Name: Samia I.
Age: 19
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Monday, March 13, 2006
United vs Newcastle

after ronaldo's hot goal scoring streak continued through the month of february and into the first week of march, i think i can be forgiven for expecting him to score in every match.the ball just wasn't meant to go into the net for ronaldo and his teammates yesterday, after united were 2-0 up.i honestly thought the match was going to be a goal fest when united netted two in the opening 15 minutes but looking at the chances that were missed in the most bizarre of fashions, i think finishing (or lack of it) alone was not responsible for united's failure to put more past shay given.

i wasn't satisfied with ronaldo's first half showing.he seemed preoccupied for some reason, and quite reluctant to make runs down the wing.i think he's half afraid of getting injured 2 months before the all important world cup in germany and given the sort of fouls he has to suffer, he's right to feel that way. but he never was the type to hide from the ball or shy away from taking on defenders, i hope yesterday was a one-off.i know some who're highly impressed with the new selfless ronaldo yet honestly speaking, i miss that ball hogging showboat.but that doesn't mean i don't appreciate his improved decision making since i'm all for passing to team mates in good positions, but there have been occasions where ronaldo could've taken the risk of going forward all by himself but decided against doing that for reasons we're all too familiar with.unless the move ends in a goal, he'll get lambasted from all quarters, with the commentators painstakingly pointing out every single option and what could've happened had he passed the ball.
anyway, speaking of teamplay, ronaldo and rooney finally seem to be on the same wavelength.in recent matches they've been great together, exchanged clever one-twos and tried setting each other up though none of those movements actually ended in a goal.but it's nice to see the two work so well together, against newcastle we saw some flashes of the promising partnership the two can have.
ronaldo's fizzing free kick which had to be parried away by Given, and some promising play made for his contribution in the first half.one that i remember in particular is ronaldo losing the ball in the centre of the field and tracking back 40 yards to successfully win it back.great determination.

    

the second half saw a more willing runner in ronaldo, and he almost forced ramage to score an own goal after some great work down the right.ronaldo showed great vision in knocking a rio ball forward to rooney, without even looking his way.but that was about only piece of skill that was seen in the match, apart from some stepovers that he used to set up rooney.cristiano did have two great scoring opportunities but he was first denied by a great Given save and the second one went wide.
now everytime united win a free kick i get excited , hoping to see ronaldo swerve /curl/ bury the ball into the net and you could tell i was waiting to see something of that sort when ronaldo stepped up to take one from 25 yards out or so in the second half.but this time, it was well off the mark and the commentators, unsurprisingly, responded cruelly by actually laughing out loud.screw them.
though i don't recall details of ronaldo's performance in the second half, it was generally a good one and he was an ever threatening presence, and he seemed to impose himself more and more on the game as the match wore on.so imagine my dismay when i saw him, of all people, come off for ruud.i felt for ronaldo when he shrugged his shoulders at whoever was standing near the united bench to say 'what did i do wrong'.if there was anyone who deserved to be substituted from the game, it was saha.and i soon found out by checking some forums that others shared my opinion too.

it's no surprise that rooney made all the headlines for his brace.but hardly any website or paper responded the same way when ronaldo won games for united with his braces and overall performance.just another observation on how differently the two are treated.

Some clips from the game thanks to footyfanatic


Posted at 05:10 pm by r-revolution
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Who's Laughing Now?

love this goal celebration.it's high time ronaldo took the piss after being the constant target of abuse and ridicule.hearing the whole stadium break into loud jeers every time ronaldo gets the ball has become so common that i feel something is amiss when he's not booed in away matches.it's unacceptable, but it does result in some memorable goal celebrations (think ronaldo shushing the highbury crowd).

before the match, bullard threatened to 'kick ronaldo in the air' if he tried to showboat during the game and you can guess i was wary of wigan's physical approach in dealing with ronaldo.and as early as the 5th minute, zeeuw flattened ronaldo with a crunching tackle.steve bennett did flash his yellow card but decided not to give many fouls ronaldo's way for the rest of the first half, and it was clear this was frustrating him.
in all honesty, united's performance didn't make this game particularly memorable and ronaldo's overall showing wasn't brilliant, but he was still united's best attacking threat.i loved the way he teamed up with rooney half way through the first half, he showed great awareness to exchange passes and the two split open the wigan midfield and defence on their own.only this time, it was rooney who lacked the end product and a glorious chance went begging.

the rest of the first half and a good part of the second half passed without any major incidents.after wigan scored, i almost settled for a defeat, or at best, a draw.the equaliser did come through ronaldo, who received the ball on the half way line, ran through the centre and fed ruud on the right.ruud's miscued shot turned into an assist as ronaldo made no mistake in directing the ball goalwards.needless to say, i was happy, but nowadays i expect ronaldo to score in almost every game,even though i don't want to take it for granted.what i just said might appear unintelligible to some people.anyway, approximately 15 minutes remained after the equaliser and a winner from united didn't look likely.but fate had other plans as ronaldo received the ball on the right, passed to saha, and somehow the ball ended in wigan's goal via a defender.an undeserved 3 points but united have been denied similarly in the past, so it's all a part of the game.

Download ronaldo's goal
credit:Richie2710

Ronaldo vs Wigan (match compilation)
credit: golden boot


Sky Sports
Ronaldo whipped a curling free kick inches over the crossbar and there was plenty of eye-catching football whenever he, Ryan Giggs or Wayne Rooney were involved, but there were few other shots on goal as Wigan's defence stood firm.

United's best moment of the first half was symptomatic of their performance up until that point, as Wayne Rooney needlessly over-hit a pass to Louis Saha when well placed after some excellent link-up play with Ronaldo.

The impressive Ronaldo surged forward and released van Nistelrooy down the right, and his scuffed shot turned into a wonderful cross for Ronaldo, who had continued his run and was presented with a simple finish from six yards (74).

ronaldo has quite deservedly landed a place in ITV's Dream Team:

Right-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo

Jee whiz from the Portugeezer! The man has been on fire with six goals in his last five outings - eleven to date this season. Ran rings around Wigan again on Monday, was United's best attacking outlet and started and finished the move which led to their equaliser. Has the ability to beat men at ease and is scoring goals for fun at the moment. A contender for young player of the season.

 


Posted at 05:19 pm by r-revolution
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Saturday, March 04, 2006
Opta Player of the Month

just a quick update:
Sky Sports
The Opta Player of the Month for February is the enigmatic Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese wideman bagged a double double in the month, with a brace of goals at home to Fulham and another pair at Fratton Park.

He ended the month with a devastating conversion rate of 40% and capped his form off with another goal and an all-round power display in the Carling Cup Final against Wigan Athletic.

Player Club Index Score
Ronaldo Manchester United 1961
Moore Aston Villa 1920
Helguson Fulham 1544
van Nistelrooy Manchester United 1527
Gabbidon West Ham United 1492


if i'm not mistaken, ronaldo was voted the fan's player of the month last february.so far, he's on the right track to having a great second half of the season.he has already reached his previously unattainable figure of 10 goals and here's hoping he continues his scoring form and doesn't "dry out" before the world cup.that would be some nightmare...i don't know why i'm entertaining such negative thoughts.certainly all those ronaldo bashers with their 'enjoy it while it lasts' taunts got to me.screw them!


Posted at 03:19 pm by r-revolution
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Thursday, March 02, 2006
International Friendly : KSA vs C.Ronaldo

just returned from a class trip to dubai to share my thoughts on yesterday's match.lack of sleep (stayed up till 2 am last night to watch the game) and sheer exhaustion may not allow me to do justice to the ronaldo that i witnessed yesterday but i'll give it a shot by stating that he was head and shoulders above everyone else.admittedly, portugal didn't have a world class opponent in saudi arabia, but when ronaldo is on song, like he was yesterday, there are not many defences in the world that would succeed in containing him.


