In a tale that took an unexpected twist, Argentine player Yamila Rodriguez found herself entangled in a whirlwind of controversy as her tattoo of Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed headlines after Argentina’s 1-0 defeat to Italy in their Women’s World Cup group opener.
As the inked homage invited an unforeseen backlash, Yamila now stands before the scrutiny of fans and critics alike, begging for mercy amidst the fervent storm surrounding her devotion to the global soccer icon.
Rodriguez faced a barrage of criticism on social media, with fans passionately arguing that her Cristiano Ronaldo tattoo displayed a perceived disrespect towards Argentina’s current men’s team captain, Lionel Messi. Rodriguez defended herself on social media, she said, “At what point did I say that I’m anti-Messi?
“Can’t you have an idol or a player you like? Messi is our great captain in the national team but the fact that I say that my inspiration and my idol is CR7 [Ronaldo] does not mean that I hate Messi”, she added (via Hola).
“I’m not having a bad time because of you [fans] but for the atrocities that are said, without mercy.” asking for mercy for the hardcore Argentine supporters.
Yamila Rodriguez (Argentine Women’s International):
My idol is Cristiano Ronaldo, always”
🇦🇷Yamila Rodriguez: “No, no, no, not Messi, Cristiano & Diego, always.”
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) May 30, 2023
Throughout their legendary careers, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been endlessly pitted against each other, fueling intense debates among soccer enthusiasts.
Given Rodriguez’s Argentine roots, many expected her to stand firmly in support of her countryman, adding to the fervor surrounding her decision to immortalize Ronaldo on her skin.
Rodriguez, who also has a tattoo of Argentina legend and former World Cup-winning captain Diego Maradona on her thigh, pleads the fans to understand her point of view and let her focus on the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
Yamila Rodriguez rubs it in the faces of haters with Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebration
Yamila Rodriguez’s tattoo wasn’t the only thing that rubbed her ‘haters’ the wrong way. During Argetina’s World Cup photoshoot, Rodriguez posed to give another homage to his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo.
The pose Yamila Rodriguez struck in the photoshoot bore a striking resemblance to one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s signature celebrations named by some fans as ‘nap’, which he introduced during his second stint with Manchester United.
This uncanny similarity further ignited emotions among hardcore Argentina fans who had been critical of her decision to get a tattoo of Ronaldo. The photoshoot inadvertently added fuel to the fire, intensifying the already passionate debate surrounding her allegiance to the soccer icons.
Yamila Rodriguez during Argentina’s World Cup Photoshoot doing the Cristiano Ronaldo celebration. 🇦🇷❤️ pic.twitter.com/sUTJcaKDWd
— TCR. (@TeamCRonaldo) July 26, 2023
The love and support of Argentina’s fan base for Messi has grown exponentially since the Inter Miami star led them to World Cup glory in 2022. However, the same passionate fan base has directed criticism towards one of their women’s team players, diverting her focus from potentially contributing to another World Cup victory for the nation of Argentina.
Rodriguez came on as a substitute in Argentina’s defeat against Italy. Argentina will take on South Africa on Friday in a crucial tie in their group at the World Cup.