We’ll Always Have McDonald’s (just like Ronaldo)
It’s all over! World Cup fans, arise and take note!
No, I’m not talking about the USA getting the early boot from the tournament (but more on that later). I’m talking about the binge eating and subsequent three month on-pitch coma of Brazilian fútbol’s Weapon of Mass Digestion Ronaldo McDonaldo.
Yesterday, in a country which I will take care not to visit in the near future, Ronaldo (real name Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima), scored twice in a 4-1 victory against Japan to tie Germany’s Gerd Muller as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer with 14 GGGOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLs. Ronaldo, who had been jeered by the global press for coming to the world’s largest sporting event overweight and less than fighting-fit, something we’d already seen in Madrid during the end of this season’s campaign, will look to break the overall scoring record during Brazil’s next game against the Black Stars of Ghana, World Cup virgins and systematic dismantlers of America’s hopes for a repeat of 2002’s quarterfinal appearance.
In truth, the Americans never really looked comfortable in Germany, having to constantly defend themselves and their No. 5 FIFA ranking in the press, and who now must return home having scored a grand total of 1 true goal in three games. Despite a 0-3 thrashing at the hands of the Czechs and a draw against Italy entering into yesterday’s match, they simply needed a win against No. 50 Ghana in order to advance to the second round, but ultimately went down 1-2, like US captain Claudio Reyna (see photo above).
I want to point out while Ghana was a widely known under-ranked threat, the fact is that not only was the US’s ranking 10 times higher, but we also have more than 10 times their population (a bit over 21 million). Don’t worry, I won’t go into overt economic or military comparisons, nor conjure images of poor West-African children playing soccer with a cloth ball in a dusty alley, but consider the bitter pill Ghana must have swallowed when the virtual future of their game, 17-year old freak-show prodigy Freddy Adu (real name Fredua Koranteng Adu) moved with his family to Washington, DC after his mother won an immigration lottery, and claimed American citizenship. Before the match, the coach of the Black Stars issued an alarming statement (alarming to American ears, though not to the rest of the world where soccer is a matter of life and death) that his team was “more than willing and ready to die” for the win. Although Adu was not named to the US World Cup team and so wasn’t playing the match, the victory still must have been incredibly sweet.
In other underdog news, the Australian Socceroos, playing in their first World Cup since 1974, moved on to the 2nd round, and although they weren’t tabbed as “underdogs”, I don’t know that anybody expected Spain to do so well, winning 9 points and finishing 1st in Group H, looking like they might be able to make a serious run.
So where can you watch the World Cup? If you’re like me (who doesn’t go to bars at 10am) and have to resort to standing on the corner of Broadway and Houston in front of the adidas store to watch live coverage, visit the FIFA World Cup official website for great quality video highlights. PS: If you’re running a Mac and Safari, make sure to enable Windows Media Player and disable Flip4Mac if you have it.
Also, not to keep beating up poor Ronaldo, but check out this hilarious site about ugly football players and their beautiful wives. There’s even a mullet gallery. You love it!