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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rhetoric

Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid. He is Portuguese, as is the former coach of RM, José Mouriño, now coaching Chelsea. Ronaldo and "Mou" did not get along. Interviewed on British tv, Mou referred to Ronaldinho, the Brazilian player, as "the real Ronaldo." Ronaldo, in his rhetorical parry, chose the high road, saying that of course there are some things not worth commenting on, that there was a Portuguese proverb that you don't spit in the food you are about to eat, and that he does his real talking on the field. Madrid and Chelsea played a match in Miami, where the Dolphins play, and Ronaldo scored two goals in a 3-1 win for Madrid. He denied that he looked at Mou after he scored the goals, or that there was any grudge involved in playing against his former nemesis. Grudges are for losers, he said. Sure, he wanted to beat Chelsea, but that is simply because he is professional soccer player playing for whatever was at stake in that game. It's just a day at the office.

So I would say the battle is Ronaldo 5, Mou 0. He scored 2 goals plus at least three rhetorical points. He called Mou a loser, implicitly, but simply by saying that he himself does not hold a grudge against him. He quoted a Portuguese proverb that refers exactly to Mouriño's behavior. (Mou would understand the meaning of the proverb, which CR gave in its original Portuguese version.) All the while pretending to remain entirely above the rhetorical battle itself. Even if he hadn't scored two goals in the match he would have been ahead. Soccer is only a game, but Ronaldo proved himself superior in the game of life.

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Later, Mouriño tried to clarify that his reference to the "real Ronaldo" was simply due to the fact that (Brazilian) Ronaldinho came first, chronologically, before CR. This seemed lame, because he could have said "the first Ronaldo," or simply "Ronaldinho." Nobody calls the Portuguese Ronaldo by the diminutive "inho." Of course, Mouriño's lack of rhetorical tact is one thing that alienated him from Madrid players, fans, and ownership, so Ronaldo's responses brilliantly showed up "Mou" once by beating him once again in the game of tact: "see, this is why Mouriño was not a good coach for Real Madrid." He didn't even have to call his former coach an arrogant asshole.

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You don't even have to take Ronaldo at his word for him to the rhetorical winner. IN fact, I'm convinced he does hold a grudge against Mou, and played extra hard to show him up. He simply had nothing to gain by engaging with Mouriño's statements. That would be spitting in his own food.

2 comments:

João said...

Hi Jonathan,

Nice post as usual. Minor correction, there is no ñ in Portuguese, so the correct spelling is Mourinho.

Regards,
João

Jonathan said...

Yes, of course. I was spelling by ear obviously.