Рональдо признали лучшим футболистом Европы
10:06AM Tuesday, Dec 17, 2002
Обновлено 17.12.2002 в 18:42:36|
On Tuesday, Fifa announces which footballing great has been crowned 2002 World Player of the Year.
Most insiders expect Brazilian striker Ronaldo to get the nod - which would be as unexpected an event as Christmas coming in December.
What football fans across the world really want to know is this: who was the worst player of 2002?
We're not talking a badly co-ordinated joker who plays for Mickey Mouse Rovers in some Sunday league here - the successful candidate must have played international football for his country, and laughably badly at that.
No-one likes a smartarse - and when Leboeuf came back from France '98 boasting how he had almost single-handedly won the World Cup, there were plenty who hoped to see him one day get his comeuppance.
Praise the Lord for Roger Lemerre and his touching faith in a 34-year-old with the pace of a three-toed sloth and the turning circle of an articulated lorry.
Leboeuf's dismal displays in France's woeful World Cup campaign delighted millions across the globe and made a major contribution to his country's first-round exit.
Even his own team-mates wanted rid of him - just before the finals, he was voted the French league's most over-rated and arrogant player by his fellow professionals.
David could be forgiven for being miffed to be singled out for special criticism in a Scotland side that redefined the boundaries of incompetence.
He might even think it harsh that he gets a mention ahead of his centre-back partner Christian Dailly, who managed to reproduce his international form in the Premiership with West Ham.
But someone has to carry the can for those horror-show goals shipped against the Faroe Islands - and when even Scotland manager Berti Vogts was publicly putting the boot in, who are we to argue?
Turkey's captain went from striker to stinker during the opening stages of the World Cup.
So classy, so reliable in front of goal in qualifying, Sukur had a shocker against Costa Rica, missing two chances so simple that there were collective gasps of horror around the stadium in Incheon.
Worse was to come in the 3-0 mauling of China, when Sukur spooned a chance that a three-year-old would have buried.
The respect he clawed back by scoring the fastest goal in World Cup history in the third-place play-off against South Korea came too late to salvage his summer.
Seldom has a single half of international football had such a devastating effect on one player's career.
Before his first England cap against Holland, Ricketts was banging in the goals for Bolton, rampaging through defences at will and attracting serious interest from the country's biggest clubs.
In that 45 minutes in Amsterdam, Ricketts displayed the first touch of a wrecking-ball, the movement of Nelson's Column and the trickery of Tommy Cooper.
Back at Bolton, confidence shot to pieces, he struggled through the rest of the year a shadow of his former self.
His time with England will come again. Just hopefully not yet.
It was a World Cup of goalkeeping blunders, and both David Seaman and Oliver Kahn made errors that cost their countries massive games.
But Sorensen, a decent keeper who deserves to follow in the footsteps of Peter Schmeichel, out-goofed them both in the second phase game against England.
First he juggled Rio Ferdinand's header into his own net.
Then, just before half-time, he suffered the embarrassment of being an international goalkeeper who has allowed Emile Heskey to score.
In true Heskey fashion, it wasn't even that much of a shot. But it squirmed under Sorensen's body, and that was Denmark's World Cup hopes gone for another four years.
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