Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Silly Knock

This is rather odd: I feel obligated to support a position of Mourinho's and applaud a moment of graciousness from Ronaldo:

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has defended star player Cristiano Ronaldo over criticism that he does not celebrate his goals with enough passion.

Some Madrid fans made their feelings known in the 5-1 win over Granada at the weekend, whistling and jeering their own player after he had scored. The abuse caused Ronaldo to make an angry gesture and walk back to the centre circle with his head bowed, but Mourinho insists that the £80 million man is happy at the Bernabeu.

"He seems fine to me," Mourinho told reporters, ahead of their Copa del Rey last-16 second leg away to Malaga on Tuesday night. "I think it is more relevant that he celebrates the goals that win games and not the fifth goal in the 90th minute.

"I saw him celebrate the other four that were the important ones. If there are going to be criticisms of a player for not celebrating goals, then why not criticise me because I didn't celebrate any of the five goals. I didn't even get up."

In the face of unusually strong criticism from the pro-Real Madrid media over the incident, Mourinho was also keen to play down suggestions that the title race was over after Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Espanyol.

In any event, this reflects a significant difference between European football and most American sports: in the US, the "act like you've been there before" ethos generally and the Colin Cowherds in particular love to go after players who celebrate individual accomplishments too excitedly, while European fans seen the failure to toot your own horn as, I dunno, a lack of appreciation of the honor of wearing a given team's jersey. The context matters a great deal, but more times than not, I think soccer gets the better of this debate.

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