Wednesday, April 9, 2008

5 Things I Think I Think

This, a new feature I'm implementing for days when I have a lot to say but nothing specific to say ... 

It's a 'rip-off' of the wildly successful Peter King column from sportsillustrated.com titled 'Monday Morning Quarterback', where the veteran gridiron writer expounds on the latest happenings of the past Sunday's NFL games. 

In his column, he writes a section called '10 Things I Think I Think', a witty diatribe where he spouts his opinions on things as far-ranged as Starbucks coffee and the latest episode of Lost

While I doubt I'll go that far, let me premiere my very own version of King's masterwork ... As we make our way to the South Africa World Cup, here's ... 
 

5 Things I Think I Think!!! (Here goes nothing ...) 

5 - I think Africa is clearly the 'place to be' as far as future footballing talent is concerned. 
While many have called North America, specifically the United States the burgeoning soccer power, I think Africa's where the world should turn. 

They already boast an assortment of proven talent, such as Samuel Eto'o and Didier Drogba.

They already host probably the 2nd-most important continental tournament in football (The Cup of Nations), right behind the Euros. 

Their football is disciplined, exciting and much more tactical than given credit for. 

What else is needed? I'm not sure. I'm not the expert I'd like to be in African football. In time, I'll learn more, I promise. But for now, I see an untapped well of talent, ready to make its mark on world football. 

In many ways, the talents of Africa have already blossomed on the fields of European football. I think you'll see more and more African players showcasing their skills in the best leagues in the world in the years to come ... then, what will the Confederation of African Football do about their dodgy staging of the Cup of Nations tournament smack in the middle of the European season? 

4 - I think the English Premier League is clearly the best league in the world right now. 
But is it because of the style of their play? Or because they have the most money? 

Based on pure game-play, I'd have to say Spain's La Liga is still the best in the world. 
Why? 

It's a competitive league where surprises lurk right around the corner. You just never know what's going to happen, week in, week out. 

In England, it's the Big Four monopoly. Every year, it seems. In Spain, a team like Valencia (my beloved Valencia ...), a team stacked with talent, is in 14-th place, 6 points from relegation. 

If that doesn't speak to strength of league (not to say Valencia aren't inept. They are), I don't know what does. 

3 - I think Cristiano Ronaldo is clearly the best player in the world right now. 
This kid is lighting it up, week after week. 

He's on one of these trajectories, like Ronaldhino was on in 2005 with Barcelona. 

As we've seen with the Buck-Toothed Wonder, the mighty do fall. Let's hope for our sake and for his, Ronaldo stays steady and keeps working. The lure of the party life is strong for many. Imagine how luring it must be when you're young and have the world at your finger tips. 

P.s. You heard it here first. (Or for the 237th time.) Ronaldo will be with Real Madrid by 2010. 

2 - I think Ronaldo's Manchester United will roll over Barcelona and set up the first all-English Champions League final in Moscow May 21st. Who will they play? 

Liverpool. 

1 - I wish I had a second team. 

I love Valencia. I always will. They are my club now and forever more. 

But when they have seasons like this one, I almost wish I had a second team. 

Way back when I was a football rookie (1997), I fancied Newcastle some. But that passed. 

After I fell for Valencia, I sometimes flirted with Real Madrid (sacrilegious, I know). But I'm not really a fan. It was fat Ronaldo, his devilish grin winning me over, pure and simple. 
I was tempted by Liverpool when Rafa Benitez moved there. How enticing was the 2005 Champions League final, one of the greatest games of all time? But that's passed. 
Although I'll be rooting for them this season against Chelsea. 
I tried to support Levante, Valencia's sister squad from the same city. But they're not very good. 
Anyone have any suggestions of other clubs worth supporting out there? 



1 comment:

Jorge said...

I enjoyed this entry. I know Ronaldo has mentioned before his desire to play in Spain, but 2010? I don't know man. I hope not. As for your second team, Manchester United it shall be!