Opinion: Much like the Portuguese soccer icon, Netanyahu cares more about how history will look back on him, and don’t expect to see any beautiful soccer from a lineup that came ready to snap some ankles

In recent days, the world has been torn about soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo — the guy who nearly scored against Uruguay and ran to hug the entire stadium, including the medical staff and ushers.

He’s also been ridiculed far and wide, with some poking fun at the Portuguese phenomenon for “scoring with his hair gel” or “striking the ball with a single hair”. Ronaldo’s near goal against Uruguay came after an actual goal he scored at the World Cup against Ghana, converting a penalty awarded to him in a dubious decision. Nothing to be too proud of.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo (Photo: Radad Jabara)


Say what you will, laugh at him all you want, poke fun at his hair care routine or his sporting career, yet he clearly has something going on for him – beyond his insane ambition to score at all costs which made him who he is, that something is that Ronaldo isn’t only playing at the World Cup in Qatar, he’s also playing on the pitch of history.

Bruno Fernandes delivers a high ball at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium, and Ronaldo heads himself deeper into the history books. Both are on the same team but play in different dimensions.

It’s clear to Ronaldo he’ll go down as one of the greatest players to have ever played the Beautiful Game and the number of World Cup goals under his belt will be one of those footnotes that the history books or Wikipedia will look back on. So he works for it, even if it means disputing a goal scored by his own teammate and becoming a meme in the short term.

Back in our little swamp, we have a leader, the longest-serving Israeli prime minister, who enters his sixth term and also plays on the pitch of history.

בנימין נתניהו בהשקת ספרו "ביבי: סיפור חיי"
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s emerging government will clearly go down in Israel’s history, even before making a single decision, based solely on the lineup that will soon take to the pitch:

Itamar Ben-Gvir, a symbol of Israeli far-right extremism, who has been convicted several times in the past for a whole host of crimes will become the minister in charge of law and order.
Aryeh Deri, who served a prison sentence and was convicted again this year for tax evasion, is set to be put in charge of our money in a rotation deal.

Deri’s rotation partner for the Finance Ministry is Bezalel Smorich, who recently caused an uproar after he implied the Shin Bet was involved in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin during a speech at a memorial event in honor of the late prime minister.

Last but not least is the Noam party’s Avi Maoz, who will be appointed deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and will wrest control over several departments within the Education Ministry despite his outlandish opinions about the LGBT community.

Banding them together, captain Netanyahu, who is currently facing several corruption charges against him, is working to undermine Israel’s judicial system, even if he has to make several touches on the police, the military, and other parts of the state.

נתניהו בכותל ערב הבחירות
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


And here, even before kick-off, as the new government lines up on the pitch, smiling for the cameras and singing the national anthem, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai already sent a message that “a dead terrorist is what I want to see,” while an IDF soldier confronting a far-left activist in Hebron said that “Ben-Gvir is going to sort things out in this place.”

Our Ronaldo too, the one who has been prime minister for longer than anyone else in Israel’s history, seems to care more about the individual aspect than about his team, or nation. It doesn’t matter to him who plays beside him, as long as he gets to be on the pitch himself.

And maybe, much like the Portuguese marksman, Netanyahu cares more about how history will remember how long he’d been in office and how he ruled over us, and less about how the course of the coming days will look even if they, even if it means there will be stories about extremists, racists, and pyromaniacs there as well.

So as the kick-off whistle is about to sound and the game will get underway, our Ronaldo might score, or almost score, and run to hug it out with his teammates. But don’t expect to see any beautiful soccer from a lineup that came ready to snap some ankles.

Democracy, equality, and moral values that sound good in theory will find themselves squirming in pain on the pitch. There will be elbows and dangerous tackles. Yellow cards, red cards, black cards.

God help us.

As reported by Ynetnews