Tuesday 24 April 2018

Liam Brady's old school film reference brilliantly sums up Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo's relationship

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales' Gareth Bale after the game Picture: Reuters
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Wales' Gareth Bale after the game Picture: Reuters
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

It might not have been the most contemporary Hollywood reference, but it was effective none the less.

In the aftermath of Portugal's 2-0 win over Wales in the first Euro 2016 semi-final last night, Real Madrid team-mates - and opposing stars - Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale respectfully embraced in the centre circle.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo in classy gesture to Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale following Portugal win 

The final four clash had been billed as almost a private duel between the two - could Bale usurp Ronaldo as Europe's preeminent football icon?

No, he could not.

A tight game turned just after half time when Ronaldo soared majestically in the air long enough to bury an emphatic header in the Welsh net. Nani deflected in an effort from CR7 moments later and Portugal advanced.

Ronaldo was magnanimous at the final whistle, immediately seeking out Bale for a moment of consolation. We couldn't tell what had been said but on RTE's coverage, Liam Brady made a brilliant stab at it.

Paraphrasing an iconic line from the 1965 Steve McQueen classic, 'The Cincinnati Kid', Brady joked that Ronaldo could have been reminding Bale that he is still the king of Madrid.

"You're good kid, but as long as I'm around you'll always be second best."

We don't know what Ronaldo's knowledge of old films is like, but whether the striker said it to Bale or not, after quote feels apt after watching last night's game.

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