There's a reason why rookie linebacker Eli Harold wore No. 7 in college. It happens to be associated with his favorite athlete.
"I'm the biggest Ronaldo fan on the team," Harold, the Niners third-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft said in a recent podcast interview. "He's the best to me."
The 79th overall selection is an avid soccer fan and surely has been paying close attention to recent FIFA headlines. But when the podcast discussion turned to Cristiano Ronaldo, Harold had a classic explanation for why he's been so supportive of the Portugal superstar who plays for Real Madrid.
"Everyone argues about him and (Lionel) Messi," Harold began, "but I feel like he's a complete guy. He has no flaws.
"Everyone says Messi is not that tall. First of all, they play two different positions. I see Messi as a point guard, and I see Ronaldo as that LeBron James-guy. He's a point-forward. He can pass. He can cross the ball. He can shoot from anywhere. He defends. He can dribble. He can do everything, and I just feel like he's the No. 1 player in the world. I have his jersey. I tweet at him – he doesn't tweet me back – but I'm just a big fan of Ronaldo. Hopefully one day I'll get to see him play – that would be huge. I'm just a huge fan."
Harold wasn't kidding about the tweeting part. More proof on that in a bit.
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Another comical item of the soccer discussion involved Harold's passion for playing the EA FIFA video game with fellow rookie teammate DeAndre Smelter.
The wide receiver was quick to chime in with this anecdote:
"I know Eli said he's a Ronaldo fan, but Ronaldo put up about seven goals the other day when we played FIFA, so he probably wasn't a big fan of him the other day."
Harold was quick to explain the scenario.
"We were playing FIFA in my room, and I was playing with him first, and I was winning with him," the linebacker said. "Then I switched my team and he went and used Ronaldo. So tell them how I acted and what I said to you when you picked him!"
Smelter smiled and shared this:
"He said, 'Why are you getting Real Madrid?' And I said, 'Eli, you don't realize that you played with him two games in a row before.'"
Take a look at more of Harold's pro-Ronaldo posts: