As Portugal fell to the more creative feet of the Spanish on Tuesday, I found myself fairly unsatisfied by the efforts of the Portuguese. We’ve had this Ronaldo guy so built up by media attention and YouTube footage of the gyro ball, and he came to the World Cup for a crappy slop goal in a 7, nil romp of Kim Jong Il’s North Korean team and an early exit in the round of 16. Granted, the road for a Portuguese cup was treacherous, drawing a group containing Brazil and the Ivory Coast, the Ronaldons scored 7 against N. Korea and not a single goal against Ivory Coast, Brazil and Spain. My Middle Eastern connection tells me Ronaldo has taken to both forms of white girl.
But frankly, the team from Portugal just fell flat against a much more crisp Spanish squad. Cristiano Ronaldo was, as Martin Tyler put it, “A case study in indignation.” He didn’t help his cause for 50/50 calls, basically rolling around on the ground for a about 30 seconds each time a call didn’t go his way.
The Spanish, lead by the skilled foot of David Villa, simply out classed a weaker and seemingly less motivated opponent. I will also add that the ugliest man in soccer, Carles Puyol, anchored an unbreakable defensive back line for the team in Red, Spain, and fellow defenseman/wingback Sergio Ramos (the best attacking defensive player in the Cup) was to much for the Portuguese to cope with as he made constant runs up the right side of the pitch. [Insert poop joke here].
And speaking of pretty boys, The Americans, of course; I believe the world cup has exposed the difference between a true top tier soccer country and the United States. England played not one solid minute of English Football, their best defensive player was out of the tournament and Wayne Rooney, one of the World’s best, didn’t find his form in any game. The United States, at pretty much full strength, played as well as I expected them to, gave us glimpses of glory and soccer arousal, and brought an entire market to the sport. Both teams: clipped in the round of 16.
Has US Manager Bob Bradley taken this team and program as far as he can? Is it time for a new regime? Is there a better American out there?