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2 Sep, 2021 09:21

‘He’s not even top 5’: Angry pedants accuse ‘misogynistic’ men of ‘belittling’ female footballers in row over Ronaldo goal record

Fans of female football have claimed that male misogyny has led to Cristiano Ronaldo being named as the world record goal scorer – insisting that nine women who have scored more than him have been "belittled" by coverage.
‘He’s not even top 5’: Angry pedants accuse ‘misogynistic’ men of ‘belittling’ female footballers in row over Ronaldo goal record

A wide range of sources, including the official European Qualifiers account which reports on the race to reach the 2022 World Cup via UEFA-led matches, hailed Ronaldo as the top international scorer in history after his landmark goal for Portugal on Wednesday.

All-time great Ronaldo scored with a minute remaining to finally break Ali Daei's remarkable record of 109 international goals – and while many were keen to applaud the feat, others took the opportunity to make accusations of sexism and stoke a familiar row over comparisons between the male and female sports.

"You spelled Christine Sinclair wrong, honey," hit back one, referencing the legendary Canada goal machine. "She got 187 and is the best international goalscorer in the world.

"Call me again when he reaches Sinclair's total or is able to do what [Brazil forward] Marta [who has 112] and Carli Lloyd [who has 128 for the US Women's National Team] or any other person in the women's side can do and I'll be impressed."

Sinclair, Lloyd and Marta are among eight women who have scored more goals than Ronaldo, although the 36-year-old drew level with another American, Alex Morgan, courtesy of the quickfire that took him to 111 goals.

The Canada hotshot has averaged 0.62 goals per match in her 303 appearances since 2000.

Debate raged over the possible differences in difficulty between Ronaldo's feats and the achievements of the women who have scored more than him.

Critics of the wording of the announcement about his record-breaking haul appeared to take further offense when it was put to them that female sides are not operating at the same level as their male counterparts – a topic which emerged again recently when a women's football team at a top Spanish club was hammered 6-0 by a youth side.

In 2017, the USWNT lost 5-2 to an boys' under-15s side. "Give Ronaldo with Portugal 10 matches against [the Canada] women's team," said one fan. "That record will also be broken."

Another said: "She could score 1,000 goals for all I care and it still wouldn’t be as impressive as Ronaldo’s record.

"I can almost guarantee you that if she was born a man, she wouldn’t even make it pro due to how hard and competitive it is.

"Give women’s sports 50 years and you’ll see the current top international goalscorer won’t even reach 100 goals because there will be actual competition."

Ronaldo critics pointed out that he has always enjoyed topping up his tally by scoring goals against relatively minor international sides with notably weak defenses.

"The title is top all-time international goalscorer and it belongs to Christine Sinclair," thundered an angered reader when the validity of the argument against Ronaldo's recognition was brought up.

"Stats don't lie. She's also not a flopping little b*tch like those men you idolize. You refuse actual statistical fact. That's pretty much men in a nutshell, right there.

"Belittling a player's accomplishment simply because she has a vagina – well, that's what being a misogynist is."

There is clearly some way to go before Ronaldo is considered a record-breaker to some. "He's not even top five, all-time," said a supporter who appears unlikely to be joining the queues for shirt printing at Manchester United's megastore anytime soon.

"Still 77 goals behind Christine Sinclair," added another. "Good luck, Cristiano – but not likely you'll even come close to her, at your age."

Also on rt.com ‘If you don’t like it, don’t follow it’: Female footballers in gender pay & equality row after U15s boys’ team thrash adult women