Ronaldo's outrageous comments on tennis vs football speak volumes – Football News

Ronaldo's outrageous comments on tennis vs football speak volumes

Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario is unhappy with the state of football (Image: Getty)

Brazilian legend Ronaldo Nazario claims he can’t watch a game of football anymore. Despite being considered one of the greatest players ever to grace the game, the two-time World Cup winner would much rather sit through five hours of tennis.

Ronaldo, 47, attended the Mouratoglou Annual Charity Gala on the French Riviera last Sunday as a special guest. He showed his love for tennis to the world, splashing 30,000 euros to win an auction and land Coco Gauff’s signed 2023 US Open-winning racquet. But more poignant was the former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker’s damning assessment of the current state of football.

The revelation that he now prefers tennis to football drew gasps from the 350 people in attendance and rocked social media, especially given that two of the world’s biggest tournaments – the Euros and the Copa America – are currently being played.

Ronaldo unapologetically said: “I think I love tennis more now than football. It’s unbelievable, I cannot watch football matches. I think it’s too boring. But I can stay for 5 hours watching tennis, it’s crazy. I’m training three times a week.”

His comments may have caused a stir, but the two-time Ballon d’Or winner’s sentiment is one shared by many. It is common nowadays to see fans complaining of boredom when it comes to the style of football played today, and the apparent lack of talent at the top level compared to 15, 20 or 30 years ago.

That can be attributed to various factors, including the highly professional and structured direction football has taken. That has been magnified by the tactics pioneered by Pep Guardiola, as players increasingly showcase less individual ability, sacrificing creativity for team efficiency.

Brazilian footballers Ronaldo Nazario an

Ronaldo [L] and Ronaldinho [R] are two footballing heroes (Image: Getty)

Ronaldo’s former team-mate and fellow 2002 World Cup hero Ronaldinho also lashed out at the current Brazil squad after their dismal 1-1 draw against the USA earlier this month, venting similar frustrations. “That’s it folks, I’ve had enough,” he wrote on Instagram.

“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.

Chile v Argentina - CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024

Lionel Messi has also been critical about the lack of freedom in football (Image: Getty)

“I therefore declare my resignation. I will not watch any CONMEBOL Copa America game, nor celebrate any victory.” His scathing attack understandably did not go down well with the Brazil squad, and he has since revealed it was all part of a bizarre marketing campaign.

But even record eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi – known as the most majestic footballer in history and still competing at Copa America – highlighted the negative impact Guardiola’s influence is having across football, even down to the youth levels.

The Argentine icon said: “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.” If three of the greatest players this century are saying it, it’s probably true.