116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

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Location: New York, New York

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Ascension?

While far from a fan of either side, I can say with full honesty that I was hoping for a Manchester United vs. Chelsea Champions League final. Here on 116th street, we love the unprecedented and the unusual; thus the thought of two teams meeting head to head three times, once to decide the Premiership, once to decide the FA Cup and once more to decide the Champions League, had us in full salivation mode. Now, thanks to Bolton Wanderers, Liverpool and AC Milan (in addition to the phenomenally generous contributions of the aforementioned Manchester United and Chelsea), very little of this will actually come to pass, and we are forced to look elsewhere in our search for footballing perfection.
Where will we look? As exciting as it may be to wait for Steven Gerrard to bail out Liverpool in yet another cup final, I've just about had it with Bolo Zenden, Peter Crouch and the rest of the Reds' decidedly unimaginative band of scrappers. Ronaldo, Rooney and the rest of Man U were pretty crappy against Milan yesterday, and while they may yet shine again in the FA Cup final, I can't shake the feeling that their opportunity for true magic this season vanished at the San Siro. No kids, there is only one place to look for redemption for this dreadful season (what absolutely terrible league champions we've had to endure this season, all across Europe; does anyone in Spain even deserve to win?); all objections to catennaccio and match-fixing aside, we must look to Italy to find our answer.

The greatest philosophical minds couldn't have said it any better; "Reality is Kaka." Long-overshadowed by more famous teammates such as Shevchenko and Maldini, I believe we have finally arrived at the point in which Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite (hereby dubbed "Reality") makes his mark upon football history. He was brilliant for 45 minutes two years ago against Liverpool, but bad tactics, Liverpool's resilience and Steven Gerrard robbed him of his moment. He is back for revenge this year, and I surely hope he gets it, for the sake of all that is beautiful and right about the game. I want the diamond to make a comeback. Nothing against flashy wingers like Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, but I want my Zidanes and Rui Costas back. Kaka embodies that spirit, the spirit of the perfect through ball, the trailing finish, the unselfish playmaker. Not reliant upon dribbling, but still capable of dribbling circles around the opposition, he is the player at the top of the diamond that we desperately needed during a World Cup of 4-5-1's and "magic squares." So while my distaste for Italian soccer makes me feel somewhat guilty for saying this, I will be rooting for Milan, for Kaka, for the hope of the spectacular, in the final. May he finally take his place alongside the icons.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Martha said...

Great post, I agree with your sentiments but could never have voiced them so eloquently. And I suddenly want to start a blog called I Want My Rui Costa Back -- the phrase is too fantastic to leave alone.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Z. Jackson said...

Thanks! And yes, that would be a great name for a blog! Somebody get started now - I Want My Rui Costa Back!

2:46 PM  

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