Jul 06

Boo! Hiss!

FT + TMFD1 comment • 628 views

Rough reception for Ronaldo

Two points of interest:The stepover

 i) were the boos last night really pan-national? I was wondering aloud to my wife who the last big international football villain was – she suggested Maradona but I said no. For one thing I get the feeling Maradona was hugely appreciated everywhere that wasn’t England, for another the proper villain needs (I think) to be talented enough to be a top player but not one of the absolute greats. Does top-level international football have “heels”? Individuals known and hated outside their own support, but who seem to thrive on it?

 ii) of interest to fannydangle monitors: McNulty writes “there is a potentially stunning talent attempting to escape from the variety of feints, step-overs and dives that are a blot on his landscape”. Notice how the feints and step-overs – precisely the tricks that won him such praise when he first came to British notice – are now bracketed with the dives. This is massively unfair on Ronaldo: the TMFD case against stepovers has – surely – never been that they are somehow dishonest or tricksy, but that they are generally ineffective. Or is McNulty’s judgement just part of a general defensiveness after England’s performance – suggesting that silky skills are just the first step(over) on a low and beastly road?


  1. 1
    ken c on 13 Jul 2006 #

    re: point ii)
    but if you think the stepovers etc. are ineffective then surely you’d also agree that it’d be nice if ‘true’ talents will emerge away from it? maybe the author meant ‘he may well now become a much more effective player and thusly win back england’s heart by guiding man united to another premiership title?

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page