those passion-killer stocking socks and high 90s homo-panic style basketball shorts pretending to be footie shorts.

No wonder Ronaldo, the leading sporno soccer star, decided to stage a pitch protest – hitching up his puritan pantaloons and bringing his swole quads out of the shadows.

“MY QUADS YEARN TO BE FREE!”

Which reminds me, the climax of the entire World Cup as far as I’m concerned came during the England-Croatia semi-final. Play had to be stopped while 27-year-old England striker Kieran Trippier’s thighs, suffocating under all that excess nylon, were given emergency resuscitation by a pair of para thigh-fluffers.

All hands on Trippier

Trippier’s thighs aside, the undoubted star of WC 2018 was Neymar de Silva, the pretty 26-year-old hot-shot Brazilian striker. Not so much for the goals he scored as all the attention he garnered, first for his ‘terrible’ ‘spaghetti head’ haircut (which I quite liked) and then for his ‘diving’ and ‘rolling’ – allegedly spending 14 minutes on the ground during the tournament.

Neymar puts everything into his performance

Neymar, being such a prodigiously talented and thus feared striker, was the target of some sustained serial-fouling. But serious football chaps were furious with Neymar: “I’ve seen people get shot that take it better than this clown”, complained a British MP. “Fucking fairy!” thundered a thousand footie blokes on Twitter.

For all the indignant denunciations – and violent anger in some cases – wasn’t Neymar just doing what most professional footballers do, almost as a contractual requirement? Just more enthusiastically and energetically? And with less shame? Or in fact, none?

We’ve been here before, of course. With Portuguese Ronaldo – whose flamboyance and diving helped to make the ‘winker’ a hate figure for many in the UK when he played here. Though Neymar really takes it to another level.

One of the problems with professional football, in my non-fan eyes, is not that it involves a lot of acting, or even that it’s very bad acting – after all, I enjoy reality TV and porn, which are all about bad acting. No, it’s that the acting is not for us, the people actually watching the game.

It’s for one person only: a middle-aged man running about with a silver whistle around his neck who points a lot. Footie Daddy – whose word is law, no matter how flawed or fickle, and which frequently decides matches, despite the fact that his view is often much worse than that of the (TV) viewers.  ‘LOOK WHAT THE NASTY MAN DID TO ME, DADDY!’

Perhaps in literally throwing himself into his role, and going deliriously ‘over the top’, Neymar’s real crime is not so much the diving as turning it into a proper performance, for everyone, not just the ref. He threatens to make footie camp

A combination of England’s unexpectedly good performance in the tournament (due in part, whisper it, to the good luck of playing against weak teams until the semi final), and a sustained, record-breaking heatwave, led to some feverishly over-optimistic expectations – and the resurrection of the awful 1990s ‘Four Lions’ dirge.

More than once I was accosted in the street by drunken shirtless grinning young chaps who were very keen to tell me that “IT’S COMING HOME!”, giving me back slaps and hugs.

So I decided that I loved football after all.

One of the most excited football fans was the British actor, TV presenter, professional ‘ard man Ross Kemp (and my better-looking doppelganger). I’ll leave you with his (Triga) video message to ‘the boys’ after qualifying for the semi.

Andreassean’s Bare Ass Footie Strip(Tease)

Cristiano Ronaldo is definitely no longer the only spornosexual in the football village.

Aleksander Melgalvis Andreassean, 28, ‘shredded’ defender for Norwegian soccer team Lillestrom, seems to be after the Portuguese striker’s exhibitionist crown.

Earlier this week he achieved global fame by giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘football strip’ when he got starkers onstage, treating his teammates and fans to an impromptu – yet impressively professional – Magic Mike style sexytime dance. Using the silver Norwegian FA Cup as a somewhat uncomfortable flesh-lite for his ‘climax’.

As you can see, they seemed to love it.

Note how before ‘owning’ the trophy, AndreASSean repeatedly offers the (mostly male?) audience his naked, smooth, well-rounded, trophy-winning butt – apparently riding their roaring approval. Male versatility and an eagerness to please is the hallmark of spornosexuality.

Not everyone however was appreciative of his generosity.

“Winning the cup is a big thing and obviously it should be celebrated, but it is very possible to do so in a manner that shows the cup a bit more respect” said Norwegian FA communications director Yngve Haavik.

By which I suppose he meant that Melgalvis should have bought the trophy dinner before-hand and texted it the next day.

Niceties aside, I find it difficult to disagree with the approving verdict of Melgalvis’ buddies:

Ronaldo The Electronic Sex Doll

This ad starring Cristiano Ronaldo flogging body exercise electrodes called SIXPAD – or SEXPAD? – has been airing UK television for some months now, but every time it comes on it still makes me gape – pardon my French.

It’s both funny and disturbing, and in truth I had avoided writing about it until now because I hoped it was just a bad dream (I usually glimpse it on late-night TV). But it isn’t going away.

The ad itself is incredibly camp. Or kitsch. Or cheesey. Or all of the above. Likewise the voiceover intoning ‘Bwody Rewolution!’ It’s almost as if the ad seems to know that its premise – you can get a body like Ronaldo’s and grow yourself a six-pack by spending £350 on a souped up vibrator and not moving a muscle – is hilarious and just decides to go with that.

But all this is eclipsed by the crazy campery of Ronaldo apparently playing the part of a Japanese sex robot – wearing only his own brand designer underwear. Or a male Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. Though this is perhaps the uncanny valley where spornosexuality is taking us.

Unlike Seven of Nine however, Ronaldo is entirely passive. Animated only by the pulses of electricity from the black leathery things that seem to have attached themselves like a kinky Sci-Fi leech to his abs and bis. The pulsing of his muscles in time to the music is kinda creepy – but also kinda sexy. There is something sex toy cam-show about it all.

The (post) money-shot is the bit where he wipes his abs down and grins at the camera. Or maybe he’s just advertising his easy-maintenance qualities.

Some might describe Ronaldo’s performance as ‘wooden’ – or possibly ‘silicone’. But his acting is still better than David Beckham’s in King Arthur.

And some might cite this ad as more proof of Ronaldo’s egotism. But I would rather take it as evidence that he’s a good sport.

For the right fee.