Cristiano Ronaldo is considered by many to be the best soccer player in the world. He plays for Portugal’s national team in addition to playing professionally for Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer powerhouse. He was born Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro on February 5, 1985, in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, which is on a small island off the western coast of the country. Ronaldo was named after Ronald Reagan by his father. He currently earns approximately $80 million per year and is hailed as the new David Beckham.

In light of the World Cup, a certain witch doctor in the country of Ghana, Nana Kwaku Bonsam  (translated as Devil of Wednesday), evoked a “toe-poke” curse to disable Ronaldo so he would not be able to play against Ghana. Bonsam used a statue of the famous Portuguese soccer star and placed a combination of powders and herbs around it, undoubtedly followed by incantations and rituals. The witch doctor is laying claim to the knee injury that had been plaguing Ronaldo early in the games. Bonsam reportedly said, “Today, it is his knee, tomorrow it is his thigh, next day it is something else." Again, this is all in an effort to keep Ronaldo from playing against Ghana.

Ghana, like many other countries in Africa, is heavily influenced by the witch doctors who practice there. In Africa, there are 3 types of traditional healers: those who practice only good “medicine,” witch doctors, and those who take on both roles. The witch doctor is someone who acts out of malice and tries to make people sick or suffer. This would certainly classify Bonsam as one of that variety.

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Bonsam’s efforts have not been very effective. Perhaps Ronaldo countered with the Portuguese treatment for what is called the malojo (or evil eye). In Portugal, the evil eye is removed through the ritual of praying over a full bowl of water and dripping olive oil in it. If the oil rapidly dissipates throughout the water, it’s most likely that you are cursed. Prayers are repeatedly recited, as is the dripping of olive oil, until the droplets of oil stay together in the water. A Portuguese witch doctor named Mel Sigurson has intervened, and he is boasting of his spiritual efforts that have attacked Jerry Akaminko, a player from Ghana. Sigurson is only retaliating due to what is being invoked upon his Portuguese team. He has said, “They touch my key men, I touch their key men.” His predications include that Ghana will miss 3 top players (a defender, a goalkeeper, and a striker) as a result of his ongoing efforts. So while the players fight it out on the field, the witch doctors are battling it out through juju wars and voodoo rituals.

Portugal played the US on Sunday, June 22, and Ronaldo appeared healthy. In fact, Silvestre Varela’s goal off Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross on the game’s last play gave Portugal a 2-2 tie on a steamy and hot night in Brazil. Portugal will play Ghana on Thursday, June 26. The lineups will be posted before the match.


  1. Cristiano Ronaldo. Biography website. June 23, 2014.
  2. Longman J. Despite a hex, Ronaldo works magic. New York Times website. June 22, 2014.
  3. Portugal witch doctor hits back at Ghana with Akaminko injury, warns of more setbacks.
    Modern Ghana website. June 6, 2014.