Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sorely missed stardom

With the World Cup into the second round of games in the group stage, one of the biggest talking points has been the form, or lack thereof, of some of the world's biggest stars. Those who have managed to return to fitness after a bevy of injuries hit the football world pre-tournament (most notably of course being that of Wayne Rooney - proud new owner of the world's most famous metatarsal) have failed to live up expectations and one wonders whether their teams' managers have bowed to national pressure and thrown them back into the fray too early.

This seems to be the case with Ronaldo McDonaldo who's stature as ace marksman is shrinking faster than his waistline is growing. His previous season with Real Madrid was dismal and perhaps only his big match temperament persuaded Parreira to include him in a squad that boasts the attacking prowess of messrs Ronaldinho, Kaka and Adriano. In the game against Croatia he was ineffective to say the least, whilst being fed consistently by the midriff...I mean midfield, he managed just one shot at goal - which was off target. The once-golden boy of Brazil seems set for an anticlimatic end to his World Cup career unless his form improves drastically, but I can't help thinking that the bell has tolled for this fading star.


Ronaldo's Madrid teammate Raul has also been disappointing, after being left on the bench against Ukraine, only to watch David Villa steal the show with a near-hatrick. Young gun Fernando Torres is well-poised to take over the reigns from his idol and with an eye for goal - as shown with the blast to score Spain's last in their 4-0 thumping of Ukraine - it is no suprise that he is being courted by the likes of Manchester United and my beloved Newcastle.

Ukraine looked like they were in denial in that particular match, after a see-saw media battle regarding talisman Andriy Shevchenko's fitness. Depression turned to euphoria as the soon-to-be Chelsea forward proved fit enough to play 90 minutes but the status quo depression sooned returned, as Vladyslav Vashchuk was sent off for a dubious foul in the penalty box on Fernando Torres two minutes into the second half. Like Ronaldo, Shevchenko looked like an obsolete footballing dinosaur, not living up to his reputation as goal-pilferer supremo, and not managing a single shot at goal.

Another notable inefficient "superstar" has been the well-documented case of Michael Owen, England's sweetheart, whose match fitness is still well-below par, but perhaps he can prove his critics wrong tonight with a display worthy of his reputation. Similarly and yet probably more so has been the baffling poor performance of Thierry Henry for France. Sure, he's at his electrifying best (and most comfortable) for his London club Arsenal and not for his country, but his play against neighbours Switzerland was utterly disappointing and lacked the va va voom football fans know he possesses.

10 comments:

alet said...

Killer Ronaldo photie!!!! Wa't jy hom gekry? Sukkel nog altyd my ass af as iemand nie doodstil staan nie...ek meen sy gesig is actually in fokus...amazing!

alet said...

jou blog wil nie hê ek moet comment nie?!?!?!

henno said...

Hehe, moenie worry nie, ek het die "comment moderation" afgehaal, dit was 'n bietjie van 'n foutjie aan my kant. Ja, daai ronaldo foto is killer. Kan onthou waar ek dit gekry het nie, weet ook nie of ek sommer so fotos van ander plekke mag opplak nie...hmmm.

alet said...

mmmmm...nou wonner ek ok...pasop lat jy nie in daai nam-tronke beland nie!

mullet said...

Ah, dont be so modest bru, you should let the girls know that you are actually in Germany and you took the photo yourself. Ronaldo also thought it was a killer fotie when you showed it to him. (Unless some burg really does want to sue you for plakking his fotie on your site) hehe.

henno said...

Yeah yeah okay, I quickly jumped on a Vietnam Airlines flight to Munich. Mr Diep our landlord is friends with the South Korean football president and he got me credentials for a few games. By the way, I took the photie with a Fuji disposable camera (one of those little yellow ones) in case anyone was wondering.

Anonymous said...

No comment from me either about the soccer, I will come and sort you out myself. Mom

henno said...

No comment IS some comment, or is that a bit philosophical..?!

mullet said...

Ooh bru, your moms gonna come sort you out, that sounds like trouble. Whenever my mom says that to me she wants to smack me upside the head for something. No, jokes, I'm sure it'll be killer seeing your folks again. Had a visit from my dad last week and it was killer. Its been emotional.

henno said...

Yeah i can't wait, not even to mention the droewors etc...