By Michael Jordan

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography by Guillem Balague

Sky Sports Journalist and Spanish Football Expert Guillem Balague entertained an enthralled Belfast crowd at Lavery’s Bar on Tuesday night. The evening consisted of some very insightful discussion regarding the world of football, and in particular the world of Cristiano Ronaldo. The event promoted Guillem’s most recent project, ‘Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography’, in which we see a side to the Portuguese superstar we have undoubtedly never seen before.

From the early stages in Ronaldo’s life as he left his family in Madeira at the age of 12, to his development at Manchester United, to what the future holds in a life after Read Madrid: it is very clear that there is a lot more than meets the eye regarding one of the most talented footballers to ever grace the pitch.

Guillem explained that when writing the book, he found the complete opposite to what he expected to find when researching the life of Cristiano, stating that he found the three-time Ballon d’Or winner an “endearing” character and someone who throughout his career was searching for an identity.

Due to the absence of his mother and father during the early stages of his life, it is conveyed within the book that Ronaldo struggled with this and at one point wished to give up football. However, this would in turn add a much greater influence upon some of the relationships Ronaldo would develop during his career, for instance with agent Jorge Mendes and Manchester United fitness coach Mick Clegg, which are highlighted significantly within the biography.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s rivalry with Lionel Messi was another area of great interest when listening to Guillem, both during the interview and at the event on Tuesday night. What was perhaps most interesting in addition to the obvious differences between the two personalities of the Portuguese and the Argentine which was touched on by Guillem, was how he discovered that Ronaldo and Messi also have in fact a lot in common, and how they have both pushed each other on to new heights throughout their careers.

“Messi was the one to beat and that’s what’s made Cristiano better, there’s no doubt about that, and vice versa as well”.
It is yet to be seen what will happen during the latter years of Ronaldo’s career with his departure from the Santiago Bernabeu perhaps imminent, however the insight which Guillem presented throughout the book into the life of one of the greatest superstars of this generation is one which must be read.
Listen to some of the interview here: