7 minutes with China: Ronaldo, Messi, Nigeria and two other things the World Cup has taught us so far

The World Cup has kicked off with aplomb and if we haven't learned anything yet, here are five things that would be etched in our minds.


For the last ten years of his footballing life, Cristiano Ronaldo has been in constant battle with the fans, the media and himself over who is the greater player between himself and Lionel Messi.

We know about this battle so I won't go into details.

By the half way mark of this past season, Ronaldo was so far behind on all the charts that #TeamMessi went to sleep proclaiming their man as Balon D'Or winner once again.

What did that do to Cristiano? It got him angry and he started to score, and score, and score and score.

The end result was Madrid eventually winning the UEFA Champions League which in December of 2017 not even the staunchest of their fans thought it possible.

Enter the World Cup and a few of us neutrals wanted to enjoy good football. We never knew it would turn out a plebiscite for who was the best footballer in the World.

Ronaldo knew and wanted it over as quick as it started so he got 3 goals in one game against, wait for it... Spain.

Now you know better than to annoy Ronaldo. When he's angry, he scores.


Lionel Messi
The problem with people of this world causing problems between Messi and Ronaldo is that they do not really know what's going on.

Messi has bigger things to think about than if he's a better player than Ronaldo or not.

Let's think about it, the Argentinians, Messi's own people do not think he's their best ever player and that is worrisome for him.

A certain Diego Maradona won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and got to the final four years later.

Messi has only done one final, is 30 and must win this World Cup, or else...

You all see why he wasn't thinking about Ronaldo when he stepped up to take that penalty against the 30 something year old film director from Iceland?

In La Liga, when Ronaldo gets a hat trick, Messi replies with same or even a double brace, but this was not about the Portuguese, but his fellow Argentine, Diego Maradona.

The weight of expectation is too much for the fragile shoulders of Lionel Messi. You all, please leave him alone. He will score when he wants, but not because you all want him to prove he is better than Ronaldo… His current battle is with Diego Maradona.

Fashion XI?

Since their grand entry into the World, Nigeria’s Super Eagles have been called lots of names from Fashion XI, Adire XI to Shaku Shaku Boys etc, and this is no doubt because of the team jerseys and travel attire that wowed the world when they were unveiled. I warned in a previous article HERE that it was not enough for Nigeria to win the Jersey World Cup as there would be actual football to be played.

I also warned in another article HERE that Gernot Rohr's tactics would make it almost impossible for Nigeria to score because of the way he shapes his team.

Granted, this is arguably Nigeria's best 23 players, give or take 2 or 3 players, the team would still have done better with different tactics deployed.

The age old argument about John Mikel Obi playing as a DM all his club footballing life that includes more that 30 games yearly, then 7 times a year we try him as AM has never worked but we keep doing it.

Victor Moses has excelled at Chelsea for the last 2 seasons as a wing back yet he plays as one of the front 3 for Nigeria is another debatable issue.

Odion Ighalo continues to be isolated up front and it can be frustrating when as a striker in that kind of position, you do not get fed. Remember, "FEED THE YAK?"

Player deployment, tactics, shape, substitutions all went wrong for the Super Eagles against Croatia. It could be worse against Iceland and Argentina.

Nigerians should be content that the Super Eagles at least won a trophy before the main event started.


If you are disappointed in the performance of #TeamAfrica so far at the World Cup then I'm sorry for you.

African teams right from the off have had the same problem, which is not doubt, focus.

Before now, we'd say a football match lasts for 90 minutes, but not anymore.

A football match lasts for as long as the referee wants it and until he blows the final whistle, it is not over.

What were the Egyptians thinking? That they'd gotten away with a point? And the game was still on?

First I blame them and their coach, Hector Cuper for their over dependence on Sallah. Uruguay was there for the taking but they couldn't. They got to the final 3rd and with no Sallah to pass to, they made a mess of the ball.

Sometimes I was thinking they wanted to pass to Sallah, regardless, even though he was on the bench.

The Moroccans were even worse. They held the Iranians by the balls all game long and while the world waited for them to strike the killer blow, they eventually slit their own throat.

Sad, sad, Africa.

Focus is key. The Uruguayans didn't rest until they got their goal. The Egyptians should not have taken their feet off the pedal.


I saw a video from Russia where a taxi ran into tourists injuring them (thank God no one died) and then the driver running off into the streets.

There has been an argument on Twitter as to if that was an accident or not.

The driver was caught and reports say he claimed he fell asleep on the steering wheel.

My point is that no one should go to the World Cup to watch football and not return home.

I know accidents happen, but tourists should be careful too. There will be more videos like that. You don't want to be a statistic.

The World Cup is 3 days old. It's still a long way to go and we will enjoy every minute of it.

Stay safe in Russia. 
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