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Ronaldo Is Second Best (And Always Will Be)

1 Dec

There should no longer be a question as to who is the best player in the world, and quite frankly it’s not even close. Messi vs Ronaldo. Ronaldo vs Messi. It has become more and more evident lately that the argument revolves around statistics – journalists and pundits spitting out the preposterous goal tallies for both men. Monday evening, however, showed me and hopefully the rest of the world that statistics are simply a small piece of the puzzle. Scoring at will, effortlessly no less, is not the true measure of greatness.

To be fair, Messi and Ronaldo are the two best players on the planet by a country mile. So what separates them? Goals? Not really. Many would argue that Ronaldo is better with both feet, better at free kicks, and better with his head than Messi. Many would also argue that being a crybaby does not eliminate you from contention. Therefore, all other things being equal, Ronaldo is the better of the two…that’s crap.

Monday’s Clasico revealed everything one needs to know to settle this debate. In an “orgasmic” performance by the home side, utterly demolishing, humiliating, and embarrassing Real Madrid, one superstar adapted his game while another watched idly and sulked. Messi may not have scored, but his brilliance showed by playing a more central role assigned to him by Guardiola in order to confuse Madrid’s defense. He was, in essence, a 4th midfielder. He provided two assists (one of which masterfully weighted) and terrorized his opponents. When he lost the ball, or simply didn’t have it, he attacked his opponents in an effort to win it back.

Ronaldo is a bum. A whiny bum. His stepovers cause bad defenders to tumble. Against seasoned veterans like Carles Puyol, they make him look stupid and arrogant. Okay, perhaps he never saw much of the ball. But he confined himself to the wing, and if nobody on the team could get him the ball, then he’d stand there and do nothing. After all, he’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Why should he ever have to go out of his way to make life easier for his teammates?

One of the reasons Inter was so successful against Barcelona last year in the Champions League was their ability to play as a team and defend. When Thiago Motta got sent off in the second leg, Eto’o basically played left back the entire match to help defend against Messi.  You MUST track back and help the midfielders and wingbacks defend if you want to stop Barcelona. Ronaldo knew this, and did nothing. It’s not in his nature. And yet, we are to believe he is better than the young Argentine? That he is a more complete player?

Messi’s passing was heavenly. And no, it’s not the system. The system creates the gaps and the runs, but the player delivers the ball through tight, acute angles. Every pass from Messi was inch perfect, as they usually are. Never too soft and never over hit.  Ronaldo just isn’t as good in this category. And as far as his vision to find teammates? Pff. Why give them a chance at glory?

One game is never enough to decide an argument like this. But Monday night was a masterclass, and a microcosm of what really separates these two great players. No doubt about it, Ronaldo will go down as one of the all-time greats. But he’ll never be the greatest, nor will he ever be better than Messi as long as the two of them continue playing. If a manager as brilliant as Mourinho, a man with an ego bigger than anyone who prides himself in coaching and managing similar egotistical players, can’t change Ronaldo’s game to make him that much better, than who ever will?

It might be the most telling reason why he will always be second best.

Ronaldo robbed of wonder goal

18 Nov

My personal feelings aside, you can’t argue with the ability of this guy. Cristiano Ronaldo, in the midst of his country’s utter shellacking of World Champion Spain, created one of the most jaw dropping “goals” you will ever see. The problem is, it didn’t count.

After stopping short on Pique, flicking the ball behind him to his stronger right foot, Ronaldo then dragged the ball ever so slightly and chipped a flat footed Casillas. Unfortunately, his teammate thought it important to make sure the goal-bound ball really crossed the line with some gusto and headed it home. Nani flagged for offsides and the goal waved off.

After watching about fifty replays, and you should too, watch the drag before the chip. Usually Ronaldo adds twinkle toe accessories to his moves for the sake of pissing people off. However, the drag is what kept Puyol and an onrushing Xabi Alonso on edge for that split second to prevent them from blocking the shot. It also occurred to me that if Nani was the shooter, Ronaldo probably would have done the exact same thing by heading the ball into the net.

But hey, Portugal still won 4-0 and Captain Ronaldo didn’t celebrate a single goal with his teammates. Why? Because he wasn’t the one who scored them….duh.

CR7 is a disgrace to this sport

4 Nov

“Who is the best player on the planet: Messi or Ronaldo?”

You can produce volumes upon volumes of text debating this very topic. It is a question of football philosophy and personal preference. I will not attempt to defend one man against the other here (although my response should be quite obvious to you). What I will do, however, is expose the degenerate and disgusting aspect of Cristiano Ronaldo’s game which should make any proper football fan loathe him.

