By: Kevin Plaza
In 2006, if I asked you who you thought were some of the best soccer players in the world, you probably would have answered with a few names like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Totti, 2 Brazilian greats and one Italian stallion. Well with the World Cup less then a month away, these men have not even been named to their respective national teams preliminary rosters. You may be thinking “Is this a joke?” No, it’s not, these are some of the biggest stars in the game for the past 10 years and they are being cut off of their national teams. It is hard to imagine watching a Brazilian World Cup game and not seeing Ronaldinho dazzle you with his speed and footwork, as well as Ronaldo striking the ball into spots you can only dream off. Then it is going to be equally disappointing not seeing Francesco Totti, who helped lead Italy win the 2006 World Cup, score crucial goals at crucial times.
Now do not get me wrong, I understand that these teams would like to get younger and faster on the pitch but to not even place these guys on the roster, to not even keep them as reserves coming off the bench to give your team a much needed spark that can propel them to World Cup glory, is just ridiculous. World Cup soccer offers a high pressure environment, coaches lose their jobs over a single World Cup loss, and players like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Totti, know of this pressure and have played in it and won in it, unlike many of the younger players that their respective national teams will be carrying. It just seems unreal and insensible to put these guys on your rosters, they can still play and can provide leadership to your squad.
Now Freddy Adu has also been left off of a national roster, our, USA, national roster. This has to be disappointing for the next “Golden Boy” of soccer. This guy was supposed to spark the soccer craze all over the US – it was Freddy Adu mania for a little while here. And so far it has all amounted to nothing. 2010 was supposed to be Freddy Adu’s coming out party on the world’s stage, now he will not get a chance to show the world what hes got or lack there of. He has been a disappointment and I did not want to bulk his name into the first section of players that I talked about, because he does not even belong in the same sentence as those great players. Unless US Coach Bob Bradley changes his mind, Freddy Adu you are the weakest link….goodbye. I know it’s a cheesy sign-off, but it gets the job done.