Yamila Rodriguez, who is a forward for the Argentina women’s national team and Brazilian club Palmeiras, has responded to criticism over her choice to have a tattoo of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. She has two footballers tattooed, one being Argentine hero Diego Maradona and the other being Ronaldo, which has led to fans criticizing her for favouring the former Real Madrid star over arguably her country’s greatest ever player Lionel Messi. Rodriguez has hit back at criticism by reiterating that she respects Messi but Ronaldo has had more of an impact in her life and is her idol.
Having lost to Italy in the Women’s World Cup 1-0, the Argentine striker was already in a bad head space when the story of her tattoos took off on social media. The striker responded by saying that it wasn’t necessary for her to only tattoo her fellow Argentinians, and that she was already going through a tough time without having to deal with social media backlash over something so seemingly insignificant.
Her message translated to, “Please, that’s enough. I’m not doing well. When did I say that I am anti-Messi? Stop saying things that I didn’t say because I’m really going through a tough time. We are not all obliged to only love the players from our country. Messi is our great captain in the national team, but just because I say that my inspiration and idol is CR7, it doesn’t mean I hate Messi.”
Argentina face tough group stage
Argentina have had a rough beginning to their Women’s World Cup campaign, losing 1-0 to Italy. The team now has to produce results against Sweden and South Africa for a chance to qualify. This looks difficult, as they are set to face Sweden, who are one of the best sides in the world and sit third in the overall FIFA Rankings for women’s football.
Women’s football in Argentina isn’t as developed as the men’s sport. While the men’s team regularly fields world class players at every tournament, the women’s side is languishing at 28th position in the FIFA Rankings. The team, spearheaded by Rodriguez, will look to provide a good account for themselves and qualify for the playoff rounds to make Argentine fans proud.
The playoff round of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is set to begin on August 5.