Stab Magazine | Gabriel Medina Is Surfing's Cristiano Ronaldo

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Gabriel Medina Is Surfing’s Cristiano Ronaldo

Does that make John John Messi?

style // Jun 27, 2018
Words by Stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Does anybody here like soccer?

Sorry, füt-bowl*. 

I don’t, really. I mean it’s okay–definitely a tactical sport, which I’m fan of, but not something I’d go out of my way to watch.

Unless the U.S. is in the World Cup and my friends are making a party out of it or whatever. 

No such problem this year.

Despite my indifference, I recently skimmed a New Yorker article that offered a character analysis of soccer’s biggest superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo. From what I could tell, the traits described were eerily similar to one of surfing’s own.

Please read a few of Hua Hsu’s wonderful passages below, and if the title didn’t give it away already, see if you can guess which surfer Ronaldo’s character parallels! (Another hint: it’s Gabriel Medina.)

Whether you love or hate Cristiano Ronaldo—these are the only two options—he is not boring. The thirty-three-year-old Portuguese forward, whose compulsion for goal scoring seems the product of addiction rather than joy…

Screen Shot 2018 06 24 at 2.22.32 AM

Photo: WSL

[He is] prissy and inscrutable, lips pursed and hair perfectly greased, wearing long sleeves before they were trendy…

Screen Shot 2018 06 24 at 2.36.03 AM

…Portugal simply has Ronaldo, who will run straight at anyone. In the fourth minute of play on Friday, Ronaldo was on the edge of Spain’s penalty box when he feinted and the Spanish defender Nacho lunged toward him. Ronaldo tripped over Nacho’s leg, earning a penalty, which he easily converted. 

Screen Shot 2018 06 24 at 2.37.14 AM

Photo: WSL

Every glimpse into Ronaldo’s personal life portrays a solitary guy who has edited everything out of his leisure time other than his mom, his siblings, and his own self-care

Screen Shot 2018 06 24 at 2.20.41 AM

Photo: Gilette

I’ve been told that my love for Ronaldo is one of my deepest character flaws. He’s everything I despise in real life: fussy and self-absorbed, sour-faced and condescending, someone whose almost mechanical greatness seems born of vanity rather than love. But I’m not choosing a religion. I just like watching him run at people and score goals. He seems to need it, like it’s his only form of catharsis.

And in that final paragraph, Hsu encapsulates why I love Gabriel Medina so very much.  

He is a dick, yes, and the hairless armpits thing is a little odd, sure, but Medina’s willingness to achieve victory at all costs makes him surfing’s most entertaining competitor, especially when he’s on. Add to that fire Gabby’s top-2 abilities and excruciatingly handsome, if aptly cunning facial features, and you have surfing’s perfect villain.

Who, it should be said, is also virally adored in his home nation (and in small, loyal pockets around the world).

What I’m trying to say is: Long live the Gab, and shall he never lose that step-father-sized chip on his shoulder.

Hopefully he’ll not be overly enraged that we compared him to Ronaldo and not his bestie, Neymar…

Screen Shot 2018 06 24 at 1.59.50 AM


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