independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Ronaldo on shoulder of giants

Ronaldo

He has come along way from the days of being a "puffball" with Manchester United.

But then, what does Eamon Dunphy know about soccer?

On Monday night the worst kept secret in world football - and FIFA know a thing or two about secrets - was unmasked as Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the Ballon d'Or in Zurich as recognition of being the best soccer player on the planet in 2013.

And few could argue with the decision to reunite the Portuguese with the Golden Ball for the second time in his career.

A bit like Blur and Oasis back in the day, for today's soccer fans the choice boils down to Ronaldo or Messi, and from this vantage point it has always been Messi. (Nothing to do with our disdain for Manchester United, you understand, and a young Ronaldo's not insignificant contribution during his time at Old Trafford.)

Anyway, as an Oasis fan back in the day, over time we grew warmer and warmer to the sounds and talents of Damon Albarn and friends to the point that Modern Life is Rubbush now ranks somewhat higher in our estimation than, say, Be Here Now.

And so it is, too, that over the past couple of seasons the Real Madrid all-rounder has slowly but surely won our admiration to the point that all things being equal we now - for now - rate Ronaldo ahead of the diminutive Argentine who has, in his defence, endured an injury-ravaged season at Barcelona.

At the risking of over-egging the music analogy, dare we say Ronaldo is Standing on the Shoulder of Giants?

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