Ronaldo now 'can't bear to watch football' with exit to tennis confirmed – Football News

Ronaldo now 'can't bear to watch football' with exit to tennis confirmed

Ronaldo is the latest iconic footballer to have slammed the value of the modern game (Image: (Image: Getty))

Brazilian football legend Ronaldo Nazario has dropped a bombshell, confessing he’s lost the love for watching football, despite being one of the game’s most celebrated talents and a two-time World Cup champion. Now, the 47 year old prefers to spend his time engrossed in tennis matches rather than the sport that made him famous.

The icon was the centre of attention at the Mouratoglou Annual Charity Gala on the French Riviera last Sunday, where he didn’t hesitate to splash out a hefty 30,000 euros for Coco Gauff’s signed racket from her 2023 US Open triumph. But it was his candid criticism of the beautiful game that truly took everyone by surprise.

Ronaldo’s revelation that he now favours tennis over football sent shockwaves through the 350 guests at the gala and left fans across social media gobsmacked, especially amidst the excitement of the Euros and Copa America. The former striker, who graced teams like Real Madrid and Barcelona, exclaimed: “I think I love tennis more now than football.”

He went on to say, “It’s unbelievable, I cannot watch football matches. I think it’s too boring. But I can stay for five hours watching tennis, it’s crazy. I’m training three times a week.”

His comments have raised eyebrows, echoing a sentiment that is becoming increasingly prevalent among supporters who bemoan the current state of football and yearn for the glory days of yesteryear.

The beautiful game’s evolution into a more professional and regimented affair, with individual flair often taking a backseat to tactical discipline, has been underscored by the strategies of managerial maestro Pep Guardiola. This shift in the football landscape has seen players frequently curbing their natural creativity for the greater good of the team.

Brazilian footballers Ronaldo Nazario and Ronaldinho

No leadtext (Image: (Image: Getty))

Brazilian football icon Ronaldinho also aired his grievances, sharing his dismay over Brazil’s current form following their uninspiring 1-1 draw against the USA. Taking to Instagram, he declared: “That’s it folks, I’ve had enough.”

He continued, voicing his despair at the current plight of Brazilian football: “This is a sad moment for those who love Brazilian soccer. It’s getting hard to find the spirit to watch the games. This is perhaps one of the worst teams in recent years, it has no respectable leaders, only average players for the majority.”

“I’ve been following football since I was a kid, long before I thought about becoming a player, and I’ve never seen a situation as bad as this. Lack of love for the shirt, lack of grit and the most important of all: football. I’ll repeat, our performance has been one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. Such a shame.”

In a bold move, he announced that he would be withdrawing his support from the national team during the Copa America: “I therefore declare my resignation. I will not watch any CONMEBOL Copa America game, nor celebrate any victory.”

The harsh criticism understandably caused a stir within the Brazil squad, though it was later revealed to be part of an unusual marketing ploy.

The 1998 World Cup final was perhaps the nadir of Ronaldo's career, but he atoned four years later in Japan.

The 1998 World Cup final was perhaps the nadir of Ronaldo’s career, but he atoned four years later in Japan. (Image: Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Even Lionel Messi, the record eight-time Ballon d’Or winner and widely considered the greatest footballer of all time, has expressed concerns about Guardiola’s influence on the sport. Despite currently participating in the Copa America, Messi took a moment to discuss the impact of Guardiola’s playing style.

The Argentine football legend remarked: “The Guardiola era has caused a bit of confusion. Everyone wants to play like that now. They tell six/seven-year-olds to play with two touches, quickly. At that age, what happened with me needs to happen for these kids… we shouldn’t take away their spontaneity.”