Ronaldo and Messi
Whatever side of the divide you belong, whatever club you support, with a sense of gratitude, for good football, discipline, hard work and raw talents, rise to your feet and doff your hat, your fist to your heart and your glass committed to earth, in the skies, in a standing ovation to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. For good ten tears they dominated, they were a gulf apart from the rest; maybe there were questions in 2010 as to why the World Cup wasn’t considered, we all must agree that they were the best two players in the world for this long period of years.
Talking statistics, Ronaldo found the net 44 times, same as Mohammed Salah and Lionel Messi was instrumental to Barcelona’s league triumph, an underwhelming World Cup for the trio meant there would be a paradigm shift this time and it’s indeed a welcome development but the place of the duo of Messi and Ronaldo will never be forgotten in the history of global football. Comparisons aren’t needed between the duo, two kings disrupted the narratives, they ruled at the same time, with their shinning golden crowns, let them take the back seat and watch the new sets of super stars emerge; this is the time for Neymar to man up and claim the throne, step forward Eden Hazard, your time is now, dear Paulo Dybala, you don’t win the world’s best award from the bench, hello Kylian Mbappe, the throne is calling. Thank you Messi, thank you Ronaldo… it was exhausting having you both, thank you.
Reward for consistency… the story of the little Croat
Luka Modric till date remains the greatest loss of Tottenham Hotspur, not Gareth Bale as price tags would suggest, while Spurs made a lot of money from the sale of the Welshman, the hole the Croat left is yet to be filled by everyone that has tried. Injury threatened to limit Luka Modric early on, but every time he was called upon, he was solid, defensively, going forward, he was in the heart of Real Madrid’s four European titles in five years, he led Croatia to the finals of the world cup in Russia, a proven leader, an intelligent game reader, very obedient to the manager’s instruction, there has never been a case of a rift between the little man and the manager, lovable, amiable and professional, what a man, what a player.
Modric ousted former teammate Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Salah on the final three-man shortlist to win, after beating the same pair to win UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year award for the 2017-18 season. While apologists of the mega duo of Messi and Ronaldo would wish their idols nick it, it is good for the rest of the bunch to lay holds off the holy grail of football. Born on the 9th of September in Zadar, Croatia, the deep lying play-maker started his career in Zagreb, early loan spells around hindered his debut which was delayed till 2005, he won three straight domestic titles and was named HNL player of the season in 2007, in 2008 he moved to Tottenham and the rest is history. Congratulations Luka, the first human to win the award since Brazilian born Kaka in 2008.
Jamie Carragher’s wayward opinions
Jamie Carragher won the UEFA Champions League in 2005, he has the medal to his credit and no one will take it away from him but if he wants to test his popularity, he should take up a coaching job and see how interestingly easy it is. The former England defender has been up and about, teaching Jose Mourinho how to play Marcus Rashford, roaming press conferences with opinions on Harry Kane and how the deadly striker needs rest, someone needs to remind Carragher that in the hall of fame of English football, one would flip several pages before one can see his name, that’s if it’s there.
Marcus Rashford is a world class player, Carragher was never one, in a team with lots of talents, every player will wait for an opportunity to play, he wants Rashford to leave United and join a relegation scrap team so he can start regularly and nosedive into national team oblivion, Carragher needs people to remind him of his poor returns in the colours of England, just one good season as a Liverpool defender and he thinks his opinion is important; On Harry Kane, Carragher should shut up, he played alongside Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, if he’s as observant and intelligent as he claims, he’d know it’s okay for the best of players to have a sinking spell, wasn’t he a liability in the Champions League final? The footages of Kaka sending him to get Burger in the two finals will humble him, if Steven Gerrard didn’t come through for him in the 2005 season he won’t feel this relevant. Let Rashford and Harry be Jamie, your opinions don’t matter.