Some Food For Thought: Envy and Exclusivity

Posted: September 16, 2011 in Random Observations

“I am handsome, rich and a great player and people are jealous of me. I have no other explanation” – Cristiano Ronaldo

This quote has generated enough press over the past couple of days that we’re all sick of it. In fact, it’s not even funny any more. Sure, pride might be a sin, but as a wise man once said, false modesty can also be considered to be a virtue of fools. Two sides of the same coin, man’s self-definition of fundamental values and all that jazz. And here’s the thing, it is partly correct. No one can deny that he is rich or talented, and as beauty is in the eye of beholder, there is nothing wrong with Cristiano liking what he sees in the mirror or admitting to it. Sure, we all believe what we have to believe, right?

I don’t think admitting to being the paragon of all good “virtues” is all that offensive. It’s the fact that Cristiano considers us fans to be leading such sad, drab lives that we’d pay good money to go to the stadium and boo a football player just because we resent his good circumstances. Ha! No, Mr. Ronaldo, we watch football because it’s entertainment, it’s a beautiful game, a pastime…okay, maybe we’re a little obsessed with it, but not because we’re jealous of the protagonists. We are jealous of nothing. Except maybe Villa’s hair. And it’s a fascinating vicious cycle – the audience booing the actor for his arrogance which somehow makes him more arrogant repeat ad infinitum.

And there’s another angle to it – the exclusivity angle. Read – people boo me everywhere but not other footballers because I am rich, handsome and talented, thereby insinuating that the other footballers are not-as-rich or not-as-good-looking or not-as-talented. Or logically, the crowd should be booing every footballer who possesses these attributes. As a simple example, “Why are you happy? Because I got a great grade” is kinda different factually from “Why were you standing in front of the class? Because I got a great grade”, because the latter indicates that you are the only one with a particular attribute, while the former indicates that you are one of the few with a particular attribute. There’s nothing so wrong about declaring one’s own greatness, but doing so in a context which indicates others are not so great might be considered offensive by some.

No, I am not analyzing Cristiano Ronaldo because I am bored, or envious, or deranged (okay, maybe slightly that). But just because the word “honest” is being bandied about with regards to above quote. And that triggered me into doing a bit of thinking, which I utterly loathe by the way. I promise not to do it very often. And because I don’t want to stick a photo of Cristiano Ronaldo into every post and yet I like posts with pictures, I will leave you with this.



  1. Excellent site. Great post. Well done.

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