The Portuguese winger is, undoubtedly, the best player in the world, but for those of us that make a habit of watching the Premiership, Cristiano Ronaldo is quite possibly one of the most loathsome figures when it comes to club soccer: Pardon me for quoting my own Twitter feed from a recent Arsenal-Man U match regarding his compulsive preening habits: “C. Ronaldo = dribble, juke, get challenged, fall, whine to referee.” Largely, this has not changed since 2003, as this little illustration demonstrates.
But the Ronaldo that plays the midfield for Portugal — well, I don’t recognize him. It’s got a 7 on its jersey, there’s a “Ronaldo” on the back, but he scored a goal and assisted on another late in Portugal’s 3-1 win over the Czech Republic, and not once when he was fouled, did he go and bitch to the ref. Might I actually have to respect and root for the best player to win?
Perish the fucking thought. I’m still pulling for Spain despite the fact that they really have no defense, but if Luiz Felipe Scolari can exercise his Big Phil act on goalkeeper Ricardo and keep him in the fucking box at the right time, then they’ll at least make the semis.
(By the way: I give Big Phil less than two years at Chelski. Abramovich will want a new toy after they miss out on another couple of Champions League titles.)
The Czechs will have to duke it out with Turkey, and this is a problem because the only offensive player who appears to be at full bore for the Republic is Libor Sionko, who headed in the sole Czech goal yesterday. The Turks officially sent Switzerland home, overcoming a deficit (Hakan Yakin scored for the Swiss) via goals from Semih Senturk and Arda Turin (the last one coming in stoppage.)
It’s hard to give two shits about the Turks, but at least they play exciting football — although it’s hard not to be at least entrancing when the first half is played on a pitch that looked similar to the Heinz Field mess during Monday Night Football last year.
Now, if someone could explain to me how an English footballer named Colin Richards becomes a Turkish middie named Kazim Kazim (although his uni says “C. Kazim” and the BBC has referred to him as Kazim-Richards), that would be nice.