Sam’s Safe Space for Sincere Soccer Stoolies
It has been a minute since I got off mom’s basement couch and waddled over to the computer to pinch off a post but something has been gnawing at me for almost a full 24 hours and, damit, it is time to get it off my chest.
We gotta talk about this:
Lotta incredible players right there.
Sure, there will be minor quibbles. For example, Jorginho is both world class and the most overrated player in the world. Also, Edouard Mendy was named FIFA’s best keeper but somehow lost out to Donnarumma in the best XI – are we splitting the baby around here or sumn? David Alaba is elite thanks of his versatility but saying he’s among the best CBs in the world is a real stretch.
We can all agree, though, that these – and the fact the “committee” went with a wacky 3-3-4 formation – are small gripes. They are to be expected when splitting hairs about who the 11th and 12th best players in the world are.
However, here is a big fat honking major gripe: Cristiano Ronaldo’s inclusion. What an absolute JOKE.
I get it. He’s one of the best to ever do it. Even at 36yo the guy still gets it done – if you give him a look at net. In fact one of the most impressive things about Ronny is how he has successfully and seamlessly evolved from one of the best (powerful, pacey, dynamic) wingers in the world into one of the best (cold-blooded, ruthless, deadly) strikers in the world. Tailoring his game to fit his maturing skillset through hard work and dedication to his craft is something for which people don’t give Ronny enough credit. Also, let's just be honest, the man is still one of the best looking human beings on this or any other planet.
But best XI? In the world?? In 2022 the year of our lord??? Over guys like Mo Salah and/or Karim Benzema??????? You have GOT to be kidding me.
Anyone still comparing Ronny and Messi – note: not their career resumes, but rather the actual players on the field right here and now – is a pure troll. One is 34yo and still fighting for Balon d’Ors (even if he didn’t deserve this most recent one). The other is fighting for playing time with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
Blindly biased devotees to Team Ronny will want to point to his stats, and that’s fine. They certainly aren’t bad – even if you take into account they are boosted by penalties (which account for 2 of 8 goals in PL and 3 of 5 at the Euros). There is no denying he is a big game player who has scored some massive late-game goals. But anyone relying on stats clearly hasn’t actually been watching Ronny play much. He is a shadow of his former self when it comes to influencing games. World class goal merchant? Absolutely. World class soccer player? Absolutely not.
Long story short: Ronny has been coasting on his reputation for a couple years now and it is WAY past time we as a society came together and called the naked emperor out for what he really is: an incredible player in the twilight of his career who has slipped from the echelon of “would make any team in the world better” to “may not even make Manchester United better”… and if that isn’t a damning indictment, I don’t know what is.
Enough with the Best XIs. Enough with the Balon d’Or chatter. Just plain enough.
Unless he comes to MLS sometime soon in which case this blog will self-destruct and I will work tirelessly to compile any and all advanced stats I can find to bolster his case as the league's first Balon d’Or winner
Anyway, I feel better having gotten that off my chest. Sorry if this made you mad but sometimes it is the truthbombs that cause the most emotional devastation. Thanks, you've been an amazing audience. Stay blessed you beauties. Yay soccer!