Directed By: Anthony Wonke
At 30 years old Cristiano Ronaldo has lived a life that would make every man envious. The Portuguese star is handsome, ridiculously talented and richer than your wildest dreams. He has dominated football for the last decade, winning the Ballon d’or 3 times, the champions league twice, the Premier League Twice and La Liga once. He is the most decorated athlete of our generation- which begs the question, do we really need a documentary to tell us how great he is?
Advertising itself as an intimate look into the life of one of football’s most beloved stars Ronaldo follows the titular star for over a year, chronicling his day to day life and his on field heroics whilst also taking a look back at some of his greatest sporting moments. We get to see him at home with his kid, meet his family and learn about the star growing up. Like any documentary made about someone still in their prime Ronaldo feels more an exercise in hagiography than anything else. The star is only 30 years old and whilst he may have had some incredible sporting moments his story is still being written- a more insightful documentary could have been made once he had hung up his boots altogether when we could take a look back at his career and the impact he has on the game. As it stands all this movie has to offer is a highlight reel of his best moments- something that probably could have been kept for a Sky Sports News special.
The footage of Ronaldo at home offers very little insight into what he is actually like as a person. Sure he is a great father but one can’t help but feel that this point is reinforced over and over again, like those Peter Andre shows on ITV2. The film never manages to probe into anything interesting, instead just highlighting how much better Ronaldo’s life is than yours.
Unlike the magician we have all fell in love with on the pitch the Ronaldo we meet off the field is far from magical. Still in the midst of his career he can’t quite shake off the media training he has been no doubt been given his whole career, the interviews with him often feel like they have been plucked from Match of the Day, so often he feels awkward and rehearsed, never letting his hair down in front of the camera. The only people in the documentary who provide us with any real insight into him are his family, who haven’t had to handle the press all their lives like he has done.
Ronaldo is strictly for fans only- this is nothing more than an exercise in hero worship and one that grows tiresome very quickly. Perhaps we should revisit the star in 10-15 years when he has hung up his boots and can finally give us a real account of his career and some of his more controversial moments. One can’t help but think that perhaps they picked the wrong Ronaldo for this movie.