Ronaldo becomes the first footballer to win a papier-mache at Viareggio
If we tend to delve into the cultural past of Italy, we will be deluged with the historical facets that have ever since embellished the nation of the Azzurris for more than thousands of years now.
Standing amidst the 21st century, if we narrow down our sight to a few sporting events that have been the pride of the country, they will definitely include the likes of Sicilian defence, basketball in which the nation has excelled in alongside Spain, Serbia and many others.
However, if there is one sport that precedes all in the nation, it is their national sport, football.
Not only does the country takes pride in the national flourish, but the national league, Serie A has sent ripples down the world of football for ages now.
The current edition of the prestigious national league is swinging deliriously between the Old Lady who has tasted unchallenged supremacy right since their return to the Premier division and Nerazzurri who is en route to their erstwhile greatness under the chaperonage of Antonio Conte.
If three names have captivated the crowd ever since their arrival to Serie A, they are Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has been simply inexorable after returning to Milan.
However, not all of these footballers have had an impact as gigantic as that of the Portuguese striker, Cristiano Ronaldo that could earn then astronomical papier-mache at the illustrious carnival of Viareggio.
This is a burning testimony to the fact that how has Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s best strikers at the moment, inspired millions across the world and the nation itself to love the game and emulate the 34-year old prolific marksman.
However, to understand that what exactly does this papier-mache or a paper-made robot means to the Italians and why is the robot’s symbolic importance of such skyrocketing value, we will have to sneak a peek into what exactly is the carnival of Viareggio.
Carnival of Viareggio: How and when did it start?
In 1873, to showcase wealth, this carnival was started by a posse of plush middle-class men. It was to feature floats ordained with an extravaganza of flowers. Now, this sparked reprisals amongst the local citizens, who then in retaliation, donned on masks as a sign of refusal to shell out high taxes.
However, this rift was shortly settled and this carnival then turned into a festival for all the people of Italy and floats started pouring in from every nook and cranny of the nation. These floats were usually the upshot of the adulation and deference which people had for others.
These statues were symbols of people’s strong emotions. It could have been love, prayers, admiration and even hatred. Not only did these paper-statues lionize heroes, but they also went on to stamp on the country’s infamous mafia-culture, which has dwindled the years.
Why the statue of Ronaldo does make it a headline?
This carnival was rigorously confined to the lines of the nation as it always used to worship or demonize the national heroes or villains. However, Ronaldo is not indigenous to Italy. He hails from the land of Portugal which once boasted the likes of Ricardo, Figo and Pauleta.
He is not supposed to play a figment of a role in the political or cultural parades of Italy. However, when love transcends all barriers, this is when tectonics shift and the unthinkable happens.
Despite not being a national hero, and also an unimpressive first season at Allianz Arena, Ronaldo’s resurgence in the second season has been remarkable so far and despite chasing Ciro Immobile as of now, he is very much in the contention of being the highest goal-scorer of the League.
However, it is not only the goals that matter. Ronaldo has been touted as the archetype of diligence in several erstwhile videos and interviews and his enthralling playing style makes him a crowd favourite. There have been several occasions where Ronaldo has been hailed as God for many.
These are the exact situations where a nation alien to valorizing foreigners to the land, steps down from its rigid stance and accepts the eternal greatness of the football legend.
Now the most interesting part of all is, no other footballer made it to the grand parade of Viareggio. So this is another first for Cristiano Ronaldo. Despite being labelled as a deformity in the making, it hogged the limelight for all the right reasons across the world. Also, the carnival of Viareggio has simply earned themselves a lot more viewers, if not across the nation, but the social media.
Cover image credits: Ronaldo.com