Cup absentees: Ronaldinho sulks, Ballack on holiday

June 11th, 2010 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

David Beckham Knysna, South Africa, June 11 (DPA) Jack beats the steering wheel hard as his taxi veers across the street twice. “It is really bad that Ronaldinho is not coming to South Africa,” says the cab driver from the town of Knysna in the final countdown to the World Cup.
Jack is furious that Brazil coach Carlos Dunga has left the veteran midfielder Ronaldinho, instrumental in Brazil’s 2002 title, at home.

But Ronaldinho is in good company when it comes to World Cup absentees.

England’s David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand, Ghana’s Michael Essien and Germany captain Michael Ballack are injured while the long list of those not picked includes Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Luca Toni.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben and Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba still hope to play despite a hamstring injury and broken arm, respectively.

Not playing at the World Cup is not only bad for prestige, it also puts a hole in the wallet.

“If you are not playing at the World Cup it’s bad for the bank account,” said Brazilian sports marketing man Rafael Plastina.

Compatriot Fabio Wolff agreed, saying that Ronaldinho “will lose a lot of money” and that his sponsor (Nike) is probably not happy either.

“If his sponsor had known earlier that he wouldn’t be at the World Cup they would have had other advertising strategies,” said Wolff.

The 30-year-old AC Milan midfielder himself was reportedly sulking in his southern Brazilian home town of Porto Alegre.

“I won’t watch a game on TV: I want to play, not to watch,” he was quoted as saying.

Ballack, meanwhile, is poolside in Florida curing his ankle ligament injury. Apart from not making it to South Africa, he also had to swallow the fact that he is now longer wanted by Chelsea.

Ballack now has plenty of time to think about a new club, but won’t have the opportunity to convince potential clubs with great showings on the pitch.

Beckham had more time settling into his fate as his dream of a fourth World Cup ended with an Achilles tendon rupture in March.

Becks is in South Africa as an ambassador of England’s 2018 bid and as something of a talisman for the team. But manager Fabio Capello also insists that “he is not part of the coaching staff.”

While there were some raised eyebrows in Italy that Francesco Totti and Toni won’t be in South Africa, Antonio Cassano has been overlooked for the past two years.

Cassano is not sulking, though, he has much better things to do as he will get married during the World Cup.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |