A week where wrong was right
12:30, 27 Apr 2012
It was a week where 'I, Ramires' came to mind, where Fernando Torres melted all Madrid hearts and one where John Terry somehow made handshakes ill-advised...
It’s been a short old week. Or is it that it’s flown by? Probably a bit of both but with the amount of mental cud there’s been to chew on, we’ve been kept busy.
Chelsea and Real Madrid wouldn’t meet in the final, Jose Mourinho had promised us that. As he so often does, J to the M delivered. Why? Because one of the few Brazilians who doesn’t operate under a pseudonym invoked the Irish spirit of ’99.
Ramires, or Ramires Santos do Nascimento (perhaps we could call him An Seabhac
, after one of the few Irish to employ a sobriquet), equalled if not bettered Roy Keane’s storied heroism
from the Stadio delli Alpi on April 21 1999.
Just as Keane did, Ramires’ side went behind in the tie and the Brazilian too picked up a yellow card that would keep him out of what seemed a scarcely likely final. Both men’s games unfolded in freakishly similar circumstances as Ramires got the goal
that revived the tie and on we go to the final without another man whose chest deserves a purple heart for his tour of duty.
Didier Drogba and heartmelter Fernando Torres hogged the headlines for different reasons because their goals, home and away respectively, were ultimately decisive. Never mind that Ramires revived his team and had also set up the winner at Stamford Bridge.
Will Ramires be thought of and held in such reverence as Keane continues to be for Manchester United (much as the Corkman tries to talk himself out of the goodwill of Red Devils everywhere)? Probably not, because while Ramires so often puts in box-office performances, he’s not selling what we’re buying. I, Ramires just won’t get bums on seats. Whereas everyone is all stocked up on Keane charisma.
It was a week where pretty much all bar Barcelona fans will have had the cockles of their heart warmed by the sight of Torres not tripping over his own shoelaces for once. Torres is of course an Atletico Madrid youth product and it might be the first time Madridistas have cheered a goal from one of those since Raul left the Bernabeu.
To see John Terry not only become the villain but live up to it probably spawned fresh cockles the world over. He is that type of player, he is that type of friend, he is that type of husband, and his is that type of trial.
A pantomime villain to be sure - perhaps a wicked wizard.
“Oh no he isn’t!” cry the Chelsea fans.
“Oh yes he is!” we echo back.
“Oh n-- well maybe he is,” sing the Blues.
Because of Terry, there will be no handshakes at Stamford Bridge this weekend when Anton Ferdinand’s QPR roll across Lannndannn town. When you think about it, that’s quite an achievement for one man. To have his previous actions render cordiality ill-advised. Like lifting the silence etiquette in libraries, or outlawing “bless you” after someone sneezes.
That’s Terry alright, leading the charge in a week where wrong seems right. A week where Pep Guardiola decided to discontinue entertaining the world, and when a couple of missed penalties afforded the world and his mother the gall to question the bottle of soccer’s two best players. As if an athlete could get to their level without having pint bottles to spare.
It was a week where Uefa decided the pantomime villain might yet get the last laugh in Munich, in front of a packed theatre rooting for their valiant heroes.
This was a week where wrong could be right. It flew by alright.
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