Ronaldo after scoring his first goal

with portugal, ronaldo seems a lot more relaxed.he doesn't appear to be afraid of making mistakes and so his hunger is even more evident.he's literally given free reign, i saw him play as a winger, attacking midfielder and striker all in one game and yesterday wasn't the first time.i was taken by surprise when, in the 10th minute, i saw him run the length of the left wing to tackle, and successfully dispossess, a saudi player.i have a very good feeling that ronaldo tackles less for united 'cause he's afraid of giving away free-kicks, and consequently getting lambasted by teammates.i've observed that ronaldo's portuguese teammates don't shout at him even when he makes silly mistakes and in my opinion, that is exactly the sort of treatment he needs to build his confidence.before the first goal was scored, portugal won several corners on the left and believe me, i thought to myself that maybe a corner from the right could help break the deadlock.and that's exactly what happened when ronaldo rose unmarked to powerfully head the ball into the goal after figo took the first corner from the right.and ronaldo's contribution was not confined to that goal, he was a thorn in KSA's defence and at one point, he left three defenders for dead , unleashed his stepovers on two more who were attempting to guard their goal and shot, only for Al Deayea to save.infact, ronaldo could've easily scored six goals if it weren't for Al Deayea's sharp reflexes.portugal's second goal came after one such ronaldo shot was parried away by the saudi goalkeeper, only for maniche to guide it home on the rebound.

i was quite surprised to see ronaldo continue in the second half since scolari had taken off figo and deco, but i suppose he wanted to see how the future portuguese team played, which would comprise of cristiano ronaldo, quaresma, hugo vianna and the rest.i was curious to see how ronaldo and quaresma teamed up and though there seemed to be a lot of friendly, at times brotherly, affection between the two, quaresma wasn't on his game so i guess i'll have to analyse their partnership some other time.ronaldo constantly tried to feed the ball to quaresma but as the latter was having  an off-day, nothing really came out of those passes/ crosses.speaking of crosses, ronaldo's pin-point deliveries were a delight to watch.and then there were his usual delightful flicks and touches - one that stood out and had me smiling from ear to ear was his clever backheel that coupled up as a no-look pass.the crowd in the stadium was very appreciative and loudly cheered every single time ronaldo got the ball - a welcome change from the abusive spectators that ronaldo usually plays before.ronaldo's second goal came after a hugo vianna pass found him near the 18-yard box and ronaldo showed the killer instinct of a striker to put the ball past the goalkeeper from a not-so-easy angle.


Quaresma (left) and Ronaldo - Portugal's future
(though one is already an integral part of the current team)

i love watching ronaldo play for portugal.the freedom he's given brings out the best in him, i don't know when, or if, he'll enjoy that at united.only then can mancs demand that ronaldo play for united like he does for portugal.

FIFAworldcup
Ronaldo sparkles as Portugal outclass Saudis
Two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo steered Portugal to a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia in their 2006 FIFA World Cup™ warm-up on Wednesday.

The Manchester United winger was a constant menace to the Saudi defence and opened the scoring with a header from a 29th-minute corner by Luis Figo.

But the keeper had no chance in the 84th minute when Ronaldo capped a solo run down the left by scoring with a low shot into the corner.

Download:
Ronaldo's 1st
Ronaldo's 2nd

Ronaldo's amazing run (credit:koora)

on a slightly different note, here's the fourth part of the joga bonito ads doing the rounds on tv and this one includes clips of the 3 on 3 game played by ronaldo/fabregas/robbie keane and rio/anton ferdinand/rooney at the launch.needless to say, i'm posting this 'cause of cristiano's skills + last minute goal: Download here


Posted at 09:08 pm by r-revolution
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Sunday, February 26, 2006
YES!!

how amazing was that? before the match, i was half expecting wigan to cause an upset but for once, united played like a team with purpose.the referee was being an ass for most of the match but since he didn't cost united the game,i just might overlook all his suspect decisions.

and ronaldo! you can't help but feel sorry for the wigan defenders who were practically abused by twinkle toes.i don't know if i'm imagining this but cristiano looked jaded at the beginning of the match, and a lot less quicker.but i soon got over my worries of him being tired after flying to china and back for shooting a coca cola commercial.i literally lost my head when ronaldo scored.though the booking was unnecessary, i think it's a price i am ready to pay once in a while for a glimpse of that ________ (insert adjective) body.ok now don't get the impression that i like him for his looks.


