As my portrait of Cristiano Ronaldo is creating much interest I though I’d introduce my portraits of Ronaldinho, which I did for an exhibition at the Lowry in Salford, entitled The Joy of Football – and who better would epitomise the joy of the game?
As I explained earlier, I am no great lover of football and the brain-washing of children to follow a particular team – and the trouble sometimes caused by opposing supporters and/or football hooligans. Of course I do appreciate that there are peace loving people involved in the ‘beautiful game’ and that is what originally drew me to Ronaldinho.
It was during the World cup 2006 and I was just passing by the TV as my partner, Paul, was watching the game. The commentator was getting very excited and I looked up at the screen to see the finest bit of footwork – by an unusually happy, smiley-faced chappie. That was my introduction to Ronaldinho and I was hooked. No longer was I seeing the more usual aggressive kind of player, making rude gestures to the supporters, swearing at the other team and the referee. This guy was different. Even when he was fouled he picked himself up with a smile, shrugged his shoulders, rolled his eyes and walked away.
I realise that he doesn’t have the same flawless features as the afore mentioned Cristiano, but as the saying goes –‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and for me, Ronaldinho was beautiful in every respect. I use the past tense only on account of not having seen him during the interim period. Since Paul died, the chances of me catching a football match on the TV are very slim, so the ‘happy’ player may have become more grumpy and aggressive during the past three years. I hope not, as I thought him a fine example to youngsters who seem to idolise certain footballers and most certainly have picked up many of their aggressive and nasty traits.
When Ronaldinho left Barcelona I was really hoping he would come to a British team, but not so. Perhaps I will catch up with him during the next World Cup, which doesn’t seem long away – and once again there will be no escape from the football on TV!