Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Real Madrid in Dublin

Real Madrid was the glory team of my early interest in soccer winning the European Cup five times in a row between 1956 and 1960. Alfredo Di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, Francisco Gento and Raymond Kopa were familiar names and faces to us in rural Sligo in the fifties thanks to newspapers and sports magazines so it was a great pleasure to see the latest version in action last night in Tallaght. Full house, great atmosphere, good Shamrock Rovers support and enjoyable game.

Being a Sligo Rovers supporter (they beat us three times this season) I couldn't support "Shams" but I was pleased that they didn't lose by much. We were behind the Real goal in the first half and most of the action was at the other end, so we didn't see Ronaldo in close up action. He was singled out for booing each time he got the ball which seems a bit pathetic, a provincial imitation of what has been seen on TV. This booing of Ronaldo started didn't it after his involvement in the sending of of Rooney in the English defeat by Portugal in the World Cup of 2006. On YouTube here. I bet most of those who booed him last night were delighted that England were beaten that evening.

Anyway Ronaldo played well, stayed out on the right most of the time, passed the ball well and made a few trademark dribbles. I was disappointed he was substituted at half time and he didn't play into "our" goal in the second half.

Shamrock Rovers played well, worked very hard and probably deserved a draw. Top: Ronaldo preparing to take a free. Below: Ronaldo helping his defence defend a corner.


Shane said...

My first post on your blog, Michael, though I've been visiting sporadically for a couple of years.

I didn't make it to Tallaght last night. In fact, shamefully, I've yet to make it to the new stadium. Watching on Sky, it was both
(a) great to see a full house and good atmosphere and
(b) disheartening that the next time there's a game in Tallaght the capacity will be back down to 3300 and it may not even be full.

As regards the jeering of Ronaldo, I never condone that sort of thing but he doesn't exactly do himself any favours. He possesses none of the humility of Messi or Kaka, for example.

Anyway, good to hear you enjoyed it. I'll be at Dalymount tomorrow night as Bohs try to keep the flag flying in Europe.


Michael Farry said...

Thanks Shane. I was very impressed with the Shamrock Rovers supporters, number and volume. Also the stadium is very impressive and when the new stand is completed it will be a great venue.

As you get older you realise humility is a much overrated virtue!

Shane said...

"Humility is much overrated"

That could be a motion for one of your debates.

It's an interesting one. How important is likeability? Are not humility and achievement compatible?

I would say they are: exhibit A must be Leo Messi.

Anyway, sold out signs up in the two main stands at Dalymount tonight. In all likelihood, though, it's probably another false dawn for Irish football. We live in hope.

Michael Farry said...

Likeability is not important.
Humility and achievement are compatible.
Humility and pride are also compatible.
They are not opposites.
All of the above make fascinating debates. In each case I'll argue on whichever is the least popular side!
Good luck to Bohs tonight.
Now if Sligo Rovers can only get away from the bottom of the league.