Anorak News | Seeing Red

Seeing Red

by | 18th, June 2006

“BLOOD BATH,” screams the Sunday Times’s headline, and a chill runs through us.

The truth is somewhat less terrible than an entire bath full of blood, as Italy’s Daniele De Rossi gives USA’S Brian McBride an elbow-shaped weapon of mass destruction right in the face.

Looking at the shot of the American’s face – streaming with blood from a cut below his left eye – we imagine that some blood might well have dripped into the Americans’ post-match bath. But fill it? We think not.

But in case the water should turn a deep crimson, wise were two Americans – Pablo Mastoneni and Eddie Pope – to opt for early baths. Both received red cards from the Uruguayan referee. And in the spirit of fair play, Italy’s man with the elbow, De Rossi, also trotted down the tunnel early. (Who says sportsmanship is dead?)

The game was now nine against ten. As the Times says in its headline: “The beautiful game turns ugly.”

Of course, some would argue that football was never that good looking in the first place. The Times’s Rod Liddle calls Brazil’s roly-poly Ronaldo a “Peter Kay” look-alike and wonders is Ronaldinho’s perma-grin is “the recourse of a half-wit”.

Not every player can be David Beckham. But at least there’s that other Ronaldo to present football’s clean and, very possibly, moisturised face to the world.

The Portugal winger can be seen celebrating being voted sexiest player at the World Cup by a Dutch gay magazine on the cover of the New of the World’s “score” section.

And to put the cherry on the top of a good week for the Manchester United player, we read that he scored from the penalty spot as Portugal beat Iran 2-0.

Right he is to be happy. As the paper says, this is the first time in 40 years Portugal have made it to the knockout stages of a World Cup.

It’s 2006 and all that for the Portuguese as memories of 1966 are rekindled. Forty years of hurt are at an end.

Now England need to lay their own ghosts to rest. And that means seeing off Sweden in their next match.

But the Swedes are up for it. In a piece called “Revenge of the Rejects”, the Mail says that almost half of the Swedish squad are past or present Premiership players – “the majority of them had unhappy spells here.”

Now they are out to prove that they are as good as the top English players. Not that they should worry too much – the Swedes have not lost to England for 38 years…

Posted: 18th, June 2006 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink