Only a Game? - Ronaldo, the Secret Footballer and Roddy Collins

Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo.

When Cristiano Ronaldo single handedly sent Portugal to the World Cup in Brazil during the week, the age old debate of, who is the best player in the world, started all over again.

Is Ronaldo better than Barcelona Lionel Messi at the moment? Perhaps he is.

Is Ronaldo the greatest of all time? There will never be a definitive answer.

Ronaldo’s skill is not up for discussion. People can think ill of the way he dresses, speaks or of how he reacts on the pitch but they are only kidding themselves if they think he’s not a world class player.

I remember years ago listening to Eamon Dunphy lambast Ronaldo with every chance he got. How wrong has he turned out to be?

Ronaldo, for all his faults, comes across as a top class professional. I’ve never really heard another footballer speak ill of him.

When Messi lines out for Argentina there are several other players with skill and guile to carry the can if he is having an off day.

The same cannot be said about Ronaldo.

Portugal have had to qualify for their last two tournaments via the play-offs.

Without Ronaldo they are nothing. The Portuguese footballer is much more talismanic than his Argentinean counterpart.

Portugal’s progression to the World Cup in Brazil next season came at an expense to the neutral football fan.

There will be no Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Ibrahimović is 32 and will do well to compete in another World Cup but when two teams go up against one another in the same way Portugal and Sweden did there can only ever be one winner.

The Secret Footballer

Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow managed to pull off something this week that many have been trying to do for years and that is secure a television interview with the Secret Footballer.

The Secret Footballer started off life as a columnist for The Guardian on Saturdays.

The guarantee of anonymity meant the Secret Footballer could talk openly and honestly about serious issues in football such as alcoholism, homophobia and racism.

For years, there’s been countless speculation over the identity of the Secret Footballer. Joey Barton, Danny Murphy and Nicky Shorey have all been mentioned.

The Secret Footballer in Jon Snow’s piece appeared as nothing but a silhouette and his voice had been altered.

Be that as it may, my money is on the Secret Footballer being former England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James.

Like all columnists, (myself excluded of course) James, as many already know, has an ego the size of the Peace Bridge so writing a piece for one of England’s biggest newspapers would be right up his street.

James is also extremely articulate and intelligent - the columns that appeared in The Guardian were not that of a superficial sports car driving footballer - they were the thoughts of someone with a brain.

New Boss

The fans packed into the Derry City Social Club to welcome new manager Roddy Collins to Derry. He said his dream is to win the league title with Derry - here’s hoping his dream comes true!!!