2010 FIFA World Cup: Paulo Henrique Ganso Has Got Me Singing the Blues
Football is a passionate sport. Every emotion from joy and anger to jealousy and hatred can be experienced once that ball gets rolling, on and off the field.
Back in the day, when a Scotsman called Charles Miller first brought back a couple of footballs from England and started kicking them around in Brazil, the local media would describe this activity with specific reference to emotion.
There were articles which read, "They kick around a strange bladder and whenever it goes through some uprights placed on either side of the playing area it seems to bring great joy to some but at the same time rife sorrow to others."
Paulo Henrique Ganso is a player of great class. Just a couple of nights ago he did it again versus Gremio in the Brazil Cup. Pure magic, as Santos lost away to Gremio 4-3, but individually Ganso could only be described as pure magic.
It takes generations for such a player to come around. He has that special touch which reminds us of Zidane, Riquelme, Socrates, or any of the other great midfielders with the ability to dictate entire matches.
So what's the reason for him making me feel really down then?
Well, Brazil coach Dunga has not called him to the 23-man squad heading for South Africa.
The reason said Dunga was because Ganso only started to shine recently and has not been tested on the Brazilian national side.
Allow me a second to take apart that flimsy excuse for an excuse.
The World Cup is 30 days away, which allows ample time for a friendly test versus any team in the world. Putting Ganso on the 30 man list and then testing him would have been very easy.
It appears that Ganso is on the 30-man list, but Dunga has made his 23-man squad clear and also hasn't made any attempt to have a friendly with Ganso playing.
In other words, Ganso is on the 30-man list just merely for appearances and nothing more, and he won't be tested even though there is ample opportunity.
At first I was angry. However, strangely anger has been replaced with profound sorrow. Sorrow because Brazil will not play their best team in South Africa. Win or lose, Brazil will not play their best team.
Dunga's Brazil won the Confederations Cup beating teams like world champions Italy to a frazzle and this was exciting to watch. However, it came with great effort and struggle.
The "beautiful game" has been replaced by the "struggling game."
As a fan of Brazilian football, I could accept the "struggling game" in the Confederations Cup because those players were the best Brazil had at that particular time. So they played with what they had and won.
Since that time players like Neymar, Andre, and Ganso have taken Brazil by storm and "beautiful game" abounds in the land of football.
Most Brazilians will tell you that the 1982 Brazil team was the best produced. Ironically, this team lost but still boast of unanimous local and great international popularity.
The thing that Dunga does not realize is that in Brazil it really is how you play the game that matters.
The entire nation is upset with Dunga's selection of robotic players he calls "warriors."
Every journalist and football celebrity on every channel has expressed some sort of outrage, ranging from the passive criticism of Pele to aggressive retort from Paulo V Coelho of ESPN.
Pele said he liked Dunga's team' however, there is no creative midfielder and every top Brazilian team ever has always had a creative midfielder.
Pele went on to explain that Kaka plays his position as a third striker but isn't a true creative midfielder. So in fact, according to this football legend, Brazil is playing without any midfield artistry whatsoever.
Paulo V Coelho went a step further and decided to call up Felipe Melo live on TV and ask him if he would really make a difference on the Brazil team coming off a horrible season for Juventus, indeed the worst season for this club in 44 years.
So some journalists are taking it a step further and calling up the Brazil midfield players to see if they have a conscience and the good sense to admit that Brazil desperately needs a man like Ganso.
In the meantime, this particular football fan/writer is just depressed. Too depressed to even watch Santos play Gremio and only taking a peak at the highlights sadly to see Ganso shine again.
To be honest, I wish Ganso would have a bad match play ordinarily or even horribly, also get sent off for punching the ref, and spit on a camera while going to the dressing room.
For only then would the world make sense to me again.
As it stands, Ganso not going to the World Cup for Brazil is like the Jamaicans deciding to leave Usain Bolt home for the next Olympics or the Americans deciding that Michael Phelps just isn't good enough to swim on their team any more.
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