A Manchester author has channeled the city’s rich football heritage into an alternative ‘blend of fact and fiction’ book about Cristiano Ronaldo’s career.
Karlo Tašler’s new work, Beyond Cristiano, focuses on the Manchester United legend’s persona and the contrast with Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho.
Tašler said: “It’s about Cristiano Ronaldo, a man who is never satisfied with what he has achieved. He always wants more – one more trophy, one more Ballon D’or. And then on the other hand, we have Ronaldinho, who was not burdened with how people perceived him on or off the pitch.”
The self-published book centers around two fictional characters’ debates about the two footballing legends contrasting personalities.
The focus is on Ronaldo’s mentality and football as a metaphor in wider society.
The author added: “I wanted to discover where the mentality comes from. The book answers a lot of those questions by analysing his upbringing and the rejection he experienced. His mother tried to abort him, so he grew up with this idea of rejection and this need to prove to his mother, his self and to everybody else his worth.”
The book’s inspiration came from Tašler’s relocation from London to Manchester around the time of Ronaldo’s difficult second spell at Old Trafford.
“At this point he still wanted to be the one to lead Manchester United to glory. He still wanted to be the GOAT (greatest of all time) but at the age of 37, he wasn’t able to be. That idea that he wasn’t the one was killing him. Ronaldo couldn’t influence the team, so he was dragging them down instead. His image was severely dented.”
Tašler, who is originally from Croatia, went to Ronaldo’s native Portugal for research and interviewed people who have met the former Real Madrid man, including renowned Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague.
Tašler launches ‘Beyond Cristiano’ at Walkden Library on Wednesday, January 24, at 7pm, where he will be signing copies of the book and exploring the impact of sports in our daily lives.