the day the James Webb Space Telescope captured an imploding ego

Ronaldo has to stop. Right now, right away, right away. Even before this piece was written. Immediately. Without delay. Forget the World Cup, fuck Portugal, that will soon be kicked out by the French, sacrifice the 200 million that Al-Nassr has ready for you to the samoem, because everything is over.

December 6, 2022: The day the James Webb Space Telescope captured an imploding ego.

He should have stopped last summer, after a last year in Manchester, the city where Cristiano Ronaldo became, the confusion between the two names a problem before being definitively put into his Portuguese fold at Real Madrid. Juventus was already a bit sorry: how excellent the performance still was, the shirt just didn’t want to get used. And then close in beauty, we thought, in familiar red and white.

No, an inglorious retreat. Chased into the desert by his club, banished to the bench of the country he championed. This is no end to arguably the best ever, just as the chill stadium lights of the City of Light do Lionel Messi, with whom he shares a breath forever, nothing but dishonor. Let everyone wander their way to the end, but not these two.

One last trophy each, if not fought in that wonderful Spanish rivalry, then at least at the clubs where they broke through, how nice would it have been? Why couldn’t we stop together? That one calls the other and only asks, “What do you think?” A shared press conference, two icons behind a table and somewhere in that half hour the words “without him there is nothing”.

Instead we got a sobbing Messi and now this sulking Ronaldo. An Argentinian who is bored and a Madeiran who has to get his fun out of a stadium of jeering idiots when he is allowed to fill in a pointless fifteen minutes. What a sad sight. Pity for what was once a lion.

Surely someone will draw hope from that sad truth that nothing is for eternity. That no flower sees her crown cast to the ground. What will football be without these two? Ronaldo and Messi are players who do not exist off the pitch. Even when they cheer, too many people break the patina. They only live in that dance, in the instinct that guides them unscathed through a forest of legs. They are just when they are not thinking.

Who will the world soon have to look breathless at? Neymar? A hopping bitch triumphant on the field of AC Ajaccio, in front of 13,000 spectators. Breathless from the fumes of maquis flower.

No, football is dead and, as so often, people stopped breathing too late. Nowhere is a dignified end rarer than in sport.


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