On picking up the FIFA World Player award last night,
Cristiano Ronaldo said: "This is a unique moment for me."
This, of course, was a bare-faced lie. It seems Ronaldo has
spent more time accumulating personal accolades at various ceremonies than
actually playing football.
Although his tally of goals has dropped markedly (10 compared
to 25 at this point last season), each strike fewer has been offset by some
two-bit individual prize.
In the last nine months, his mantelpiece has become ever-more
clogged after he was crowned PFA Player of the Year, Football Writers' Player of the Year, UEFA Club Footballer of the
Year, FIFPro World Player of the Year, Ballon d'Or
and now FIFA World Player.
At this rate Early Doors wouldn't
be surprised if he emerged as a late contender for the African Player of the
Year award - he does after all hail from Madeira, which is closer to Morocco than mainland Portugal.
All this award-lifting has given Ronaldo plenty of time to
perfect his 'choked-up' face, and he spent a few seconds pretending to
fight back the tears last night.
He was jogged back to his senses by the sight of Sepp
Blatter, who entered the building sporting a long white scarf that he may well
have borrowed from Joan Collins.
As the FIFA award boasts the kind of integrity that Strictly
Come Dancing can only dream of, the results were made public - right down to
who voted for whom.
So we know that John Terry only placed Ronaldo third despite
their shared knack of missing crucial penalties.
skipper placed Xavi first and Fernando Torres second - perhaps understandable
given the amount of time he had on his hands during Euro 2008.
Craig Bellamy opted for Lionel Messi ahead of Ronaldo, while Ireland's Shay Given snubbed the winking winger in favour
of the goalkeepers' union pick of
In fact the only people who voted for Ronaldo were ones from
outside the Premier League who do not have to endure his preening antics.
It was also good to see that Diego Maradona thinks Emmanuel
Adebayor is the third best player in the world. And people thought he couldn't be a successful manager.
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It seems Ronaldo is not the only person indulging in disingenuous
chat this morning. Maybe it is the effect of football in January, but the
newspapers are full to bursting with sarky comments from football's great and not so great.
There is Southend manager Steve Tilson attempting to put the willies up Chelsea ahead of their FA Cup meeting by declaring
that the away dressing room at Roots Hall is - shock horror! - uncarpeted.
"I don't go
in the away dressing room much. But unless the heater has been fixed since the
last game, there's no doubt it will
be cold in there.
"The away dressing room at Chelsea was very nice. It had carpet. Ours
has a concrete floor - and even that's
There is Patrice Evra
sarkily thanking the FA for banning him following his mower-gate bust-up with a
groundsman last season:
"I dedicate this win to the FA because I still haven't swallowed my four-game suspension. But I had a
nice time with my family and a nice holiday."
There is David
Beckham pretending to be committed to the LA Galaxy before adding an
ambiguous "we'll see"
while winking in Silvio Berlusconi's
"The contract and agreement is I go back on March 9. So
I'm going to enjoy it up until then
and we'll see."
Then we've got Inter
boss Jose Mourinho in brilliantly
caustic form, declaring himself unmoved by Manchester United's dismantling of Chelsea - despite taking the
opportunity to raid Fergie's booze
stash - then pretending to have revealed his tactics for the teams' Champions League tie:
"Was I impressed? No. United deserved to win, but it
was not an excellent game. It was an exceptional result but the game was
"Did I have wine with Ferguson? Yes, of course. But I didn't bring the wine, he had it already.
"I spoke to him for around half an hour and I told him
how Inter will play against them and he told me his formation against us."
And best of all there is the Portsmouth club statement claiming
they will take severe action against "any fans involved in indecent
chanting or disorder" when Tottenham's
Harry Redknapp and Jermain Defoe face their former employers
on Sunday. Early Doors will believe that when it sees it.
- - -
'BARGAIN' OF THE MONTH: West Ham's
£15m asking price for Craig Bellamy, who was reportedly involved in a tunnel
bust-up with former Newcastle
team-mate Shay Given. "Bellamy was ranting and raving but not making a lot
of sense," said a source.
FOREIGN VIEW: Kevin-Prince Boateng tells Bild all about his
time at Tottenham: "I made many mistakes, which I do not want to go into
in any more details." Well, OK, not all. A bit.
COMING UP: A whopping nine FA Cup third round games take
place tonight - follow all the action LIVE from 19:45 UK time.