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Cristiano Ronaldo is, undoubtedly, one of the most beloved footballers in the world, and that holds true for Japan as well. And it’s hardly surprising! Not only is he a skilled athlete, he’s also a drop-dead gorgeous man. Like Don Draper in cleats, we suppose.

And in a video from last year that’s getting tons of attention now, Ronaldo also proves that he’s a true gentleman! But what do Japanese commenters think about the video?

You may have seen the video from last summer of Ronaldo answering questions from nervous fans on stage at the revealing of an…incredibly absurd beauty product. In case you haven’t watched it yet, the moment that got everyone’s attention starts at 3:50 in the video below.

The video shows a young Japanese boy carefully reading a question he’s written for Ronaldo in Portuguese. It’s obvious from his pronunciation that the boy isn’t exactly a speaker of the language, but Ronaldo listens intently, smiling and nodding, saying he understands.

However, the crowd, likely composed mostly of reporters, starts laughing, seemingly at the boy’s hesitant pronunciation. Ronaldo, hearing their laughter turns to his interpreter, and asks, “Why are they smiling? Why? He speaks good Portuguese?” Continuing, the footballer adds, “They should be happy! [The boy] tried very hard.”

Upon hearing the footballer’s words interpreted into Japanese, the crowd starts applauding, and Ronaldo returns to the boy’s question, offering up some good advice.

Obviously, this video sparked a lot of conversations online in Japan last year, and it’s gotten a lot of attention in English-speaking countries this year after being reposted on YouTube. Many outside of Japan have praised Ronaldo for sticking up for the kid…but what do people here in Japan think about the video?

▼ “This guy, he’s a great person! It’d be great if he would be my friend. (*^_^*)”

▼ “I definitely think this is true. I have no interest in soccer, but Ronaldo is badass.”

Here’s just one of the images @ohiyuki was referring to in his tweet above.

RonaldoTwitter (@ohiyuki)

“‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.‘ That’s exactly right, and it feels like a lot of adults who don’t know (or don’t even realize they don’t know) the immensity of the sea are narrowing the potential of children.

“When someone’s doing their best, or even more so when someone’s doing something they’re not skilled at, there’s absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. You’ll get good at the things you enjoy — there are no shortcuts in learning.”

There were also a number of comments under the original YouTube video, and while we probably wouldn’t want to share all of them, we found this comment by a Japanese user particularly interesting.

“…[I] work in the US. I work with Japanese tourists, but, you know, when I’m speaking English and I tell a joke, all the Westerner tourists laugh and shout ‘Yeehaw!!’ or whatever. But with Japanese tourists, it’s dead silence. And then when I try to say something funny in Japanese, it’s still dead silence, but if just one person laughs, then everyone starts laughing at the same time. You guys. Japanese society has too much peer pressure…”

Another YouTube commenter wrote:

“If the people criticizing the crowd here had been sitting there, would you all have laughed? Don’t act like you’re different.”

But perhaps the least helpful comment was this gem:

“Why doesn’t Ronaldo look at the kid when he’s answering??”

To be honest, when I first watched the video, I wasn’t entirely sure the crowd was laughing at the boy’s pronunciation so much as feeling awkward about the scene unfolding before them. Personally, when I’m uncomfortable, I either make a mad dash for the restroom or giggle uncontrollably. It turns out that neither are great when someone’s sharing bad news with you…

While I obviously can’t comment definitively, I can’t help wondering if the crowd weren’t feeling the boy’s discomfort, and one person giggled with anxiety, setting off the whole crowd. Then again, it could have been that the crowds was full of total jerks laughing at someone who’s doing their best to communicate in another language with one of their heroes.

It’s impossible to really tell, but regardless of the reason, it’s obvious that Ronaldo did the right thing by sticking up for the boy. Laughing at people doing their best to speak a foreign language is hurtful and can really hinder their progress. Even if you’re uncomfortable, it’s no excuse to laugh at them!

Reference/Featured image: YouTube
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