Tuesday, October 03, 2006

all's well with the globi?

What a weekend of delight for football fans everywhere, with so much status quo maintained. No major upsets, no dazzling discovery of form, and apart from Valencia’s show on Sunday night’s game against ‘Nastic, no spectacular and crushing display of might or talent. No matches, in short, that a fan might attend and come away from, thinking, ‘ah me, if I never go to another game I will still have the memory of this to carry with me,’ unless perhaps said fan’s Serie B side was playing Juventus this week.

Coming closest to that would be the highlight of the long weekend, Sunday evening’s Madrid derby (Atletico 1-1 Real). Atletico fans should be more dissatisfied than Real’s, since their domination of the match for the greater part resulted in no more than the addition of a dry and dour point to their total, and enough yellow cards to paper a Joni Mitchell taxi. They paved paradise and put up a goal in the seventh minute with some help from Madrid’s truly pathetic defence (it’s a way off from “Hi, I’m Fabio, and I’m a galactico who used to captain my national side,” but my goodness, man, look at those who go before you), but spent the rest of the game satisfied with bursts of stray individual brilliance, unable even to capitalise on the dubious send-off of Sergio Ramos. Real fans still await the regeneration of their megastar team, not alleviated by their captain’s just and poetic comeback. Raúl’s drop from the Spanish international side occurred in a week during which he scored two Champions’ League goals (in Real’s match against Dynamo Kiev) as well as, on Sunday, his first goal in eleven months in a La Liga game. One’s fondness for this forward of no mean gifts makes one hopeful and curious to see how things progress for him. The desire to see him re-assert himself amidst the most expensive goalscoring lineup in football history is pure contrariness: as much as confidence and awe is inspired in us by the van Schnitzelrooys of this world, humans and bloggers were born to root for those down on their luck.

Luck apparently played some part in Cristiano Ronaldo’s inability to put a ball in the back of the net in his team’s annoyingly lopsided game against Newcastle. Ickle Cwistiano played with class and flair, but his numerous shots on goal uniformly met the woodwork, only to be rescued on one occasion by the perspicacious Solskjaer. Cwistiano won Man of the Match for his pains, leaving us at De Ludo Globi happy for the whippersnapper, but puzzled at the festivities attending his lack of precision. Perhaps some training with the right people will make a difference, but we are none of us putting Cwis on our wishlist for Serie A just yet. He’s only just put a stop to his habit of bawling his eyes out after unsatisfactory games, and we’re afraid a season in Italy will just impede his progress in that direction, as it has for older and stronger men before him.

Incidentally we once heard absolutely improbable, baseless, false, wrong rumours of Man U luring the Instrument of Precision into its lair, so if a move is in order (which it isn’t because, absolutely improbable baseless false wrong rumour) ickle Cwistiano might just get the attention he needs – from the right quarters, for once.

[Graphic courtesy Nike’s latest series of ads.]



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