I have never supported Germany in any major football tournament before. Maybe once during World Cup 2006 when Germany played my number one non-supported team, Italy. Portugal, though not my favorite team, have been once of those teams I would rather seen winning then loosing. During World Cup '06, I was totally isolated during Portugal - England game, when all my friends whom I invited to watch the game at my home rooted for England except me. I was not very popular that day.
But yesterday when I watched Germany taking on tournament favorite Portugal, there is not doubt which team I wanted to win. It was an organized and discipline team versus a talented but sometimes arrogant team. It was an experience and talented Michael Ballack versus a skillful but unproven Christiano Ronaldo.
When Christiano Ronaldo started playing for Man U, he was infamous for faking and diving. He may not be doing that as often these days, but his crying face shows up times after times when he thought that the referee should call a foul against the opponent.
Ronaldo has a lot of movement, but I never think he is fast. He does appear to be quick but if a defender is good enough to concentrate on the ball, most of the time he could block Ronaldo from getting pass.
Did Ronaldo showed up in this game? Yes most definetely. However he showed up as a selfish player who think he could change the whole game. Whenever he has the ball, his teammate dared not ask for it. When he decided to shoot and miss, instead of passing to a better position player, no body dared say anything. And when he failed to mark a player he was suppose to, and the player scored, he started pointing fingers at his team mate.
In 2004, Portugal did not win the Euro because Ronaldo did not show up. When he could have play his tricks, he had stage fright. This year, he is simple too big yet not good enough as a player.
Ronaldo is not to be blamed for everything. The Brazillian coach who decided to pick up Portugese National Anthem has failed miserably in these last few years. He has the most talented players in his disposal and yet he has not gone anywhere. Loosing to Greece in '04 twice was a disgrace. Actually they should have been out of the cup much earlier if the referee of the day did not disallow an English goal for reason absolutely not related to the game.
I have seen another equally arrogant player who has showed up but failed to deliver. Nani is probably the most disturbed player in the team. He looks like Ronaldo in certain way, walk like Ronaldo, and run like Ronaldo. In my mind, I have certain that Ronaldo is his biggest rival everywhere. Unfortunately he has been the second behind Ronaldo in Man U, and in the national team. And when he was sent to the field, he was just trying to claim glory for himself, and not for his team. We two players like this, Portugal was never going anywhere.
A player with much more humility is Caresma. I know he does like to show off but he is never that annoying to watch as the other two. A player with such skill like him who was willing to move from Barcelona back to Porto got to have some humility in him. I am disappointed he wasn't played yesterday.
Nevertheless, it was a good display by Germany. Well, I will root for Germany for another game at least, when they face Turkey. If any one can beat Turkey, it has to be Germany. And I will cheer for Ballack if he score again. He deserve all the praise as a best captain of all the teams in the cup this year.