Brazil keeps winning, but Argentina is the one playing the beautiful game
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Football (soccer) is a team sport. Teams win World Cups, however, it is the individual effort of each player that creates a strong team.
As expected, Brazil keeps winning games because of their cheer talent, not because they are playing particularly well together.
Playing with 10 men is also a handicap.
I don't mean literally 10 men in the field. They have had 11 players at all times. What I am referring to is the tendency of Ronaldo to just walk around the field and never doing anything of substance. I think he already accepted and said so himself that he is indeed "out of shape," or round shape more likely. (Unforgivable for a player knowing 4 years in advance that he will be called to the team. Barring injuries--and he tends to have a few--he should be in top shape.)
We all know that he was indeed the best striker in the world, but his days as a professional footballer of top calibre, I think, are over.
It is hard to imagine to be in his position trying to prove the entire world that he can still deliver the quality of football we expect from him--he is a performer after all. Journalist in his country keep writing that he shouldn't have been included in the Cup's team, to save the embarrassment and his reputation. But Perreira believes in him a bit too much for everyone's liking.
We've all seen it: as soon as Robinho replaces him, the team start to actually play and create great opportunities. Robinho, today, is a better player than Ronaldo.
I do think that everyone in the team and the country wants Ronaldo to break the goal scoring record of all time. With 2 more goals and he's done. And he probably will score at some point. He will, eventually, be able to control a ball and put it into the net.
I hope he does score his 2 goals and just give his spot to Robinho. Or better yet, Pereira benches him for a couple of games to serve as incentive to do better the next time. (It is unlikely, though, he is Ronaldo.)
So, who will win the Cup? It will be between Argentina and Brazil. If Brazil doesn't replace Ronaldo and start playing "bonito," Argentina will take it all.
Why? Argentina seems to have the "team play" patented for this tournament. The 6-0 win against Serbia and Monte Negro was a clinical performance. Cambiaso's goal was preview to 23 passes from the Argentine team (I even think Maradona, sitting in the bleachers, touched that ball). It was one of the best goals of the century, so far.
And Lionel Messi is not even starting yet. He is truly a great player: "la pulga" of 18 years of age. In this particular game, Argentina scored 3 goals as soon as he came in (for 15 minutes only). We can't, of course, credit him for everything, but you can clearly see the team starts running faster, playing better, and, most importantly, scoring glorious goals--Messi set one, and scored one.
And to the coaches (I know you read this): Perreira, bench Ronaldo; Pekerman, start Messi.
By the way, I can fully assess and recomend to both of these coaches on their particular situations, as I have taken many teams to the World Cup. :)
(Everyone and their dogs seem to become experts when it comes to football. Have you heard yourself saying "I could have scored that...How can he have missed...He sucks...")
Poor Ronny: http://www.sportinglife.com/fanzine/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/06/06/19/manual_182910.html