biggest transfer sagas are dropping like flies. Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Barry - all have
come to pleasingly premature conclusions.
But there is one farrago that will go on and on like
Fidel Castro at an open mic evening.
Fittingly for a player who runs around tirelessly without
necessarily achieving much, the fight for Carlos Tevez should rumble on for
most of the summer before delivering any sort of end product.
Of course, Manchester United could have avoided all of
this if they had coughed up the best part of £30 million at any point over the last
ED has long said that it is too much to pay for somebody
who was far from an automatic first-choice forward, and had a worse strike rate
than an Australian Twenty20 batsman.
But if you know you are going to lose Ronaldo, then the Argentine starts to look a lot more indispensable.
Whether or not you believe Ramon Calderon's claim that a deal was done before Christmas, it
seems United knew full well Ronaldo would vacate the Old Trafford dressing room this summer to be replaced with a pile of used £50 notes twice the size of Paul Scholes.
Given the likelihood of Ronaldo leaving, you'd think United might have done a better job of
making nice with Tevez and South American football's
answer to Colonel Tom Parker, Kia Joorabchian.
reluctance to meet an inflated asking price is understandable; less so chief
executive David Gill's public
assertion that Tevez is overpriced.
and professionalism is a million miles away from his blundering predecessor
Peter Kenyon, so it was surprising to see him drop a clanger of such magnitude.
For all his
application on the pitch, Tevez is a prickly bugger off it, and now seems set
to snub any United offer in order to snap up a £140,000-a-week deal from Manchester City.
loves Tevez, most of all United fans, so he has come in for very little
criticism during this saga.
will people if he ditches his adoring fans to join their cross-town rivals, and
goes from Champions League to mid-table in order to secure a 75 per cent pay
to say that Barry or Ronaldo could not get away with it.
- - -
The Confederations Cup's bid not to
be seen as a Mickey Mouse tournament got off to a rocky start yesterday.
game saw hosts South Africa
play out a God-awful goalless draw against Iraq, in which the highlight was
Bernard Parker inadvertently keeping out an effort from team-mate Kagisho
said: "When the ball hit me, I just wanted to drop dead on the spot."
Given who South Africa
were playing, he is just lucky nobody obliged.
followed up by a comical mis-match between Spain
and New Zealand,
in which Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick within 17 minutes.
European champions raced into a 5-0 lead, and only a reversion to national
stereotype meant the Spanish decided that passing the ball to within an inch of
its life was more important than compiling a cricket score. And, on
reflection, they were probably right.
Today's action should be marginally better, with two
pretty good teams (Egypt and
USA) against two very good
teams (Brazil and Italy) and an
important leveller - nobody is trying particularly hard.
- - -
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: "I love it when people jeer
me. I love to see the hate in their eyes, to hear the insults. It doesn't bother me. It's
true lots of people hate me but there are even more who love me and who support
me. I feel bad only when I play badly. Fortunately, that rarely happens. I
still have a long way to go. I really want to re-write the history of football.
I am aware I'm already among the
best of the best but I want to continue to write many more beautiful pages. I
have nothing to envy Lionel (Messi) for. I don't
compare myself to others. I am Cristiano Ronaldo - and I can win more medals
than anybody else. I don't like to
relax. The fans want to see a great Cristiano Ronaldo so I try to never
ED really doesn't
need to say anything...
FOREIGN VIEW: Flamengo, Brazil's most popular team, suffered their second
successive heavy defeat as they crashed 5-0 at previously winless Coritiba in
the Brazilian championship.
Beaten 4-2 at Sport Recife
last week, Flamengo were quickly in trouble when Welinton put through his own
goal after seven minutes.
With former Internazionale
striker Adriano barely noticeable in attack, the visitors pressed the
self-destruct button again four minutes before half-time when goalkeeper Bruno
allowed Marcos Aurelio's shot to
slip through his legs for the second. Tempers then flared as Airton (Flamengo)
and Ariel (Coritiba) were sent off for fighting.
Bruno Batata added the
third almost immediately after the re-start and scored again just after the
hour when Bruno failed to hold Renatinho's
Leonzinho completed the
rout in the 76th minute after Bruno offered another rebound, as Coritiba
finished with nine after Felipe was sent off.
"I feel ashamed,"
said Flamengo coach Cuca, adding he would not offer his resignation.
"The easiest thing to
do would be to ask to leave. But that would be an act of cowardice and I'm not going to do it."
And if that
were not enough, there's a
decent-sized cricket match this evening - England
v West Indies for a place in the World
Twenty20 semi-finals. That is live from 17:30.
told, you have absolutely no excuse for not spending your entire afternoon and
evening staring vacantly at your computer screen for a text version of sporting