O, Fenomenon: Redemption Of A Die Harder.
The article is meant to be a what if, please let me know what you think before I can continue with it. It is meant to be fantastical. I hope you enjoy!
Hollywood could not have written a better dramatic thriller cum fantasy like this one. No player it seems, in the history of football has seemingly conqured the impossible quite like the happy go lucky brazilian legend. The story that would forever drill Ronaldo da Lima's name in the limestones of history starts thus...
It is March 6, 2010 and current Coach of National Team of Brazil has named his team that is to compete at the world cup and Ronaldo was not included. Ronaldo who during his two year spell has scored 56 goals in 66 goals for Corinthians could not believe his bad luck in being ommitted from the squad.
Philosphical as ever he said" Dunga is the coach and i respect his decision, and as much as I would have loved to be part of the team and end my career on a high, I will be watching from the TV like the rest of you guys."
You see, Ronaldo has just helped Corinthians win Libertadoras, ending as the player of the tournament, as well league top scorer and South America's player of the season. That however was evidently not enough to conviced Dunga.
"When I select players for the team i look into a lot of things, yes form does count, but so does physical fitness, team chemistry and ability to change the game in an instant." As if to press home the point he said "no one can dispute that Ronaldo is a legend but the boyhas had his turn."
The clouds were gathering on Dunga. Brazil had just qualified for 2010 barely. Finishing fourth and winning the last game via an own goal. His tenure as the coach is an uncomfortable one, his position in the team unsecured and his control of the team barely exists.
March 8, 2010, it is the last training session for the Selecao before heading to South Africa. Brazillian President states "what has happened to Ronaldo is scandalous, how the coach with his granny knitted sweaters continues to ignore him can live with himself, no one knows" President Lua in a show of frustration stated "Should the team, god forbid fail to win the trophy becasue a proud idiot failed to call up a living, performing legend, Dunga's citizenship wil be revoked!"
Dunga remains unmoved. And then an hour before the end of the training session, a thousand Corinthians fans barricade the maracana stadium demanding Dunga explain himself. The number swells to two, then five, eventually 16 000 fans are baying for Dunga's blood, demanding that he drop his "son" Ramirez and put Ronaldo in.
The situation is critical. The army is summoned to evacuate the team. The fans stand their ground. So does Dunga. President Lua states in a joint statement with CBF President Texeira "they cannot guarantee the coach's safety." The signs are ominous.
Six hours later the fans disperse and order is restored, but not before Robinho says to the media "Ronaldo is like my brother and having him in the team can only help us." And unlike the many times before, the tems leaves the country without much fanfare. And Ronaldo is still at home.
Dunga knows that nothing short of cup victory will vindicate his decision. He is also acutely aware he was never a fan favorite both as a plyer and a coach and his legacy will forever be defined by the six weeks of the competion. His nights are restless and his mind wonders.
And then like heavenly crpytonite, the gods kiss him. Ramirez so reviled by the fans, so misunderstood, so plainly loathed breaks down in training, and so the moment that might very well make or break Dunga presents itself...
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