It is said that the beautiful game of football does not have boundaries. People flock to see matches of their stars, applaud them for what they do on the pitch and once its done its back to the drawing board.
Some of the rivalry in any sport for that matter goes beyond definition. For example, the India vs Pakistan rivalry in cricket used to be referred as to as war minus shooting and a book with that title was written by the late American writer Mike Marqusee.
The Barcelona vs Real Madrid El Clasico rivalry in the top tier of Spanish League football is also one for the ages.
When it comes to the national teams, Brazil vs Argentina comes to our mind first. Italy vs France and Germany vs Netherlands rank close. And not so distant is the England vs Scotland neighbours’ rivalry as well as the Japan vs South Korea rivalry in Asia and the Chile vs Peru one in Latin America.
Individual over teams
Sometimes personal rivalry tops them all even in team games. The Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry is a pointer in the case.
And this personal rivalry permeates into national rivalry. One does not expect a Portugal fan to appreciate whatever Argentina’s World Cup winning captain Messi does on the field.
Vice versa, there may not be many Ronaldo fans in Buenos Aires. But an exception can be made to the rule and Argentina’s women’s football team player Yamila Rodriguez has done exactly that.
Argentina’s Rodriguez has broken all myths about rivalry in football by having a tattoo of Messi’s greatest rival — Ronaldo — inscribed on her leg. The adoration for a player from a rival country does not end there.
Rodriguez, who has a decent fan following on her social media counts, even has a small mention about CR7 on her Instagram profile! Way to go!
The 25-year-old has no qualms whatsoever in adoring Ronaldo even in public. On seeing the Ronaldo the tattoo many have asked as to why she is having one of the Portuguese star when her own countryman Messi has been setting the stage alight with his terrific performances both for club as well as the national team.
But it looks as though even the Qatar 2022 triumph — remember a FIFA World Cup was one major silverware missing from Messi’s otherwise illustrious trophy cabinet – could not change her loyalty to Messi’s age-old nemesis – Ronaldo.
An outspoke character, Rodriquez has always said that she is a big fan of Ronaldo as well as of the other Argentinian great – the late Diego Maradona – who single-handedly helped the La Albiceleste win 1986 World Cup held in Mexico.
But never once had Rodriguez spoken in awe of Messi, which has made her critics bay for her blood.
Though she has played most of her club with Argentinian club Boca Juniors, she switched allegiance to Brazilian club Palmeiras recently.
But her love for Ronaldo continues despite her switch from one Latin American club to the other.