England's failure in the World Cup is always the result of injustice, and none was more bitter than Rooney's scandalous red card during the 2006 match against Portugal. Everybody knows that Rooney was stitched up, and Ronaldo was holding the needle. Never has there been a more depraved spectacle than the Portuguese striker's wanton attempt to influence the referee. Footballers never do that, after all.
Then, with the national blood already boiling, Ronaldo followed his audacious petition with something almost unbelievably annoying. That wink – the rakish gesture that sent the whole world into a fist-biting rage so apoplectically powerful that few have fully recovered from its physiological effects.
Now that the national frenzy has subsided a little, and it's possible for most to hear the words 'Cristiano Ronaldo' without feinting or vomiting with anger, developer YDreams has taken its revenge: it's sent him to hell.
Or something like it. Cristiano Ronaldo's Underworld Football is a slightly bizarre take on the football game in that it pits you not against human opposition on a pitch, but against a series of horror film extras in graveyards and catacombs. Many would argue that the football genre doesn't lend itself to gimmickry, and there's every indication that they'd be right because Underworld Football is, to put it mildly, dire.
There are two game modes: Cup and Quick Match. The former consists for four matches against a succession of B-movie monsters, while the latter comprises single matches against teams you've unlocked in the Underworld Cup. Every time you win a cup match, you receive a super power that you can deploy by pressing '*', and these enable you to perform such feats as disappearing underground and reappearing elsewhere.
While the super powers are a novel idea, the only powers that you yearn for whilst playing Underworld Football are those of running and kicking the ball. Alas, you're unlikely to discover them in any meaningful sense.
You have control of a team of Ronaldos, and controlling them is rather like dancing with a fridge. Far from having the agility that distinguishes the real-life striker, your players actually have – get this – turning circles, like tugboats in a tedious sailing game.
Although it's possible in principle to tackle with '5', in practice the controls are so unresponsive that all you can really hope to do is manoeuvre yourself into your opponent's path and hope the ball teleports from his feet to yours – teleportation being the inadvertent mode of the ball's transportation for much of the time.
Passing is just about achievable, but the race to recover a dead ball is always beset by the tedious necessity to manually select the player closest to the ball, rather than have the game automatically do it for you. Not being in possession of the ball generally entails desperately cycling through your players while your opponent wades up to the goal and shoots. Thankfully, most shots are unsuccessful by virtue of a trick the goalkeeper has of making the ball appear in his hands.
The graveyard into which the players are crammed is too small to permit any subtlety or finesse. Wherever you are, there's almost bound to be some great lummox loitering between you and your team mates, and if you try to exploit the usual five-a-side trick of bouncing the ball off the wall, you can't. Which isn't to say the ball goes out for a throw in. It just gets caught in the scenery and you have to go and collect it. Happy times.
It's easy to mistake the novelty theme and novels power-ups for signs of effort, but don't be fooled. Underworld Football is appalling, and the novelty features are just so many attempts at distraction from its infuriating, tumbling pointlessness.