Until about 5 minutes ago I was unclear whether I would touch this. You see Football is not my game. It just isn’t hockey (the real version, on ice) . I am not a fan of the game, never was. I sometimes watch part of a game and there is no call to national teams either. But for me, like for a whole lot of people, our world was abruptly called to a halt. On the 22nd November 2022 the game changed. Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, a result no one saw coming and I reckon that a lot of people lost a lot of money gambling on that game. On the 22nd of November Saudi Arabia became a contender in football.
So whilst I see all these news items and BS tweets on how Ronaldo ‘betrayed’ the game, how he became a mercenary and a lot more rubbish, the bulk of the people are missing the point. You see being a sportsman on THAT level has a limited timeline. You can only be the best in the world for a limited time. OK, lets just say he is one of the three in the top of that game (apparently for some unknown reason no one in Argentina thinks he is the best in the world). But even if he is one of three on that top level, it has an expiration date, and he is no longer a teenager, he needs to keep his future safe. So he can continue on that streak (being paid decently well), or he can take an insane amount of money, being set for life and shaping football for Saudi Arabia. What would you do? Continue on a timeline with half a dozen prima donna’s, or create a dozen Ronaldo’s? Getting over a quarter of a billion each year doing so?
This is not merely the money (but it is nice to have a safe retirement 20 years in advance), he can shape the game for Saudi Arabia. This year they amazed EVERYONE, so what do you think will happen when Cristiano Ronaldo, the Number 7 trains the Saudi’s and in 2024 THEY end in the quarter finals? What a legacy to create and for Saudi Arabia, what an achievement to get. But we do not see any of that in all the newscasts or tweets, merely some SBS news girl standing pretty (and not much more) stating how sad she is, so why is she sad? Do we care?
We saw the beginning of the game changing to a degree we never saw coming and Ronaldo, the number 7 can add spice to that equation and get over a dozen players a lot closer to the upper level of football than ever before. FIFA is about to get a new contender in this game and it is not a European team, yet that too is left unmentioned. So as I saw the sad amount of innuendo and attacks on number 7, I decided to write this. Consider this point of view, reject it, or form your own opinion, but think back to November 22nd. Did you see that game coming? I sure as hell didn’t and it was the subsequent deal with Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia where a new age of football is heralded in, heralded in by a Portuguese, Vasco da Gama would be proud of this day. At this point I wonder what the Saudi team will achieve in 2024, in Mexico because that will be a world cup no one wants to miss at this point.