Something is wrong when we’ve got to decide whether someone is the ninth, 13th or 21st best player in the world.
It’s been an odd week for Wayne Rooney, a week in which he didn’t really do much, but people still talked about him a lot.
Mainly, driven by Sir Alex Ferguson’s remark before the game against Wolfsburg that “Kaká, Ronaldo and Messi are the best three and I think Wayne can get to that level”, they talked about when we can expect him to stop mucking about just trying really hard and training brilliantly and running about all over the place and finally stride on to the confetti-strewn pedestal as, if not the best player in the world, then at least part of the current, formally-mandated Best Player In The World godhead.
The idea that you’ve always got to have a really clear notion of who is The Best Player in the World has become increasingly important.
For what it’s worth, I think Rooney is currently the 11th best player, although I have absolutely no evidence to support this and I’m willing to accept that he might also be the ninth best player, or the 13th, or the 21st.
Is he really better than Ryan Giggs? Or some Serbians you’ve only vaguely heard of but who turn out to be devastatingly adept at all the things that seem so difficult when an England player tries them and the TV commentator has to put on his throaty, concerned voice and say, “always struggling to reach that ball”?
It’s all very confusing. You can see why we might be interested in this kind of thing.
Rooney is the best English player. He’s what they’ve got right now. England may have their quota of flailing centre-forwards and cart-wheeling goalkeepers, but everyone likes to have one thing in their life that they can quietly imagine to be unanswerably excellent.
Of course, this won’t happen to Rooney because he is the sixth or 14th or 11th best player in the world.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about the preoccupation with a Best Player In The World global ranking system is the way it reflects something of what football is now.
The Premier League is a frictionless, bar-coded kind of place, every item priced and stacked and consumer-rated.
Beraho should quit
I am pretty certain that the long serving president of the national Olympics committee, Ignace Beraho, knows that a good fraction of the sports fraternity wants him out of office.
Unless there is something fundamentally wrong with his ability to analyze unfolding events, he must be aware of the damage he has caused to the development of sports and our participation in the Olympics games. Why is he still clinging onto power?
The recent incident whereby the sports minister Joseph Habineza hounded the grey-haired man out of a high level meeting was too way embarrassing.
Beraho should have simply avoided such thwarting situations by stepping down five years ago. He has lost integrity and popularity something he has cultivated himself.
For a normal being, you ought to read a situation where you are viewed as unwanted and do something about it.
You either quit or improve your image and the way you conduct business. Being an egoistic does not win you popularity at any rate.
Beraho owes us an apology for running the Olympics body for virtually ten years without results.
Rwanda is only known for taking part in the Olympics games but not for winning medals. We actually have a seamless record of taking more officials than athletes to the Olympics games.
For the little time I have come to know this old man, I have learnt that he is a difficult man to deal with. I really pity those who worked or work with him.
He always crashes with anybody he comes across, which is a very disturbing element unsuitable for collaboration.
He is a kind of person that would unfold his sleeves and exchange blows. I witnessed this type of awkward behavior when he almost fought with a team doctor during the 2004 Olympics games in Athens because he had refused to carry his extra luggage with him on a plane back to Kigali.
A few days later I almost became a victim of his roughness because I reported the situation in the newspaper. My colleague Hamza Nkuutu also got a share of his bumpiness because one of his reports did not amuse him.
Being at loggerheads with Minister Habineza does not get me surprised. He used to have a personal friction with former sports minister Robert Bayingamba a gentleman who cuts a posture a humble man.
He has had wrangles with the athletics federation to the extent that the federation was threatening to stop athletes from working the RNOC programmes.
As if that is not enough, he has had wrangles with the athletes themselves at various occasions. What the heck!