Monday, December 05, 2005

Sportsperson of the year

When it comes to my choice, three candidates come to mind. Steve Nash, Roger Federer and Ronaldinho.

But I have to sieve out Federer because he did not win the French open, I know he did achieve practically total dominance over everyone; he did not win a "Grand" grand slam. As for Nash, although he did transform the Suns from also rans to challengers, he did not lead his team to the finals. And if he is really the MVP, why did his former team win 6 more games this year?

My choice is Ronaldinho. Although he did not win the Champions league, Barcelona's defeat to Chelsea was largely due to controversial refereeing errors. But he ended Barcelona's throphyless run with his magic boots. Bringing back the coveted league title.

The fulcrum of the side, he is the heartbeat of the team, providing the ammunition for his teammates to score the goals by the bucketful, yet fashion magical goals for himself. How many of us can actually forget THAT goal against Chelsea in the Champion league. With a wiggle of his hips, he sent Carvalho the wrong way and proceeded to fire the ball. He is the glue of the team, shining in a team full of superstar such as Guily and Xavi.

Brilliant for club, yet magnificent for country. Here he is top dog among luminaries such as Kaka and Adriano, already overtaking Rivaldo as the playmaker. He has already achieved success this year, having played a pivotal role in lifting the confederations cup.

This year he has already won the European player of the year, becoming only the third Brazilian to do so. In the polling results, everyone chose to give him at least a point, with the only exceptions being members of Wales and Faroe islands choosing not to vote for Ronaldinho. He was also voted the World player of the year last year, and is short listed for this year's award too. He also won the inaugural FIFpro award, and all these panelists cannot be all wrong can they?

After watching him, the game seems charmless when he is not playing. Even the most beautiful moves come across as nothing special, as if they had been mass produced, whereas Ronaldinho's moves are personal, unique, surprising, limitless, in a mixture of reality and fantasy like the dreams and deliriums of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. He players the game so beautifully as if like fantasy, performing moves only us mere mortals can only dream of. Like that move in that Nike video (Brazil against Portugal). As if he is a computer generated player, he can fashion something out of nothing.
With his quick mind, quicker feet, a huge range of tricks and captivating pleasure in his own talent makes him one of the most dangerous players in the world as he combines speed, strength skill and guile.

Despite his skills, he also has a good discipline record. Can we remember the last time this year that he was hauled up to the authorities for disciplinary problems? I also cannot remember the last time a scandal was published about him. He has the world at his feet, yet behaves like a perfect role model, unlike a certain Wayne Rooney.

For me, Ronaldinho is definitely my sportsperson of the year. Outstanding on the field, yet clean cut off it, he has shone regardless of the team jersey he pulls on, leading both his club and country to silverware. All this has also been recognised with his various individual honours.


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