The original Brazilian Ronaldo was widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers ever seen – Cristiano Ronaldo is eclipsing his achievements with an ease that is bordering on the ridiculous. Simply put, he is a superhuman talent in football terms alongside Lionel Messi.
Why then did Bafana Bafana coach, Shakes Mashaba, not select him in his Ballon d’Or top three? The somewhat maverick national team coach went with Messi, Manuel Neuer and Paul Pogba. So, arguably the greatest goal scoring forward seen in modern times wasn’t good enough for Shakes?
A man who helped Real sweep to both a Uefa Champions League and Club World Cup crown, yet he wasn’t quite up to scratch to make Mashaba’s top three.
Isn’t that the equivalent of leaving Usain Bolt out of your 100 metre sprinting team? It’s a decision so questionable that it deserves greater analysis.
This insight into Shakes’ character and personality speaks volumes. It suggests he is a maverick – a man whose decisions sometimes seem without logic or reason. Yes, mavericks can work in football management – Jose Mourinho is one such example of a coach who does things his own way and achieves success.
So perhaps there is still time for Shakes to get Bafana firing and we need to keep this in mind.
However, some recent decisions have suggested almost an attitude of having football figured out. His calls, in some instances, were at times shocking to many football experts in the country.
How did Bafana end up playing two right backs in central defence against Algeria? Why were our greatest talents in Europe treated like misbehaving children, and lambasted in the media? How can he claim almost dismissively that tactics aren’t that important?
Why would a national team coach promise to win a tournament before a ball has been kicked? It is blameworthy. And, these perhaps are just a few of the questions his reign in charge has raised so far.
What does Shakes’ snub of CR7 from his Ballon d’Or top three selection mean? It suggests he may feel that he knows better than everyone else, regardless of some of the home truths seemingly staring him in the face. Perhaps this is why so many of Mzansi’s best players were left out during what was a failed AFCON campaign. Who knows...
Have your say – what does Shakes’ snub of CR7 say about his thinking?