116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Monday, June 19, 2006

Where You At?

So much has been said about Ronaldo at this point that there's no reason for us to even throw our two cents into that whole Brazilian mess, but we here on 116th street have been watching the matches, and have found the Selecao to be a pretty disappointing set. And while we, like everyone else, now eagerly await the ascension of Robinho (who looks like's he's been lifting some serious weights since he moved to Madrid), we also feel the need to address a potentially serious problem for the Samba Boys.
What the eff is Ronaldinho doing out there? For two matches thus far, he's been wandering the pitch in an aimless malaise, not trying to lose his marker, or run at anyone, or do anything that remotely justifies his worldwide esteem. Here is a typical Brazilian possession: Ze Roberto or Emerson turn upfield to assess their options; Kaka runs around like a madman, all over the pitch, to the point where one can't even tell what position he is actually playing; Adriano works his way into space; Roberto Carlos and Cafu make a beeline for the endline, hoping to get a low cross into play; Ronaldo eats a calzone; Ronaldinho walks in a circle, hoping to get the ball so he can boot it 15 yards, directly to a defender.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter much, because Brazil is good enough to win, even when they're only playing a 40% of capacity. It still probably doesn't matter ultimately, because Ronaldinho is otherworldly enough to suddenly turn it on and become the alpha figure of this World Cup. As a fan though, it's pretty effing disappointing to watch him go through the motions, waiting for an Argentina or Netherlands to justify the raising of his game. If this World Cup ends with more people talking about Kaka than the Gaucho, don't be surprised; it will all be Ronnie's fault.


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