Saturday, May 21, 2005

Don't Cry For Me, Ronaldo

Although watching the Cup Final as a neutral, I found myself wanting Arsenal to win. And as the match went on and Manchester United outplayed them I had a gut feeling that they would do so. Because football's a funny old game, Brian, especially when it's a game of four halves as this one was.

Man of the Match was the Arsenal goalkeeper. Apart from his penalty save at the end, the most decisive save was when he ran out to intercept Giggs. If he'd stayed on his line Giggs would probably have scored. He made his decision quickly and early but it was still risky. He only just made it to the ball and there was always the risk that he might foul Giggs and create a penalty. I thought it was a classic piece of decisive and courageous goalkeeping.

Runner-up was Ronaldo. As always, his long, skinny legs swirled and twisted like spaghetti in fast-boiling water. He couldn't have run down the wing any faster if the whole of Manchester's gay village had been chasing him. I suspect that for many gay men Ronaldo gives a whole new meaning to 'up for the Cup'.
I noticed that in the wall to block a free kick whilst other players put both hands over their genitals, Ronaldo puts one hand there and the other hand over his face as though he can't quite decide which is his finest asset. Mind you, there wouldn't be much point in Rooney protecting his face. You could fire lumps of concrete at it for 90 minutes and nobody would notice the difference.
The Guardian predicted that Ronaldo was the player most likely to cry if his team lost. They were right. He sat on the pitch and cried like a baby. I wonder what the Portuguese is for 'big girl's blouse'? Not that the phrase was on my lips. I just wanted to give him a Kleenex and say it's only a game and look on the bright side, your acne seems to have cleared up.

In third place as Man of the Match was the referee. Everyone said he would be a disaster and that the pitch would soon resemble Friday night in Faluja. But he was firm and decisive and did it with a smile. His only fault was verbosity. His little chats with players went on so long they could easily have added 15 minutes to injury time. And, as Gary Lineker pointed out, he even felt the need to explain to the Captains how to toss. (Don't worry, I'm not going to go there).

In fourth place, I suppose, is Wayne Rooney. Hugely gifted but in my view too temperamentally flawed to be a truly great player. But he managed to keep his temper in check today although the camera caught him giving the referee some serious verbal at one point. He could have been saying "a Fundamentally Flawed decision, Mr Styles", but somehow I don't think so. I shouted "Wind your ugly neck in, doss radge!" at him. I've just learned 'doss radge' from Chav Gav in Scotland via Naked Blog and was glad of the chance to test drive it. It's wonderfully rude and rolls off the tongue beautifully.

The afternoon ended on a decidedly camp note. Not only were a lot of men in shorts holding hands and kissing each other, which was wholly to be expected, but there were red and white party poppers (no, not those kind of poppers) and the loudspeakers were blaring out the Pet Shop Boys' Go West. No, really. Of all the songs in all the world.....
Was it because of the presence of so many footballing gay icons like Ronaldo, Alan Smith and Ryan Giggs? I know the last is hairy enough to be in a PG Tips commercial but chacun son truc as Thierry Henri might say.
Or was it because the Guest of Honour was Prince Michael of Kent whose father had an affair with Noel Coward and was the Queen's funny uncle. As it happens My Funny Uncle is also a Pet Shop Boys track but playing that might have been rubbing Prince Michael's nose in it. As it was, the poor man looked as out of place as John Motson at a gang bang.

Anyway, well done the Gunners. I used to often walk past their ground after spending the night at a friend's flat. I used to score more often in those days. So that's something I have in common with the Manchester United team.


At 8:04 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Willie, I'm sorry but Ronaldo's face is eminently slappable.

And as for crying 'cos you didn't Dad would've give me a slap no doubt about it.

He did the same when Portugal got knocked out of Euro 2004.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Ermm...Ronanldo crying, not my Dad slapping....

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

We can't say it's because he's a European though because Gazza did it years ago - and then got a lot of money for a Walkers crisps commercial.
Is your opinion influenced by being a Man City fan by any chance?


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