My Valentine’s Date
WRITTEN BY CHARLES ODUGBESAN
Love is in the air this week. Restaurants will be booked, hotel rooms will be secured and men up and down the country, Ferrero Rochers and red roses by the dozen in each hand, will be doing the up-most to sweep their significant others off their feet in celebration of Saint Valentine’s Day. How lovely!
And the rest of us? Oh we’ll be swept off our feet too. It’s just that there’s a slightly different dynamic. It’ll be less dinner, movie, hotel and more sofa, drinks, football! Real Madrid versus Paris Saint Germain. Like a perfect alignment of the stars, the most anticipated game of the 2017/2018 season, between two of the most attractive teams in the world falls on the most romantic day of the year. How lovely!
Now hold that thought.
As we all know, Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded his 5th Balon D’or at the end of last year. Thus, rubber stamping a never before seen decade of world dominance that he and Lionel Messi have shared over the rest of the footballing world. But dare I ask… in fact no, I’m going to SAY – it’s getting slightly boring now. We are all in awe of and appreciate the longevity, greatness and overall contribution that these two men have made to the game of football. That goes without saying. But the ongoing tug of war between Messi and Ronaldo is getting somewhat tedious. So even at this latter stage of their careers, if the two still aren’t willing to pass the torch, someone will eventually have to step up and take it for themselves. Someone. Football needs a new man on the throne.
2018 will be Neymar’s year, I’m calling it now. He claims to have not made the move from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain for the money and I believe him. It wasn’t a money move. It was his ego. He knew that for as long as a certain number 10 is still playing at Barcelona, he would always be seen as a sidekick. Looking at his career up to this point, Neymar was not destined to be a sidekick. He thrives off the attention. Being to main man. The superstar. So why not move to Paris, be the prized asset of the exciting new team in world football and fulfill your destiny all in the process?
The stage for 2018 is set perfectly for him.
Neymar and PSG have been setting France alight and are pretty much nailed on to win Ligue 1 and are one the outright favourites in the Champions League. And Brazil will fancy their chances at the World Cup in Russia this summer. But for Neymar himself, stage one of his Balon D’or audition comes on Valentine’s Day. Champions League knockouts first leg against Ronaldo… in Madrid. 13 years ago fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho put in a memorable Man of the Match performance at the Bernabeu and history is due to repeat itself. Neymar will do the same, I’m calling this now too. And with no current missus, I will not be swapping a meal for two at The Shard to miss it.
I can’t even persuade the ladies to let their fellas off the leash for one night to watch this game. Not this night anyway! And don’t even try it fellas, it’s not a problem you want to have. Hell hath no fury and all that! But whilst you may be strutting around Wednesday night catering to the most beautiful woman in town, I can tell you one thing… I do not envy you at all good sir. True love comes in many forms!!