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What is Pops Meme and How Cristiano Ronaldo Became Its Latest Victim

What is Pops Meme and How Cristiano Ronaldo Became Its Latest Victim

Cristiano Ronaldo geared up for Euro 2024 in the most perfect way possible by scoring a brace for Portugal against the Republic of Ireland ahead of the tournament. He took up his tally to 131 international goals by doing so and appears to be fully ready to lead the line for his national team in Germany.

At the age of 39, Ronaldo clearly doesn’t have a lot more left in his tank anymore. This is going to be his sixth (and probably final) European Championship, and he’d like to guide Portugal to win another one after their success in 2016. To his credit, the Al Nassr star looks to have a lot of momentum on his side and is still scoring clutch goals whenever his side needs them the most.

Ronaldo produced two impressive finishes for his brace against Ireland. But something quite notable happened after his first goal. The Portuguese forward produced a brilliant left-footed finish for his first goal and decided to run to the corner flag in celebration. But as he turned around to embrace his teammates, a steward seemed delighted with Ronaldo and pointed her thumb at him.

However, for the football fans that are chronically online, this served as a reminder of a hilarious social media meme. A lot of fans immediately started to liken this gesture from the steward towards Ronaldo to the ‘Pops Meme’ which has become a viral internet trend over the last year or so.

For those unknowing, the Pops Meme actually originated way back in 2021. After a high school shooting in Michigan, a young man named JeVon Pittman was interviewed by CNN after losing a few of his classmates to the shooting. It was an extremely emotional moment for Pittman, who broke down in tears alongside his mother during the interview.

However, the reaction of his father started an unusual meme on the internet. That is because JeMar Pittman (better known as ‘Pops’ here) didn’t really want to come in front of the camera. At one moment, Pops can be seen doing a sign with his thumb, where he urges the camera to be moved from him to face his son instead.

At a later part of the interview, ‘Pops’ also almost starts laughing for some reason and has to put his mouth inside his shirt to stop the camera from noticing that. A few years after this interview happened, this bit of the interview started going viral with the ‘Was Pops wrong for this?’ meme.

As a result, a lot of fans on social media – especially on TikTok and Twitter – have used this gesture from Pops to mock celebrities or footballers for going through a rough patch or making a grave error. In fact, some popular celebrities have themselves used the ‘thumb pointing’ meme over recent years too.

It appears that this gesture from the Portuguese steward has provided some ‘ammunition’ to the Anti-Ronaldo or Lionel Messi fans to stock up ahead of the Euros. These supporters are adamant about using this particular meme to mock Ronaldo whenever he makes a mistake during the Euros or to mock his reactions when/if Portugal are eliminated from the tournament.

Some fans are even likening this gesture from the steward to mock Cristiano with a phrase like ‘he thinks he has won the World Cup’, which he obviously hasn’t. It’s obvious that if Ronaldo has millions of fans around the globe, he probably has an equal amount of haters as well because of his personality and sheer success across his career.

The Portugal icon will aim to keep his doubters quiet by producing some clinical performances in the Euro 2024. With this potentially being his final major international tournament (he’ll be 41 during the 2026 World Cup), Ronaldo will aim to reserve his best for last, score clutch goals and guide his side to their second European Championship under his leadership.