In Japan, the "correct" way to sit is called "seiza" (正座). The word itself means "correct" (正) "sitting" (座). What Christian Ronaldo is doing is incorrect sitting.
People do seiza when they're in formal situations. Here, Ronaldo is enjoying Japanese ceremony, so seiza is the proper way to sit. For example, like this:
Ronaldo's translator (the woman behind him) is doing seiza. She needs to be sitting with her knees on the cushion, instead of on the tatami mat, for correct seiza. Like this:
Sitting like this is difficult! It hurts your legs. But, as one Buddhist priest once told me, that's the point. According to him, you are supposed to sit like this so your legs begin to hurt—that way, you know you are alive. Buddhist priests will sit like this for long stretches while mediating—until their legs go numb.
But Japanese people don't only sit like this in formal situations. Case in point:
In the top photo, the man next to Ronaldo is sitting cross-legged, which is called "agura" (胡座) in Japanese. It's also known as "otousan-zuwari" (お父さん座り) or "dad sitting." For something like tea ceremony, this more informal style isn't exactly "correct," either, but you see men sitting this way during the ceremony, especially if they have knee problems. For those who haven't grown up in Japan, i.e. foreign visitors like Ronaldo, sitting cross-legged is certainly allowed.
As noted on 2ch, Japan's largest internet forum, the superstar sportsman, however, ended up sitting like this during the tea ceremony. That's...certainly not correct, either!
Nor is this.
On 2ch, commenters thought the photos of Ronaldo and the way he sat were rather "cute."
"Can he even do seiza?" one 2ch commenter wondered. "He's too muscular." Another pointed out that perhaps, as someone who makes a living off his legs, he didn't want to put unnecessary stress on them, which makes sense. "His jeans look too tight," chimed in another.
Others said he looked like he was enjoying himself, so whatever.
"He can do seiza," quipped a commenter. If only the ceremony was on the pitch and not on tatami. That, or had his facial exercise equipment.
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