… Ronaldo slammed the referee for not paying Portugal enough respect.
‘We played well and did our best but the referee didn’t help us,’ the 21-year-old Manchester United forward said. ‘Everyone who saw the match could see that the referee wasn’t fair.
‘He should have shown yellow cards but he did not because Portugal is a small country. We just have to carry on working and then we will be a big country.’ (Story.)
Oh fucking please.
No Cristiano, the ref didn’t respect you because instead of a football team you brought the girls’ diving team. A slight change in the breeze causes you to flop like a flounder on a hot pier. And the ref is like everybody else in the world when it comes to the boy who cries wolf, you know?
(A bit about my perspective here. In addition to the fact that I’ve played a lot of soccer in my life, I also reffed over 1,000 games. Never called one at this level, of course, but I spent enough time with a whistle to respect the job. Not all refs are good, even at the World Cup level, but Jorge Larrionda called a great match.)
Something I learned about calling fouls. When a guy gets legitimately pegged, he tends to go down. When there’s contact and the player actually gains altitude before going down, he’s diving. Like Ronaldo did at one point in the first half when an opposing player’s shirt brushed against his forearm.
Portugal was even worse in the England game, and their performance in the Holland game was a disgrace to the sport. I’ve come to expect a lot of drama when certain teams are on the pitch, but Portugal’s last three matches were more opera than soccer and drama queen Ronaldo was one of the biggest divas on the stage. What a shame. His talent is exceeded only by his petulance, and if he and his teammates devoted as much energy to outplaying their opponents as they do to trying to outwit the officials, they might well still be in it.
Or maybe not. One wonders how the England game might have turned out if Wayne Rooney played the way Ronaldo does. The offense for which he was red carded occurred in a heated scrap for the ball, and by the time the whistle blew he’d been fouled two or three times. But instead of diving, Rooney fought to stay on his feet and win the ball. Ah, if only Wayne, like the Portuguese, went down easier than a five-dollar hooker. He’d have been well into the second act of Madame Butterfly by the time the ref arrived on the scene, and instead of being sent off he’d have earned his team a free kick and maybe even parlayed some of the drama into a caution for one of the miscreants who’d given him a boo-boo. And I say all this as a guy who absolutely loathes Rooney, by the way.
Teams like Portugal are bad for soccer and players like Ronaldo are why FIFA is going to have to do something meaningful to clean up the thespianism. I have some ideas about steps they need to take, and will try to post about those in the coming days.
Meanwhile, a brief word for Cristiano Ronaldo: shut up, you whiny little bitch. And boy howdy, you better swing a transfer to Real, because if you think you’re on my nerves, just wait until you get back to England…