Blatter’s remarks only play in CR7 favour

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is well aware of his social standing and knows quite well that whatever he says or does under the public eye will always carry different meanings and connotations, depending on the subject and characters involved.
Hamza Nkuutu
Hamza Nkuutu

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is well aware of his social standing and knows quite well that whatever he says or does under the public eye will always carry different meanings and connotations, depending on the subject and characters involved.

So, the 77-year-old should have realised, before making his latest remarks on both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The remarks  have caused alot of hullaballoo from all corners of the globe.

Blatter is now probably one of, if not the most disliked persons in Portugal and Madrid as well as several quarters around the world, including Rwanda after he likened Ronaldo to “a commander on the field of play” and Messi as “a good boy, that every father and every mother would like to take home.”

Blatter’s ‘jokes’ were made at the Oxford University Union in England last week when he was responding to an innocent question by a participant on who of the  two superstars is the best in the world.

He started by saying, “They are both exceptional players, but they are totally different. They are totally different stars.”

Then he went ahead, “One (Messi) is a good boy, that every father and every mother would like to take home. He’s a good man, he’s very fast, and he’s not exuberant, he’s playing well, he’s dancing. He’s a kind man, a good boy. That’s what makes him so popular, and naturally he’ll always get a lot of votes because he plays well and scores goals.”

While saying that about the four-time World Player of the Year, the president of the world football governing body saved the ‘best’ of his opinion for CR7.

“‘The other one (meaning Ronaldo) is something else. He is like a commander on the field of play, (which he (Blatter) emphasised with demonstrations as if mocking the Real Madrid star, around the stage).

“This is the other side of football and it’s good to have commanders on the field. They don’t have the same attitude and that gives life to football. One has more expenses for the hairdresser than the other but that doesn’t matter.”

The video of Blatter mocking Cristiano went viral, which drew angry reaction from the player, his club, his country’s federation, football commentators and fans around the word.

The Swiss was forced to issue an apology insisting he meant no disrespect to the Portugal national team captain, who, in most people’s eyes, is the front-runner for the 2013 Ballon d’Or award, especially after carrying his country to next year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil by scoring all four goals in Portugal’s 4-2 aggregate win over Sweden in the playoffs.

Ronaldo, who never shies away from responsibilities, reacted in style off and on the field. Off it, he wrote on his official facebook page, “This video shows clearly the respect and consideration that FIFA has for me, for my club and my country.”

“Much is explained now. I wish Mr. Blatter health and a long life, with the certainty that he will continue to witness, as he deserves, the successes of his favourite teams and players.”

Blatter’s remarks and Fifa’s decision to postpone the voting date for the Fifa Ballon d’Or winner until November 29 can only play in favor of Ronaldo, who has been in outstanding form in the last couple of months. His treble against Sweden and the expected sympathy vote as a result of Blatter’s misjudged joke, plus the fact he has lost out to Messi in the last four years, gives the former Manchester United winger the edge over his rivals.

Messi is currently sidelined by a hamstring injury and by the time he returns in the new year, CR7 would probably be celebrating his second Ballon d’Or and riding high on the top scorers’ chat in La Liga.

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