Where Ronaldo goes the rest will follow

by Sam Rider

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Times they are a changing in the Premier League

Six weeks ago the English press were running around like little school girls gushing over the brilliance of our national league. Three teams representing the Premiership had reached the last four of the European Cup two years on the bounce. The English champions were the world champions and they had nurtured and cultivated the world’s player of the year. All eyes across the planet were focused on these shores and the allure of the league had never been stronger.

Safe to say, CEO of the Prem, Richard Scudamore was sitting rather pretty as Blatter and Platini scowled in jealousy, resigned to the imminent departures of the best their compatriots could produce.

But then, along came Florentino Perez. Here was the man that brought us the incompetent ‘Galacticos’; the man who handpicked the greatest players on earth and wrenched them away from their boyhood clubs; the man who threw all the finest footballing eggs in one soulless basket and left them there to rot.

Like a cross between a WWII genocidal dictator, a Star Wars galactic emperor and a Dick Van Dyke movie child snatcher, he set about in his revamped plans for world domination. Within days he had singled out the good-for-nothings (curiously, all Dutch players) and sent in his spies to unsettle the stars with burgeoning ability and more crucially, mushrooming marketability.

Former world player of the year Kaka was his with nothing more than a brief “Ciao” to the club that had made him their talisman. Before you knew it current world player of the year Ronnie was off with not so much as a wink for old times’ sake. No doubt the contractual papers are being typed up as we speak for Ibrahimovic.

So surely now there will be players clambering over themselves to fill the void left such influential departures. Villa? “No thanks, I’ll wait for Floro to trump up another earth shattering bid from his bottomless pockets.” Benzema? “I’ll hang around in Lyon till Real come calling.” Liverpool’s midfield looks to be vulnerable with Alonso and Mascherano getting fidgety. Adebayour and Tevez have already packed their bags for greener pastures. And even Torres seems to have had his head turned with everything going on.

It looks like Perez has well and truly rocked the boat and swung favour back in the direction of La Liga. Those trusty politicians up in Whitehall don’t seem to have done us any favours either. With the pound crumbling against the euro and the tax bands getting tighter for the rich and famous, it’s no wonder these players are jumping ship.

Yet England hasn’t had a world player of the year grace its shores for as long as I can remember. The last Ballon d’Or winner from England was the Liverpool superstar formerly known as Michael Owen back in 2001. Cristiano was meant to be the start of things to come with the most glorified and majestic players queuing up to represent our top four. The only saving grace now will be if English teams continue to excel in Europe and generate world beaters of their own.

It seems like it has happened in the blink of the eye but now that the European crown is in Catalan hands and the tide is turning, this generation might start having to realise that the Premier League’s not quite what it used to be. As with boom, there comes bust. And as there was Ronaldo, now there is Nani.

It may sound premature to say this, but the golden era of English club football is on the precipice, a couple more big money moves away from entering its dark ages.

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  • Darren

    if u believe everything the papers say then Fabregas, Ribery, Les Dennis and Christopher Biggins are all off to Madrid too

  • http://www.no1fan.co.uk Paul (No1Fan)

    Aaaaah, heady days when Michael Owen was World Player Of The Year. Seems like a long time ago.

    Now, Michael and his people are so desperate to get away from the north east they have printed this 32 page glossy brochure that points out he can play football (at least for another few years says his doctor) and might also bring in other revenue. It’s a shocking insight in to how players are trying to sell themselves.


    What next, David James taking ads out in the jobs wanted pages? David Villa on e bay?

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