Thursday, November 29, 2007

I am appalled

In the Azzurri Dreams offices early this morning, and let me tell you, our ever growing readership, the title of today's posting has nothing to do with the fact the Spice Girls are actually on some sound station in Liverpool working out their new routines for their upcoming 'reunion' tour....I never knew they broke up, kinda of like, I didn't know Becks was still playing.

And today's mood, is also not at related to the fact that George W. is seeking a leadership role in fostering middle east peace; its almost like wal-mart coming in, tearing you house apart, then saying, hey I brought some donuts and coffee, want to talk! The point being, if it were not for Feyenoord doing his best geisha imitation and trying to relax me this morning, I very well might have had to tell our ever growing readership that I am through!

I am referring to the 'unofficial' ranking of Europe's top ten players. I do not contend with the fact the the Ballon D'or will be awarded to Kaka' next week, but what I have a problem with is the morons that decide this award must not understand, sometimes, the less glamor as a player, the bigger star...I mean the bigger stud you actually are.

For instance, no one question's Posh's role in the evolution of the Spice Girls, but she could not do it alone. And the fact of the matter, great players do not act alone. When you look at the rankings which will read like this when they are officially announced next week, I have a few questions:

1. Kakà
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
3. Messi
4. Drogba
5. Pirlo
6. Van Nistelrooy
7. Ibrahimovic
8. Fabregas
9. Robinho
10. Totti

What happens when you take numbers 2, 3, 4, 7 off their respective teams. Their coaches go to their bench and they bring in another player, maybe not as dynamic as #'s 2, 3,4, and 7 but you know Barcelona, has two 17 year old phenoms that can still play off the flank, score, and even a gordito Ronaldinho, can still feed them the ball. Drogba scores his goals, well a)because he plays in England, and b)because Sheva takes two runners with him on diagonal runs. If they sub him, the midfield, still scores enough goals, and well eventually, Shevenchko, might score again.

If Mancini takes Ibrahimovic off, he calls to replace him with half the Argentina National team, and they will continue to put goals in. The same goes for Ronaldo at Manchester United. The point being, there great, dynamic, but their positions are easily filled. Now you look at Andrea Pirlo, aka the Fonz(for an uncanny resemblance) and you realize, Milan cannot move the ball without him. Nothing, no where, the team stagnates. And lets not even mention the free kicks. When was the last time Drogba got one through a Wall outside the 18 yard box?

Pirlo is a great orchestra leader, he pulls all the strings, lets Seedorf(calling Marco, either play him for 90, or don't tire him out with needless travel, on a side note I will be at the Euros next year, and if I don't see the one player who I think actually proved Ponce de Leon was correct in finding the fountain of youth, I will boycott all your future press conferences,) and Kaka' do what they want in the midfield.

And if you look at the game tape of Milan and the World Cup Matches, you realize he plays box to box and actually has become tougher at getting the ball back himself. He'll work, he'll set up the team, with accuracry and let his players, operate freely. If you have seen a Milan match in the last few years without Pirlo, its like watching a Birmingham-Derby match, full of drab, boring football, the type you only wake from when you realize you have started to drool on yourself.

And yet his ranking was number 5. There were plenty of media in Italy that actually believed Pirlo should have and could have won the award. But he simply just gets it done, weekly, both for country and club. I guess that was and is not enough. What I don't understand, is how he would have dropped to number 5, thats right number 5. In today's tv generation, there are only a handful, of truly great midfield players, throwbacks, where the ball and the team runs through them. And yes, Riquelme is one of them, too bad he was exiled to Argentina again this week. Pirlo, while not a true number 10, is up there with Ronaldinho, Juninho and Diego(Werder Breman). So with that said, we at Azzurri Dreams have come up with our own top 5 list:

1. Kakà
2. Pirlo
3. Ronaldo
4. Messi
5. Posh

Azzurri Dreams

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