The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
One thing I never get tired of in football writing is the use of the word “admitted.” Let any player approach a microphone with a banal, scripted, or situation-dictated sentiment, and the story in the paper the next day is sure to have him “admitting” that sentiment, as though it was really wrenching and personal for David Beckham to tell the world that putting on the England shirt was every boy’s dream. Landing in Milan yesterday, Ronaldinho unwittingly breathed life into this tradition when he, in the words of Goal.com, “admitted” to the crowd “that his transfer to the Rossoneri was a dream come true.” I think we can all be glad that the man found the courage to get that off his chest.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m excited about the transfer. I know it’s hilarious that he gained 11 pounds during the months when he wasn’t playing soccer, but it’s still worth remembering that less than two years ago Ronaldinho was reliably capable of doing things with a football that no one else could do. I have no idea whether he’ll ever recapture that form, but I do think playing alongside him wasn’t disastrous for Lionel Messi’s development, and I can think of worse ways to spend 90 minutes than to see how he’ll link up with Pato. Anyway, take the clip above as a madeleine to return you to a time when Ronaldinho was the greatest player in the world. Hurry before he eats them all, etc.
by Brian Phillips · July 17, 2008