Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Scarpa d'Oro: Grazie Capitano
On Sunday night Real Madrid managed a stunning comeback to win the Spanish League having been 6 points behind Barca not so very long ago. My interest in the game largely centred on the Dutch thoroughbred and his scoring: since Serie A ended, he has scored twice to bring his league goals-per-season tally up to 25, just one behind our precious France'. Would he score on Sunday, god forbid maybe even twice, to pinch the golden boot? As it turned out, no: spraining a fetlock early on, Ruud had to come off after just twenty minutes, goal-less, and there was much rejoicing!
So Totti is the second Italian winner of the Golden Boot, after Luca Toni, and follows other recent illustrious winners such as Thierry Henry, Mario Jardel, Henrik Larsson and, er, Kevin Phillips. Hmm. Moving swiftly on.
In celebration I share his rather odd Diadora boot advert. The rather naff tattoo, incidentally, is very common amongst Romanisti who frequently self-identify as heirs of the Roman Empire or as gladiators. Such symbols of romanita (sorry no accents on this forrin [English] keyboard) are a popular motif for tattoos, tshirts, banners, graffiti etc.
Anyway, I digress. I know you'll be astonished. When normally my posts are so tightly focused and linear. Totti has won the Coppa d'Italia, the Capocannoniere and now the Scarpa d'Oro this season (and is still Campione del Mondo besides). Given the amount of negative press he has got over the last 18 months, and the certainty of many commentators that his injury by Vanigli was going to finish him, I think his slight 'fuck you-ness' about winning is entirely understandable. He observed that 'maybe the more people criticise me the better I do' and that having been told he was all over, it was a pleasant surprise to find himself where he does.
Anyway this season his stats are as follows:
Serie A 35 games 26 goals
Champions' League 9 games 4 goals
Coppa Italia 5 games 2 goals
Not bad for a man who is not a real striker (and his best ever season by some distance). Clearly the formation we've been playing, flawed though it is, has been suiting him down to the ground. I feel, myself, that the 4-5-1 / 4-2-3-1 we've played this year with Totti as lone striker is structurally too weak especially in Europe, and that we are overly tottidipendenti, in that if he is injured or has an off day we are screwed. Nonetheless second in the league and the quarter-finals of the CL is a pretty good season by anyone's standards, specially for a club of our size and resources, and I think no-one is complaining. Least of all Totti. In total he has scored 151 goals in Serie A and is the top scorer currently in activity. Complimenti Capitano and long may you continue scoring like this.