Ronaldo celebrates his goal...in style ;)

loved the bit where ronaldo started doing 'keepy uppies' after united were 4-nil up, some unpleasant memories are associated with the last time i saw him do it (benfica match) but now i thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.and what about that reverse elastico that burned kavanagh.a treat for the eyes! i was rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of ronaldo running riot and unleashing his tricks after united were leading with a comfortable scoreline, but my hopes were soon dashed when i saw he was coming off for richardson.anyway, i'm satisfied with his performance and to quote an age old saying 'something is better than nothing', and ronaldo's showing this evening was more than just 'something'.i have to add that i felt extremely sorry for ruud.

videos and the rest will be added tomorrow.for now, i leave on a high note:


Ronaldo lifts his second cup with United


Silvestre and Evra hoping some of Ronaldo's talent rubs on to them :P

Update
footyfanatic's match compilation : Download here

i've been giving it some thought and fifa really needs to review it's policy of booking players who whip off their shirt for a goal celebration.i don't see how it wastes more time than other celebrations, as long as the player doesn't throw his jersey into the crowd or something of that sort.i can almost envisage ronaldo going shirtless after  a goal in a crucial match and then having to sit out the next game in the world cup for a stupid yellow.how i'd hate it.

not suprisingly, some english papers had the nerve to label ronaldo's performance  'childish', but i'm sure anyone who sat through the whole match would opine otherwise.unless it's a certain 'beckhamsdaman' from Talking Reds.anyway, it's great to see happy, smiling faces with some silverware after a one and a half year drought...ronaldo seems to have taken a special liking for that silly hat:

   


Posted at 09:59 pm by r-revolution
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Thursday, February 23, 2006
Is It Me...

...or does the week appear to drag when there is just one game in seven days? there's not much i can write here to keep this place updated and that bothers me.i'm not fond of gossips or i could've ranted on about how he's supposedly...wait,i'll stop right there.

ideally, i'd prefer posting only football related entries or those related to ronaldo's career as a professional footballer (that would include endorsements etc.).but lack of action in the last couple of days has forced me shift focus for a while:
ronaldo flew to madeira after the liverpool game to inaugurate a store owned by his family and it is named 'CR7' - the acronym with which he's widely referred to on the net.it will be managed by his two sisters catia and elma.


From left: Ronaldo, sisters Catia and Elma, brother Hugo


From left: Elma, Catia, mother Dolores, Hugo and Ronaldo

pictures courtesy of cristianoronaldo.pt.vu

moving on, i came across these wallpapers on the nike site:

  

notice anything different in the last picture? the back of cristiano's portugal jersey now reads only 'ronaldo', and not 'c.ronaldo' as before.

and please, please, please win on sunday.'mickey mouse' cup or not, i want united to win.


Posted at 05:22 pm by r-revolution
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Saturday, February 18, 2006
To Put It Simply: Sucks

not ronaldo's performance, but united's season in general.what the hell was that.united standed the chance of winning just two (domestic) cups this season and they blow one away by using that assembly of players to represent united against liverpool ? i refuse to name and shame players but i was sorely disappointed by the failure of the team to stand their ground in midfield, and defence.now this is a ronaldo blog and i'm not here to fret over united's problems but how is ronaldo ever going to win any silverware with this team?

either ronaldo is given the ball and expected to go past 4 players on his own with no support from his teammates, or he's completely ignored by high-ball loving neville and silvestre.that's what i had to see all match.and giggs decides he's the new juninho and refuses to let ronaldo take any of the three odd free kicks.ronaldo's runs were threatening, when he wasn't crowded out, and was the only player on the united team trying to be creative.
two incidents that i found amusing:
-ronaldo's scissor/overhead kick...the first time i saw him do one since i started watching him play (that would be august 2003).
-morientes getting help from ronaldo to digest the fact that's he getting subbed (ok, so maybe that wasn't precisely what happened).

ronaldo generally plays well in the fa cup and this season, he hardly got the chance to strut his stuff.if that's not disappointing enough, we hardly got to see ronaldo play often, with his off-field problems seeing him benched for almost a month, suspensions and united's premature champions league exit.the only positive? ronaldo will be slightly fresher than the rest for the all important world cup in the summer. 

and last but not the least,here's a special mention of alan smith,who had to leave on a stretcher after suffering a horrific leg injury.i sincerely hope he recovers soon.


