The Boys: Why Is Ronaldo Being Compared To Homelander All Of A Sudden?

Pop culture references are quite a common affair in the world of football, with stars of the sport often acknowledging characters or traits from popular media, but on this occasion, this particular comparison has baffled a lot of people. Homelander, the megalomaniac narcissist supe from The Boys universe, has become quite a popular pop culture figure these days, partly thanks to actor Anthony Starr’s memorable performance and partly due to the writing department, which knows how to best use their IP. If you are even somewhat acquainted with the character, you are likely to understand the confusion people are going through after seeing global football icon Cristiano Ronaldo being satirically compared to this villainous supe after his previous match against Slovenia. Is the comparison really far-fetched trolling, or is there some truth to it?

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For the uninitiated football fans who aren’t familiar with The Boys, an introduction to Homelander is necessary. Homelander is basically an infamous parody of Superman, who stands for ideals that starkly contrast those of the Man of Steel is known to fight for. Although in his world, the general perception of Homelander is that he is regarded as the greatest superhero of the planet, behind the veneer of a decorated, charismatic, do-gooder savior lies a hideous, self-serving monster whose only allegiance is to himself. Homelander’s psychopathic, violent, and abusive behaviors have roots in his childhood trauma, but his awareness of the power he holds over others is the foundation of his reckless, profoundly selfish behaviors. His narcissistic tendencies are further bolstered by the unwavering support of a loyal fanbase that remains wilfully oblivious to his heinous crimes. Additionally, Homelander’s occasionally emotionally unstable, petulant behavior is an extension of his irresponsible, arrogant self. Affected by a god complex, which prompts him to think of himself beyond the puny commoners, Homelander has nothing but disregard for his fellow superheroes and humans alike. Some of Homelander’s worst traits are noticeable from his interactions with his fellow heroes in the superhero team, the Seven, of which he is the leader as well. If you are wondering why Cristiano Ronaldo is being compared to this despicable character, a brief context about the match and Ronaldo’s current form will be required. 

As a venerated football legend, Cristiano’s reputation as a player doesn’t need to be reiterated. However, at the same time, despite being one of the world’s greatest athletes, even at the age of 39, international football has started posing challenges for the Portuguese striker, which was very apparent during the ongoing Euro Cup 2024, when Portugal faced Slovenia during the pre-quarter finals. The decorated forward was off-form, like he has been for over a year on the international stages, and continued his goal-less streak in the tournament despite playing the full match without being subbed. Although that isn’t what irked viewers, the problematic aspect was that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner tried to take over the game in such a way that the definition of football as a team game was momentarily lost. Taking all the set-piece chances for himself, Ronaldo not only missed all the free kicks he took but also missed the golden opportunity to put his team in the lead during extra time by missing a penalty kick. 

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Ronaldo is aware of his status as a superstar player and the pressure that comes with it, and naturally, he is still trying to recapture his glory days by dominating the field. But for a team game like football, this needs to be in sync with assisting and trusting one’s teammates as well, which Ronaldo has a tendency to forget. Avid football fans will acknowledge that the much younger midfielder of the team, Bruno Fernandes, who has a better free kick conversion rate in recent years compared to Ronaldo, might have succeeded in putting one inside the net if Ronaldo had chosen to share the set-piece chances without acting selfishly. Had it not been for the final penalty shootout and missed chances by Slovenia, Portugal might have gotten knocked out of the tournament despite having had multiple chances to take the lead, all thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo. Which is why seeing the legend teary-eyed after hitting rock bottom didn’t evoke as much sympathy in fans as it should have; rather, fans were feeling a sense of pity and embarrassment, which even the most fanatic Ronaldo fanboy can’t deny.

Had it been an isolated incident, fans might have brushed the match off as an unfortunate instance, but the problem is that Ronaldo still loves to be the center of attention, which sometimes robs other youngsters of their deserving space, both on and off the field. A bad patch at the end of the career is a very common experience among athletes, and it is necessary to realize when to leave the stage with your head held high. With everything he has accomplished through the years, Ronaldo doesn’t need to prove himself. Unfortunately, either due to the support of the fanbase or him being too full of himself, the Portuguese striker has lost touch with reality, which made fans compare him with the likes of Homelander. Ronaldo claims a formidable position of power in his national team, which was apparent after the previous national coach, Fernando Santos, was sacked after benching Ronaldo for the majority of the Football World Cup 2023. With the way his on-field antics transpired in the previous match against Slovenia, some fans can’t help but think Ronaldo is being a control freak in his team, as Homelander tends to be with the members of the Seven. The superstar striker has never shied away from considering himself the very best and still maintains his assessment of himself, even though his recent performance says otherwise. The comparisons with Homelander in this context might be brutal, but all they highlight is the necessity of the legend’s need to recognize others’ importance and contribution to the team as well.

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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