Champions League: Borussia Dortmund proves that anything is possible

Cristiano Ronaldo’s social media output, if we’re all completely honest with ourselves, peaked in 2017, when he asked us – as a species – the most penetrating question of all: have you ever related steel to steel? ‘steel? ‘ecology? Because you should know, he did. Of course he did. This is Cristiano Ronaldo. And he collaborated with Egyptian Steel.

However, even by these not-so-high standards, this week has been a bad one for Ronaldo. For basic context: he’s 39 years old. He is several times a millionaire. He is a hero to millions of people. He is one of the best athletes ever and one of the most famous people in the history of sports.

It’s difficult, then, to understand why he feels the need to promote NFTs, three years after that particular bubble burst. He now has four collections, apparently. Even by a conservative estimate, that’s at least three too many.

In a way, though, that wasn’t the worst thing. Ronaldo, unfortunately, is right in claiming that he is the first player in history to become top scorer in four separate national championships. (The best precedents, as far as we know, are three, shared with Romário and Ruud van Nistelrooy, among others.) He is also right to be proud of them.

But there is an inevitable sense of confusion in the way Ronaldo glorifies these achievements. A gentle reading – and we can afford it – would suggest that he has reached such heights that everything that follows, in the autumn of his career, seems a little faded and a little mean. He wants us to add to his legacy to perfect it. He seems blissfully unaware that it has exactly the opposite effect.