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Why Sociology of C.Ronaldo?

Why Sociology of C.Ronaldo?

Growing up as a teenager, I was always in my element when playing the soccer game. I had always wanted to become a footballer. I was a formidable central midfielder. My Coach, we called him Coach Samuel, got a lot of admiration for me due to my customary zest and show of team-spirit on the pitch. I inspired much grace and éclat on the field. Yet I didn’t have a big name I could think I modelled my style against. But I was sure I got a lot of love for Diedier Drogba and Christiano Ronaldo.

My general performance on the field of play was not only impacted by my practical trainings and motor skills; my habit of visualizing also significantly influenced my playmaking. I always had a mental construction of every game before it kick-started. My power of imagination was so high that I was practically unstoppable.

Back then, as a Blues fan, I often found it quite excruciating to watch C. Ronaldo play against Chelsea. The pair of Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney at the Red devil’s central forward was anybody’s source of fever. The Drogba’s effect at the Chelsea’s forward was largely dreaded too.

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However, what is generally exciting about C. Ronaldo beyond his antics on the pitch is his traverse career trajectory. From his discovery at Sporting Lisbon FC in Portugal to his emergence at Manchester United in England and his heydays at Real Madrid FC in Spain, Ronaldo developed to be a role model and source of inspiration to millions of football fans globally. His conquest in Italy, playing for Juventus FC, and his current reign at Al nassr in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia also contributed to his peripatetic influence.

Ronaldo’s doggedness and competitive spirit which earned him five times ballond’ore winner are undoubtedly worthy of emulation. These qualities have given him a space in the world’s history. Among the other achievements of C. Ronaldo is that he is the only footballer that has scored goals at every minute in the overall ninety minutes in the soccer game. He is the first and currently the only player that has won the world best footballer from the English football league while he was in Manchester United in 2008. His soccer exploits spanned across different cultures and this has afforded him more currency than some other notable players.

It is not surprising that Ronaldo has become a major frame of reference in some institutions of learning in Europe and the Americas. In 2015, the British-Columbia University (UBC), Canada introduced a full-time semester course dedicated to the sociological analysis of C. Ronaldo. The sociology of Cristiano Ronaldo, although certainly not first of its kind, is intended to systematically explore and understand the socio-cultural influences on, and life histories of, Ronaldo and how these have impacted his motivation, psychology, thought pattern, achievements and global image.

The course is meant to expose students to the sociological relevance of the organised sport and what it takes to become a global celebrity and to also afford them of the opportunity to study Ronaldo’s impact on the Portuguese diaspora as well as his national identity.

According to Luis Aguiar, a professor of Sociology at the UBC Okanagan’s school of Arts and sciences and a leading pioneer of the Sociology of Ronaldo, ‘’sociology is nothing if not the delving into the processes of structuring identities and experiences and exposing the social forces that push these processes.’’

During an interview session with the UBC press, Professor Aguiar gave the following remarks about Cristiano Ronaldo:

‘’Ronaldo is said to embody features and characteristics of speed, strength, competitiveness, dogged work ethic, discipline and adaptability. These features are also in a sense very Portuguese since the Portuguese outside of the homeland are nothing if not constructed as hard working, disciplined and determined.

“Thus, even as a global athlete transcending geographical boundaries, Ronaldo cannot escape the stereotypical construction of the Portuguese.

‘’I don’t think there is anybody bigger in terms of media visibility. He may even be better known than someone like Obama.’’ Aguiar said.

The professor of sociology further expressed that his two greatest passions are football and critical sociology, and that a course on Cristiano Ronaldo availed him of the opportunity to combine the two endearvours. According to him;

‘’While I’m an admirer of Ronaldo, I’m also a sociologist interested in understanding the social and economic forces driving the various constructions of this athlete and what this says about our contemporary values and culture.’’

Like Professor Aguiar, my interest in C. Ronaldo has been partly informed by my real-life experience of his performance on the field and partly by my sociological conceptual apparatus. I strongly believe that how Ronaldo has risen through the ranks in his field and build influence across multiple cultures should be subjected to sociological inquiry and sociological imagination.

The Possibility of the Sociology of C. Ronaldo as an academic discipline has a tendency to inspire controversies. However, this should not be a problem since there can be sociology of everything or sociology of anything.

Though, having courses focussing only on the study of C. Ronaldo or any other significant personality in the society may be costly and seemingly unnecessary, there can be sociology of the celebrity and personalities where students can get to know more about their super stars. Programmes of this nature will enable the students to move beyond abstractions to relatable case studies capable of influencing their success.

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