Dirty Ron Public Enemy Number One?

Scott Hammond

Scott Hammond
Now please excuse the headline, as it may not be an accurate account of a player who has more talent in his right foot than I have in my entire body. But on Wednesday, let it be noted that Portugal were rightfully taken out of the World Cup picture by a determined French side that had 34-year-old Zinedine Zidane in top form again.


Now, this may seem a little biased but for 90 minutes of my life I became a solid French fan. Every time that they were on the ball I was screaming at the television for them to drive forward, much like I did when England were still in the competition. Why you ask? It's quite simple really. Two words, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ever since England were beaten on Saturday by the Portuguese, it is obvious to many that the wink made my Ronaldo to his coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, was a sign of a job well done in getting their star player sent off. Against France in the semi-final, he carried on where he left off. Don’t get me wrong, Ronaldo played another fantastic game last night, up until he began doing what he and his team had been heavily criticised for over the past week - cheating.

The most obvious was after he went up for a cross towards the end of the game, missing the header completely. Then, in a piece of drama that put him to shame, he threw himself very theatrically to the ground as if he had been pushed. The most amazing thing about the entire game was that nobody was booked for diving.

It was a complete lack of respect for the game of football. Whatever happened to FIFA Fair Play? Then we come to ‘Big Phil’ Scolari himself. Thanks to the grace of God he did not take the England job when he was offered it a few months back. I for one do not want a moaning old man for a coach. Which is exactly how he acted after this semi-final clash. At the final whistle, Scolari, in a very unprofessional manner, approached Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda pointing the finger at him and had to be held back by officials. Well done ‘Big Phil’. A great way to act in front of a worldwide audience, like a rather large (and old) baby.   

But on the flipside, France did not have the best of games by anyone’s standards, but what they did do, they did very well. When Thierry Henry was brought down in the Portuguese box, the referee had no qualms about pointing to the spot. Once again, a man who will play his last game of professional football in Berlin on Sunday, Zinedine Zidane stepped up and converted the penalty as calmly as you would expect, past Ricardo, the very man who gave England hell during their shootout last Saturday.

So, I now feel as though justice has been done and the two rightful teams are going to be fighting for the biggest trophy in football and let's be thankful. If Portugal had won that crucial game, the outcome could have been a lot worse.