Buckyball Writes Again

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Return of Ronaldo

An old, overweight man was stumbling around, unsure of his footing, a stranger to his surroundings, getting bullied by people half his age and getting pushed around despite his standing. He was fatter than he remembered being. His name was Ronaldo. He was trying to do things he was sure he’d done before, but they wouldn’t come to him and his body wouldn’t respond. Then, by a stroke of luck he found himself within easy sight of goal and he remembered how it was done. The first one was easy. It needed to be. His memory started coming back to him in bits and pieces, much like Jason Bourne. Towards the end of the match, his body still not really responding, like a sports car that suddenly discovers it’s a truck, he received a pass with his back to the goal. Although he was still moving in slow motion, the muscles had their memory and without really engaging his brain, they harmonized beautifully to send the ball into the corner of the net. Thus bringing him level with The Bomber, Herr Muller. Then from some distant past he found that grin, that lit up the entire stadium.

This is no fairy tale. Ronaldo will not be half the striker he was 4 years ago. But if Brazil collectively have taken on the responsibility of getting him over the line of world cup immortality, then they’re on the threshold now and may get there soon enough. May be then, having put that ghost to rest, they can concentrate on winning the damn cup. Which on today’s performance they looked a lot more capable of doing than before this. But the goals are starting to come. The samba is finding its rhythm and the beat-master, Ronnie Jr. is starting to exert himself.Lets hope Ghana doesn’t prove to be a booby trap.

Another interesting fact, from 2002… Brazil’s feat of winning 7 out of 7 games, every game won without extra-time or penalty shootouts is a heck of a record by itself. Last achieved by… you guessed it, Brazil, 1970. Underlining the importance of 2 world class strikers – Rivaldo was still scoring at the highest level then. And that may be the biggest mountain for Brazil to climb – their midfield and passing and build up is naturally brilliant as evidenced today, but their finishing is languishing with Ronaldo’s memory right now and needs a massive revival.

End note: Graham Poll for the next Republican candidate!


Here’s a summary of the team talks before the match yesterday:

France: Raymond Domenech

Okay, today ve are going to attack from zee word go… but we will defend as well… Thierry you vill play upfront with trezeguet… but wait no, you must also help Ribery with zee midfield. Zizou, you sit next to me and hold my hand… malouda, you must keep sending zee ball to Thierry… no wait, you should play it to ribery on zee right. And claude you must make sure zeir attack is stopped early… but you must also get zee ball upfield, willie, you will cover on zee right and keep abeyadour under zee wraps but u must also move up and support ribery and keep crossing zee ball….no no… you must shoot for goal. We must score in the first half … no wait we must score in zee first 20 minutes… fabien, you must keep and eye out for zeir long range shots… Mikhail, you need to run up zee left flank and look for Thierry and david … no wait you should pass eet een earlier zan zat… oooh wait I think I’m getting ze migraine…

Togo: Otto Pfister
Boys, lets go and haf fun playing der game, yes?