Posted at 09:01 pm by r-revolution
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Monday, February 13, 2006
New Portugal Kits Unveiled

i'm not sure why nike reverted to the relatively dull maroon colour scheme when the red and green looked so striking and bold.the number font looks good though...

      

   

here's hoping ronaldo and co have many pleasant memories of this kit a few years from now.

speaking at the function, ronaldo reiterated his desire and objective to go far in the 2006 world cup:

SkySports
"To get to the final is the big objective of this side," he told A Bola.

"We have a team with quality and we are going to work very hard.

"We are committed to working hard so the games go well for us.

"On a personal level, I am more and more confident.

"I have scored goals and I want to get better all the time.

"I am going to be in the best possible form at the World Cup."

ronaldo at his best possible form...i would'nt mind staying up till 1 am every night, through my A2 exams, to watch that.

Video of cristiano at the unveiling, including an interview in portuguese, thanks to sevan
Click to download


Posted at 08:04 pm by r-revolution
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Sunday, February 12, 2006
Deja Vu...All Over Again!

i've been meaning to do this for quite some time now so here goes: ronaldoooooooooooooooo! that was another absolutely stunning goal by boy wonder.i had to watch the match through pplive (bless them!) since ART sport was too busy showing the winter olympics and the stream had to rebuffer everytime ronaldo got possession (or so it seemed to my impatient soul).so one moment, the ball is at ronaldo's feet, and the next, i see the bewildered face of the portsmouth goalkeeper on the screen, and the replays provided me with details of everything that went in between.boy did i love every moment of it.the precision, power and pace of the shot were perfect.though i'm not sure what his celebration meant, i can say i thoroughly enjoyed it :o)

 

and things didn't stop there.ronaldo bagged his second brace (third of the season) in as many games when he ran to a pass from rooney and finished it off with a composed low drive.i have to admit i was pretty scared of ronaldo not performing well in this match and having his critics on his back again.many sports websites literally announced that ronaldo was 'back on form' after the fulham game and any slip up wouldn't have gone unpunished.but with ronaldo taking his season's tally to 9 goals, i could finally breath easy.twinkle toes can make me ridiculously happy.


Ronaldo scores!


now to the match in general, it was one to forget.in all honesty, ronaldo was not exactly brilliant through out...some of his passes and chips weren't coming off and i thought he shared no chemistry, whatsoever, with brown on the right wing.yet, his two goals in seven minutes proved to be the match winner since the game ended 3-1.ronaldo almost made it 4-1 when his late free kick from the left bounced off the bar...i know he could've had a hat-trick right there but i was happy with what he had done all evening.compared to the performance of the rest of the united team, ronaldo definitely deserved to be named man of the match for the second consecutive time.

p.s. some of you might find this silly but i just noticed that ronaldo scored braces against teams that had portuguese players on the field (ricardo vaz te in the bolton game, luis boa morte - fulham and pedro mendes - portsmouth)

nice to see ruud praise ronaldo's effort:
manutd.com
"His first was out of this world and his second one was a good finish after good play from the back through the midfield."

BBC
But that was the best Portsmouth could muster in an attacking sense and in that devastating Ronaldo-inspired spell before the interval United took an iron grip of the match.

Ronaldo's first goal came from a shot that was hit with such venom that Kiely had no hope of stopping it.

The Portuguese winger then collected a Wayne Rooney pass, before shooting into the corner of the net, despite Andy O'Brien's desperate efforts to get in a saving tackle.

The Observer
United scored their second when Cristiano Ronaldo, 30 yards out, crashed a left-foot shot over Kiely and under the crossbar.

