Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
“Ronaldo and Messi could miss the World Cup!” screamed the headlines after Portugal drew 1-1 in Denmark and Argentina were humiliated 3-1 at home to Brazil.
It sounds awful, doesn’t it? How will we ever manage without Cristiano and Leo, two of the poster boys for the elite, Masters of the Universe level of footballer we’ve come to know and love?
Leaving aside for a minute the fact that Argentina almost certainly will qualify, and Portugal are by no means out if it either, let’s get one thing clear: the World Cup will get along fine without them or any other individual players, should their countries get left behind.
Comparatively minor tournaments, such as soccer at the Olympics and regional championships outside Europe and South America, need glamour players from the big leagues to attract worldwide interest from media and sponsors. Domestic leagues need them to do overseas rights deals, the Champions League needs them to keep the money flowing but the World Cup is in a different category altogether.
They took their time getting there but Kaka is now officially a Real Madrid player.
The Spanish club and AC Milan issued statements at 0030 local time with the player due to hold a news conference in Brazil, where he is on international duty.
The campaign to be the next president of Real Madrid Football Club has finally kicked into gear with the claim from the little known Eduardo Garcia that, if elected on June 14, he will bring with him the Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.
Promising big-name signings has long been an easy way for candidates to drum up support for the presidency at Real and Barcelona, the two member-owned Spanish clubs, but ever since Florentino Perez came from nowhere to take the 2000 election what was once an entertaining sideshow has become the key battleground.
Real Madrid’s Portuguese defender Pepe faces a lengthy ban that could extend to the end of the season after he had an astonishing Zinedine Zidane moment against Getafe on Tuesday.
I had the evening off and watched the match in a Madrid bar and the looks of disbelief on the faces of the punters around me reminded me of the reaction to the Frenchman’s headbutt in the World Cup final in Berlin in 2006.