Former Portuguese soccer star Pauleta provided his unfiltered opinions on the promotion of Cristiano Ronaldo to the captaincy in a recent documentary episode that followed Ronaldo’s journey with the Portuguese national team.
A crucial scene occurs in the third episode of the Cristiano Ronaldo documentary with Portugal when Pauleta recalls the announcement of Ronaldo’s selection as captain back in 2008, which ultimately left him feeling resentful.
Pauleta’s memories provide a distinctive viewpoint on the fundamental characteristics of players and their reactions to changes in leadership, especially given that Portugal at the time aimed to create a cohesive team under Ronaldo’s direction.
Cristiano Ronaldo Documentary with Portugal – Episode Three: “Cristiano, he will be the captain!”
Carlos Godinho (Director of Football in Portugal):
“The story of the new captain in the national team was difficult, but Scolari told me quickly and directly that Cristiano… pic.twitter.com/q3RS5j5gKl
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) August 27, 2023
The documentary offers a glimpse into the competitive nature of professional soccer players through Pauleta’s remarks. He says, “I understand that some players’ disagreement with the choice is expected. Since players are naturally egotistical, if I were on the national team and played 80 games while others played 60, I wouldn’t be happy.”
Ronaldo is among a very limited group of players and distinguished by a difference from the rest, and at any age they reach him, they will make a difference without problems.” pic.twitter.com/5gTTBowTbQ
— موسى (@MousaQi) August 25, 2023
Pauleta admits his desire for the captaincy as he considers his own professional journey. He speaks of the great honor and pride that come with donning the captain’s hat. “I recall looking forward to getting this chance to be a captain. You can’t even begin to comprehend the immense pride you feel when wearing a captain’s armband,” says Pauleta.
Pauleta emphasizes how influential and inspirational players like Ronaldo will continue to be for a very long time. He further adds, “They will remain influential in the next 10 or 15 years, so you are obligated to give it.” He goes on to say, however, that some players have a natural ability for leadership because of their impact both on and off the pitch.
How did Cristiano Ronaldo bring transformation to the Portugal National team?
Portugal’s history between 1930 and 1980 was comparatively gloomy, with barely any success aside from a notable World Cup appearance. The most notable moment was when they made their World Cup debut in 1966 and displayed incredible display.
Following an 18-year hiatus, the 1984 European Championships saw the team advance to the semi-finals before being defeated by Michel Platini’s game-winning goal. Being eliminated from their group at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico was the only thing that could be said about the experience. Failure after failure followed, including being disqualified from a number of World Cups and European Championships.
📅 On this day, 20 years ago, Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal. 🇵🇹
🏆 EURO 2016
🏆 Nations League
🌟 Top scorer in the history of international football
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) August 19, 2023
Progress had already begun prior to Ronaldo, so the journey wasn’t entirely his doing. Under the leadership of Luis Figo, Portugal advanced to the semi-finals of the 2000 Euros, laying the foundation for future success.
However, Ronaldo’s emergence ignited the transformation. Prior to placing fourth in the 2006 World Cup, the team nearly won the Euro 2004 tournament. A string of deep tournament runs marked the continuation of Ronaldo’s ascent. Despite failures at the World Cup, Ronaldo’s influence sped up Portugal’s development. Despite setbacks in the World Cup, Ronaldo’s impact accelerated Portugal’s growth.
Ronaldo’s contribution has been crucial and has coincided with Portugal’s upward trend. Ronaldo’s legacy looms large as Portugal competes for Nations League glory, adding to Portugal’s contemporary successes. Nevertheless, the country was rising in front of him, even though his presence sped up their transformation.