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Friday, June 23, 2006

WC2006: Day 14

Ah, Ronaldo. In a way, he's like Maradona. TDH saw Maradona play in Lothar Matthaeus's tribute match. The guy weighed over 200 pounds, it seemed, and only ran for about five minutes. Then he sat inside the midfield circle and waited for the ball. When he received it, however, the passes were extraordinary. And Ronaldo did very much the same in Japan's six-yard box today. He waited, then struck with his innate talent. Fat, yes. Talented, always.

Brazil won't face another equally inferior team in this competition, but TDH gets the feeling that they're starting to wake up - a little more flair, a little more passion. It's good to see Juninho Pernambucano on the pitch, too. He's one of the most selfless players on the team. The Argentines, at least, are worried.

And as you could have predicted, loyal readers, TDH is pleased as punch to see the Aussies through. Who knows, they might even beat Italy. They play a solid game, and their only vulnerability is speed - something the Italians aren't exactly known for. Come on, you Socceroos! You won't see TDH rooting for the tournament's other surprise package, oh no....


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

surprise package? they were always the most like African team to go through.

Scroll back through the annals of the Ramble, and you'll find a footnote which asserts that, bargearse or no, ronaldo will still light up the world cup. The guy exploded to life every time he touched the ball. And the second goal was just classic Ronaldo. He didn't even look up. He just knew where the ball was.

My line up for Brazil would probably drop RC and Cafu for the two who played yesterday (definitely Roberto should be dropped, Cafu less certain, as Cicinho had a few poor moments), drop Adriano for Robinho, drop Emerson for Gil Sil, and then play Ze Roberto v. the better sides, using Juninho Pernambucano when you need goals.

Kaka is untouchable, as over the three games, easily Brazil's best player.

7:18 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

"he didn't even look up. he just knew where the goal was"

and also, yeah, just forgot that Ghana beat out the Czechs. guess that is a bit of a shock, but they were definitely found out by a lack of pace.

So far Hiddinks latest army of cheats (c.f. South Korea) have been lucky in playing a Japan side with a weak defence and a defensive croation side forced to go all out in search of a win. I think Italy should have too much for them, though they will probably break or attempt to break a few Italian legs (have you ever seen a dirtier, more dangerous player than Lucas Neill? the guy should be in prison. Or Australia). I just hope they come from Juve, not Milan.

btw - two pieces of genius from the Guardian. the mbm on Brazil called Fataldo "Ronaldo McDonaldo", and th piece on the Ghana USA game described Mastroeni's (sp?) tackle in the Italy game as 'homicidal'.

7:23 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Sure, and De Rossi's attack on McBride was merely a misdemeanor?

I always thought Ivory Coast was more likely to go through than Ghana. They both had tough groups, but Ivory Coast had more marquee players and their recent form was superior, viz. African Cup of Nations. That said, given the groups, I wouldn't have been shocked if neither had progressed. The Czechs just weren't deep enough, though - take away Koller and Ujfalusi, and there's not much left.

2:18 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

yeah, De Rossi was outrageous - at least he didn't break McBride's nose a la Tassotti ('94).

CIV were clearly a superior side to Ghana, but a group like that stacked the odds against them.

10:16 PM  

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