Is Cristiano Ronaldo’s selfishness ultimately going to massacre his legacy?

Gareth Bale — theoretically the most expensive player in the world — scores the truly important goal for Real Madrid in the Champions League Final; Ronaldo doesn’t run over and celebrate with the team.

Ronaldo then gets this mostly-meaningless goal later and … runs around with his shirt off.

The two best players in the world (individually) are at different legacy crossroads right now, it would appear: Leo Messi needs a World Cup to really cement himself as an all-timer, and Ronaldo needs to stop coming off as so “me-first” all the time (or at least reduce the 316K Google results for “Cristiano Ronaldo selfish”).

Look, all great athletes are inherently selfish in some way — you don’t become LeBron James by passing the ball every time, right? But Ronaldo’s seems to be in a different stratosphere: it can almost come across like he won’t go celebrate with others if he didn’t score the goal. If Norris Cole hits a buzzer-beater for the Heat, LeBron is running into that scrum. Keeping it soccer, you can say Leo Messi is a prima-donna (some have), but when a Barcelona/Argentina player scores, he’s over there celebrating. It doesn’t seem that way with Ronaldo — and when people look back in 15-20 years, will that resonate more than all the goals?

Ted Bauer