Virat Kohli in an interview said that he is more of a Cristiano Ronaldo than Lionel Messi in Cricket. According to him, he had to work hard on a lot of things and drawbacks he had in his game early in his career just like the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The point Virat Kohli was trying to mention that Lionel Messi was extremely talented from the start of his career where the player like Cristiano had to go through immense hard work to get at that world class level. Virat called Messi “just a freak” because of his supernatural abilities and stated that AB de Villiers is just like the Argentine star because of his unbelievable skills.
Well, if we look at the analysis of Virat, it’s always been just like this. Cristiano made his name in the world of football due to his extreme determination to the game. Cristiano was selected in Sporting CP as their professional player at the age of 17, but Cristiano always dreamt of something big. He was soon selected for Manchester United after his impressive performance against his dream club which helped Sporting to upset the English club with the score of 3-1. Sir Alex Ferguson was amazed by the performance of the young boy and soon made the negotiations. He was finally successful to grab Cristiano in his team whom he considered one of the most exciting young players he had ever seen.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the inspirational source of many around the world and Indian star Virat Kohli is also a big fan of him. Virat is at this stage of his career just because of his stubbornness to become a champion. Virat Kohli came into the limelight in 2006 when he decided to play the game despite the news of his father’s death. He showed courage and boldness on that day and went on to score 90 runs. As soon as he was dismissed, he left the field to attend his father’s funeral. Virat described his feelings on that incident in his captivating words, “The way I approached the game changed that day. I just had one thing in my mind – that I have to play for my country and live that dream for my dad.”
Virat Kohli stating that he is more of a Cristiano Ronaldo is just not a self-made story mentioned by him without looking at the perspective of the things. Both Cristiano and Virat Kohli are really similar to each other in their respective professions if we look at some of the facts and figures.
1. Both are national team captains of their respective teams
• Virat Kohli is the captain of Indian team since MS-Dhoni resigned from the captaincy. He is the 6th most successful Indian Test captain by winning 21 games in just 35 matches.
• Cristiano Ronaldo is captaining the Portugal football team since 2006. In his captaincy, Portugal was crowned with the European Champions title for the very first time in 2016.
2. Both have played an important role to win an international trophy for their country
• India was graced with the Champions Trophy title which is the biggest trophy after the World Cup. Virat Kohli averaged 58.66 with the healthy strike-rate of 95.65 to help his country to win this trophy for the very first time in 15 years.
• Cristiano Ronaldo won one of the leading tournaments in the football history, The UEFA Euro for his country for the very first time and played a gigantic role with the help of 3 goals and 3 assists.
3. Both are one of the greatest performers for their respective countries
• Virat Kohli is the highest run-getter for India at this time after MS-Dhoni and the all-time 17th highest run-getter in the One-Day Cricket just after playing 208 games.
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest goal-scorer for the Portugal football by scoring the total of 85 goals in 153 games.
4. Both are one of the greatest performers for their respective clubs
• Virat Kohli is the all-time highest-run scorer for the Royal Challengers Bangalore by scoring the total of 5372 runs with an average of 38.37 per game.
• Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time highest goal scorer for the Real Madrid by striking the ball into the nets for 450 times with the average of 1.03 goal per game.
5. Both have the versatile playing style and ability
• Virat’s one of the promising ability is his adaptation to any circumstance and situation. In an Asia-Cup game against Pakistan, he had to stand steadfast and calm to guide his team to the win on a green pitch. He kept his cool against one of the best bowling line-ups in the world and scored 49 runs off 51 balls to clinch the victory against the arch-rivals. In the same year, India had to chase 161 runs to qualify for the semi-finals. After the departure of Yuvraj, India was 94/4 after 14 overs. The required run-rate was of 11.80 runs per over. That day, Virat stood like a champion, ended up with 82 runs on 51 balls and chased the target convincingly in the 20th over to take his team home. He stood when the team needed his cool and calmness and stood when the team needed his fireworks and thunderbolts. This is the proof of his flexibility at any point or stage.
• Cristiano Ronaldo started his career in Sporting CP as a striker, made his way to his dream childhood dream club and adapted the quite different playing conditions well. Cristiano played at the right midfield in Manchester United due to the experienced options Sir Alex had in the more attacking positions. Cristiano was also sometimes played as a striker or a second striker and Sir Alex Ferguson also tested him on the attacking midfield but he always played a vital role on every position he was given due to his quick adaptation ability. In Real Madrid, he was brought to the team due to the need of a forward in the Los Blancos playing style and he proved to be the one of the greatest forwards in the world after scoring the highest number of goals in the history of Real Madrid.
6. Both have the tendency to perform in the big games
Both Virat Kohli and Cristiano Ronaldo saved their team on many occasions to lead their team to the glory. Their one of the finest performances in the important games is:
• In 2012, India had to chase the target of 321 runs in 40 overs to keep themselves alive in the tournament. Virat Kohli played like a champion and smashed the ball all around the park which helped him to score 133 runs not-out from just 86 balls to gain the bonus point for his team.
• In the UEFA Champions League 2015-16, Cristiano Ronaldo saved his team from the elimination in the quarter-finals by scoring the crucial hat-trick against Wolfsburg to cover the deficit of 2-0. The performance guided his team to the semi-finals of the competition.
7. Both are great humans off the field
• Virat Kohli had opened a charitable foundation in 2013 to help and support the needy children all around India. He said that the foundation aims “To create awareness, seek support and raise funds for the various causes they endorse and the philanthropic work they engage in.”
• Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s most charitable athlete in 2016 due to his contributions in the noble cause. He once donated $83,000 to 10-year old child for his brain surgery. Cristiano also funded more than $165,000 to the cancer centre which treated his mother.
Beauty of the Sports
Well, like most of the things, Sports has not easily reached on the point where such kinds of emotions of people are attached to it. There are heroes who made people love the game, the heroes who are the inspirational sources of many around the world. And without any shadow of the doubt, Virat Kohli and Cristiano Ronaldo are certainly among those heroes who played the fundamental role of enhancing the beauty and the charm of their respective games.