Messi, Ronaldo may miss WC – Bane, Bliss or Blah?
Isn’t football wonderful? Players with incredible talent, clubs with fanatical fans, rivalries and histories, and some truly inspirational stories. There never really is a dull moment in the footballing world, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when what I was considering to be a dull, dull week with only a handful of ‘International Friendlies’ and ‘World Cup Qualifiers’ to look forward to turned out to be quite a dramatic, thought provoking, intriguing and dare I say – entertaining week. I guess I was living in the past when football was only a weekend thing and not the 7 day, 24 hour entertainment fest and way of life for many around the world, that it has become today. While I missed seeing players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and Kaka play over the weekend, a menacing headline jumped out at me “Messi, Ronaldo may miss WC”…. A zillion questions raced through my head as I stared dumbfounded at that terrible headline that refused to go away, despite my insanely rapid blinking… What kind of a horrible, mean person would write such a thing? What would the World Cup be without the ‘Sultan of Stepovers’ Ronaldo or the infamous ‘Winker’ if that is how you choose to remember him? Would it still be as exciting? Wouldn’t this undervalue the World Cup? Would it effect the tickets beings sold? Did I still want to go?
The last of the questions was the easiest to answer. Hell yea! I was going. So I guess if most people are like me and just love football, they were going too. And that answered the tickets question and the other hidden question… nope, the tickets weren’t going to get cheaper. Oh well, I’d rather have packed stadiums with screaming supporters around me than a cheap ticket with the echo of my own screams scaring me and making me jump!
However would it undervalue the World Cup if they greatest player in the world right now, Lionel Messi and the official greatest player in the world weren’t on show? I still remember how excited I was to see ’em play against each other in the Champions League, Manchester United – Barcelona was probably the most anticipated game of all. Of course, now that Ronaldo has moved to the ‘La Liga’ we get to see them pitted against each other more often (oh thank you Mr. Perez). But what about Ronaldo against Kaka? Not having such a well-know team as Portugal who almost always have reached the quarter-finals in the last few campaigns would be very disappointing indeed. But when a team can’t even ‘qualify’ to play, do we really need them where all the big boys are? I mean, doesn’t not qualifying imply that they simply weren’t good enough at that time to compete on the big stage? Remember, how much we missed England at the Euros? As England fan I was heartbroken, miserable, irritable, mean, ‘on the brink of rage and tears’ every time the
‘E-word’ was uttered but in all honesty, when the competition got underway, I was hooked and didn’t really miss them all that much. So I guess if Portugal and France don’t make it to the world cup, it will be disappointing and yes, we’ll miss some of the phenomenal players (sincerely hope that they do qualify) but thats about it. The competition will still be exciting, entertaining, nail-biting, intense, and memorable… and the show will go on.