Viewers of Monday’s World Cup clash between Argentina and Italy were surprised to see a Cristiano Ronaldo tattoo on the shin of Yamila Rodriguez.
The 25-year-old Argentine forward, who plays her club football at Brazilian side SE Palmeira, was pictured on the substitutes bench at Eden Park, Auckland, with two football icons on her left leg.
A tattoo of the late Diego Maradona, a player who famously lifted the World Cup with Argentina in 1986, can be seen on her upper thigh. That inking is far from a surprise given his status in the South American country.
But it was the portrait of Cristiano Ronaldo that raised eyebrows amongst some supporters.
Ronaldo, who currently plays for Saudi side Al Nassr, has famously battled with Lionel Messi for the crown of world’s best player for many years, so the tribute understandably had people asking the same question – why?
“I absolutely liked everything. He is, without a doubt, the best player in the world,” Rodriguez said.
“I watched him play and thought: how can he be so perfect? He surprises me with everything that he does. With this tattoo, now I have Cristiano with me forever.”
Last year, during an interview on ESPN Vivo, former Boca Juniors forward Rodriguez stressed she would always prefer the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker to Messi.
“My idol is Cristiano Ronaldo,” she said.
Then, as you can see from the footage below, the reporter asks Rodriguez about Messi. “Not Messi” she responded.
Yamila: “My idol, Idol, is Cristiano Ronaldo.”
Journalist (seeing her tattoo): “There is Cristiano Ronaldo… Messi, everyone…”
Yamila: “Not Messi”
Journalist: “And Messi?”
Yamila: “Not Messi, Cristiano and Diego always.” pic.twitter.com/vCWlFmzQqB
— 𝔑𝔞𝔥𝔲𝔢𝔩 🇦🇷 𓃵 (@RealGOA7) August 15, 2022
Rodriguez isn’t the only superfan to have a permanent reminder of Ronaldo on their body. Back in January, a supporter showed his admiration for the Portuguese forward by getting his name and number tattooed on his back.
Parthiban, a 37-year-old man from India, feels he had to go to extreme lengths to express his fandom.
He also revealed he cried when Portugal were eliminated from the World Cup. “I am a huge Ronaldo fan; I love his attitude and his hard work,” he told Newsflash.
“He also came from a middle-class family and I can relate to him.
“He made his country proud and he made Portugal a well-known country around the world. He doesn’t have any bad habits. These qualities and his character made me a fan of him.”
Parthiban added: “I admire him most, so I decided to tattoo his name and number.”
Thoughts on Rodriguez’s tattoo? Let us know in the comments.