The goalkeeper barely moved, beaten by sheer speed and possibly swerve. They went three up on the stroke of half time after Van Nistelrooy fed Rooney. He instantly altered the shape of the attack by spreading the ball wide for Ronaldo to dart in from an angle and beat Kiely again.

Telegraph
The jury may still be out on Cristiano Ronaldo's overall effectiveness, but there is no disputing his ability to entertain - unless one happens to be on the wrong end of his swaggering brilliance. A difficult season for him off the pitch took another turn for the better on it yesterday when he followed up a brace of goals against Fulham with another pair to seal victory here before half-time.

There were times when he flattered to deceive yesterday, but he was always a handful for the Portsmouth defence. It is that ability to produce something out of nothing that sets players like Ronaldo apart, and that skill was never more obvious than in the 38th minute when he scored with a screaming, swerving left-footer from 25 yards. His cocky celebrations afterwards were not exactly out of the Bobby Charlton school of modesty, but understandable in the circumstances.

''It was an incredible first goal, a marvellous hit," said Sir Alex. "But he's capable of that, he's got great feet and great shooting power, but he should be scoring more. He's capable of scoring 15-20. He's pacey and brave and I think that'll give him the confidence to get a few more."

Even then Ronaldo very nearly had the final word with a stunning free-kick which kissed the top of the bar.

Independent
Nearer half-time Mikaël Silvestre chipped a pass forward for the Dutchman to nod down for Ronaldo, who let go a thunderous drive from 25 yards that was past Kiely before he could raise his arms above his head to deal with it. That spared the goalkeeper a dislocated finger or two. He was not spared a third goal before the interval, however. This time, Rooney set up Ronaldo for a clean first touch and low drive into the bottom corner of the net.

Ronaldo's double:
Ronaldo's Screamer (United 2 - 0 Portsmouth)
Ronaldo's 2nd (United 3 - 0 Portsmouth)
clips thanks to : mumbaikar


Posted at 05:23 pm by r-revolution
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Thursday, February 09, 2006
Opinions and Follow-ups

Cantona on Ronaldo:

Telegraph
"Cristiano Ronaldo could score more goals. He gives the ball, a nice cross from left or right, and he doesn't care. He doesn't go to the goal. What does he have to do? He has to run 30 metres. He is young. He can improve. Cristiano Ronaldo will become - could become - one of the best if he wants to score goals. He does a lot of things right. He will score maybe 10 more goals during the season. And it is important to score goals."

am i the only who gets the impression that cantona doesn't watch ronaldo closely enough? ronaldo loves scoring, he goes for goal quite often.i don't see what made cantona conclude that ronaldo doesn't "care" about scoring.the reference to running 30 metres was out of the blue too.anyway, he has to be one of the few people to acknowledge that ronaldo does a "lot of things right". 

elsewhere, carlos queiroz has tipped ronaldo to regain his form after a frustrating season:

Today Online
"It hasn't been a very easy season for him due to some circumstances which affected him," he said in an interview with Portuguese news radio TSF. "But bit by bit, with persistence and perseverance we can make Cristiano perform at the level which everyone expects of him and which above all match his own ambitions," he added. "We believe that in a short amount of time Cristiano can be a serious candidate to be elected the world's best player," the Portuguese assistant coach said.

and here's my follow up on ronaldo after his excellent weekend performance (this might be a little late but...):
Team of the Week:

Soccernet


Eurosport


ITV
Left Wing: Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese star has had a difficult season, but now seems to be back to his best. Ran at the Fulham defenders in his old 'twinkle-toes' style and crossed the ball much better than he has been of late. Scored with a thunderous free-kick and grabbed another towards the end to seal all three points for Man United.

Week in review (Houston Chronicles):

Player of the week Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United.
Why he's notable At Old Trafford, the Portuguese striker scored twice to lift Manchester United to a 4-2 rout of Fulham and American Brian McBride, who scored for the visitors.

Soccernet Player of the Week
Vote for Ronaldo


Posted at 09:31 am by r-revolution
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