There are plenty of athletes throughout sports who are cancers – Terrell Owens and Albert Haynesworth in the NFL, Manny Ramirez in baseball, Sean Avery in hockey. They are all excellent talents and add a competitive advantage to whichever team they play for. What they have in common though, is that all (or at least 95%) of the headaches they cause are off the field or on the sideline. When they have a chance to prove their doubters wrong, they enter the fray and give their all.

Ronaldo falls into a different category, which makes him a pathetic human being. His ability is mesmerizing. I’ll give him that. But to give up on plays – to CHEAT the game itself by feinting injury and collapsing like a heap of bricks from the slightest of contact is an issue that will forever cement him as the second best player in the world. I don’t care what happens during halftime, or in the dugout, or at a night club. But when you step on that pitch, and 10 other guys are relying on you to be an honest player and make the best decisions for the team, you owe it to them to act in an upstanding manner.

He is an unprofessional primma donna who attracts more viewers than any player on the planet, and conversely plays into the very reason most people hate the sport.

Yellow cards are given for diving. Why not the above clip? The minute Ronaldo gets up and reveals he is unblemished in an attempt to deceive the referee, give him a card!! No medic, no stretcher, no blood, no magic spray, no limp. Nothing. He is trying to cheat the ref and the game. That is a card-able offense.

Say what you will about his shooting, and speed, and sexy looks, and stepovers (which get him nowhere 90% of the time). The bottom line is, he is a disgrace to football. Lifting a Balon d’Or and being nominated for the most prestigious awards year after year carries with it an expectation of professionalism. The poster boy of the sport, should act in a way that reflects the dignity of the sport.

He doesn’t. And he should never earn your respect.

Sara Carbonero calls CR7 a selfish pig

21 Sep

I love women. I love beautiful women. I love beautiful women who love football. I especially love beautiful women who love football who openly criticize one of the best and self-centered players in the world.

Queue Sara Carbonero (pictured above with her boyfriend who we see enough of on a weekly basis). On a Telecinco program this afternoon, Sara commented:

“Ronaldo doesn’t care about anything…He has always been like this – selfish and individualistic on the pitch, and Real Madrid bought him as is.”

Actually, it’s even better to watch her say it in person:

(fast forward to 2:38)

You go girl!! She has more balls than the man underwear model princess at issue here. He dives, pouts, argues, and whines like a baby. She, on the other hand, says what the rest of the world thinks without a filter.

Poor Iker, though. His girlfriend just threw a huge matzah ball into the locker room. Maybe CrisRon will brush it off like a professional, as he should won’t. Or maybe he’ll instruct Casillas to put a muzzle on his bitch. In the event of the latter, I invite you to join me for a short trip to Madrid where justice will be served…

The numbers don’t lie though. 41 shots and 0 goals. 41 shots. Higuain is the next closest on the team with 12. Ronaldo only celebrates when his countrymen score goals, and the team is incredibly boring to watch at the moment. Is this the shot in the arm CrisRon needed? Whether or not it is, her face on your computer screen is more than enough reason to hope it is not, so she can continue criticizing.

Mourinho Claims Ronaldo Doesn’t Dive. Um….

2 Sep

There is really nothing more sublime and entertaining than a José Mourinho interview. Arrogant, confident, and blunt, Mourinho will tell you everything on his mind in the most straight forward manner possible. He’ll answer your question, and follow it up with the unthinkable. Speaking at the conclusion of the annual “Elite Club Coaches’ Forum” in Nyon, Switzerland, José defended his prima donna superstar:

“Cristiano is a player who doesn’t come from a culture of simulation.”

That is correct. One can’t possibly make a practical argument that Portuguese players don’t dive. It’s insane! After all, their neighbors in Spain are rampant cheaters, and the Italians have crafted a wonderful culture of deceit. Yet in Portugal, a metaphorical wall has been erected to defend against this culture of cheating the game by faking injury…Caution the authorities because I think someone broke through the defenses: Exhibit A.

“In some cases the simulators are those that have more protection, and those that are honest many times are the ones who get hurt.”

Is he trying to tell us that divers should continue to dive because if they don’t, physical contact will result with the threat of injury? I guess we should we feel bad that Ronaldo is missing 2-3 weeks with an ankle injury because he’s an honest player. He’s a guy that doesn’t deserve such bad luck because he plays the game like a true professional with the utmost class. Hm…Exhibit B.

“I wouldn’t be a hypocrite if I said that Cristiano is fouled very hard. And the yellow cards – or they aren’t given or they arrive late.”

Again, and this goes back to the pity issue above, Cristiano is treated unfairly by referees. You can’t miss it. Kicked and kicked and kicked with no punishment handed out. And we should feel bad for him. It’s not as though his pretty step overs, flicks, and tricks get under the skin of opponents. It’s not as if other players see him as a show boater. They’re out to get him because he’s just so damn good. Senseless, mindless, and fouls of intent. I really feel bad for Cristiano. What has he ever done to deserve such rebuke?! – Exhibit C.

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