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You've got to hand it to Ron

Robbo Robson | 10:36 UK time, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Congratulations to Cristiano Ronaldo. No one else could've won the Ballon D'Or (although given it means Golden Ball, Becks should've really bagged two of them by now).

He's rightly chuffed and given there's hardly a thing he can't do with a football, I'd go so far as to say he's the best player the Premiership's ever seen. There were nicer ones (Zola), smarter ones (Bergkamp), sleeker ones (Henry) but none has approached Ronaldo's speed of movement, ability in the air, and wobbliness of free-kick.

All of which might explain why Fergie couldn't quite bring himself to call the lad a dozy plank after his Manc Derby madness on Sunday. Fergie may have fought tooth and nail to keep Senor S-S-Studio Line at OT, but the post-match defence of the gelled tumbler bordered on the laughable.

Cristiano RonaldoFirst of all Ronaldo was 'trying to protect his face'. Crikey I know he's vain but that's ridiculous. Any road, don't these modern-day jessies have face protection cream for just such an emergency? Men's moisturiser! It's a contradiction in bleeding terms, isn't it? Like US intelligence and mature student.

It's not like a bent schnozz would be a problem any road, is it? The lad's got enough cash in the back of his ripped-jeans' pocket to pay for some corrective work to fix it. After all, the lass he was rumoured to be going out with earlier this year was a living testament to the power of plastic surgery.

(Personally I've never like the enhanced look on a lady where nothing moves. It's wrong, I tell you - Isaac Newton could tell you that. To me, it only ever conjures up an image of Paul Gascoigne in 1990 by the team swimming pool. Shudder.)

Secondly, Fergie says there was a push on Ronaldo. Oh yeah, that's right - 'cos every time I've been pushed on a footie field I've instinctively tried to catch the ball. Besides which, if there had been even the teensiest nudge you can be sure the World's Best Footballer would've been browsing the Eastlands turf in the horizontal position quick-smart.

Finally, of course, there was the mystery whistle that Cristiano apparently heard. No-one else heard it, just the Greatest Player on the Planet. So not content with being able to outsprint a peregrine falcon and leap higher than a springing gazelle, Ronaldo now swears he has the hearing capacity of the average golden retriever.

What whistle? A wolf-whistle, perhaps? Yes, that was it, a lady wolf-whistled him and he suddenly remembered how irrefutably gorgeous he was and, with the ball rapidly approaching the beautiful mug, a voice in his head yelled 'No, no, not the face! Anywhere but the face!' and up came the hands in a way Heurelho Gomes can only dream of.

It's such tosh and Fergie shouldn't be pussyfooting around him like he's a Ming vase.

I had more sympathy for the post-match interview with that funny old fella Big Phil - which always sounds to me like the brand name for a particularly well-stuffed sandwich. (By the way, I keep seeing signs for 'hand-cut' sandwiches - wouldn't it be better and a damn sight more hygienic if they just used a knife?)

Now Scolari has been one of the few who has tried to empathise with the ref's plight. That is until Sunday when Van Persie was a 'million metres offside' apparently. I've done the maths and that puts young Robin somewhere near John O'Groats when Denilson played him in.

Which incidentally is where the ball would have ended up if Salomon Kalou had been allowed to carry on from an onside position in the fifth minute. Rumours are rife that the full name of the Ivorian striker is Saloman Hasuntgotta Kalou.

Still, the offside 'killed' his team. Hmm. I think what killed them was the fact that if you push up on the full-backs, and Joe Cole and Drog aren't there, they're a bit bloody average. Mind you, Scolari still insists that refs are human, which is what I like about the bloke. He's not snide, just well hacked off, and that's fair enough. It was a crap decision, that's for sure. And he said so.

But it looks like they might have to do without Drogba come the end of the season. Kenyon says Didi's meeting with Inter is irrelevant. To who, exactly?

I preferred Scolari's response to the same inquiry: "I do not sleep with Drogba." It's a relief but it makes you wonder what conditions are attached to any move back to Mourinho... I keep having Roxy Music's 'Love is the Drog I'm thinking of' in me head.

Not that any of the entertainment in Manchester and London was a patch on the Slog in the Bog in Cambridgeshire on Sunday. ITV nearly pulled it 'cos of the conditions but I thought the rain lashing against the cameras like storm-tossed waves against a set of portholes just added to the atmosphere.

Leeds did the stupidest thing imaginable in the conditions and, in a perversely Wengeresque move, came to 'play football' when what they needed was to get the big bloke on and load it into the box. Histon defended like top-class amateurs in the second half, obeying the age-old English maxim handed down through generations of greats - WELLY IT OUT!!!

By the end, Gary McAllister was doing his best Schteve McClaren impreshion, huddling away from the nasty drizzle - not so much a wally with a brolly as drenched on the bench, while Steve Fallon stood there getting a good soaking and lapping up every minute.

It felt inevitable that Histon's day would be completed with a home tie, in monsoon conditions, against Ronaldo and co (mind he can walk on water can't he, so it's not like that would've bothered him) but they get Swansea instead. Ho hum.

Still, Barrow lucked out with the glamour tie of the round - away to the Boro! Come up on the Friday me Cumbrian friends, take in the mighty Transporter Bridge, and picturesque Seaton Carew with its bus station and art deco clock tower, and watch canoeists disappear before your very eyes!

Then it's out for a pint and a parmo by the time of kick-off you'll have inhaled enough of our beautiful carbonated air to have no breath left for the match! Marvellous!


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