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Roker Ramble: ‘This time next year, Rodri....’

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Neymar is unloved and unwanted - and in deep do-doos. Brazil win big at home, Manchester City go shopping in Peckham, and the Yanks win again... it’s the Roker Ramble!

TOPSHOT-FBL-BRA-CRIME-ABUSE-ACCUSATION-NEYMAR
Unloved and unwanted
Photo credit should read MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP/Getty Images

OK, so the USA won the World Cup which surprised absolutely no-one in a final where both teams were managed by women – is that a first?

How soon will it be before a woman manages a men’s team in the football league?

Apparently the French manager, Corrinne Diacre, managed a French men’s league side before becoming the national coach, so maybe it’s not that far away.

And it still irks me when the USA win anything – why is that?

Possibly because I was brought up in an era when they won almost everything and that seemed to fuel their national ego which was pretty insufferable anyway, or maybe because every time I go there I can’t understand why everyone has to have a flag on their house, but mainly I think it’s because I’ve never got over the fact that they killed all our squirrels.

However one of the big stars of the tournament was undoubtedly Megan Rapinoe, the outspoken, talismanic US captain who famously declared in the lead up ‘I won’t go to the f*cking White House if we win’, which of course they promptly did, and she took the Golden Boot as well.

But one of the main things about Rapinoe is that she’s gay. She’s openly gay in a gay relationship with another gay and guess what? The ground didn’t open up and swallow her, the sky didn’t fall in, her team mates didn’t refuse to play with her - in fact it was hardly mentioned at all.

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - July 8, 2019
A star is born.
Photo by JNI/Star Max/GC Images

Why?

Because. It. Doesn’t. Matter.

And the (estimated) 5% of male supporters who’s caustic, venomous and brutish attitude prevent such tolerance in the male game should put themselves through therapy.

Except that they won’t, because they’re self-deluding morons.

It’s been said before but until there’s a coordinated policy from the Premier league, the EFL and the clubs to announce a lifetime ban and criminal prosecution for anyone showing any homophobic behaviour, in the same way they tackled racism, then nothing’s going to change. And it should start now.

And apart from taking a swing at the arrogant, apparently inept, right-wing half-wit in charge of her country (which you really can’t blame her for, as we’re going to have one of own in about two weeks), Rapinoe also hit out at FIFA for organising the final of the Copa America on the same day as the World Cup Final.

Brazil v Peru: Final - Copa America Brazil 2019
Not the World Cup
Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

If the aim of FIFA is to promote the game on a global scale (as in awarding the World Cup to Qatar), then surely they should prioritise increasing the profile of the women’s game in South America where it’s clearly struggling and not sanction the final of the second most important tournament for the continent on the same day? And it’s not like FIFA to get such detail wrong.

The tournament was won by Brazil, who’s latest star player is called ‘Everton’ which is just asking for trouble. Apparently Man City have made enquiries about him as have Bayern Munich, PSG and the other big European clubs, but he really should go to Liverpool shouldn’t he?

The other notable thing about Brazil’s victory - their first tournament win for 12 years - was they did it without Neymar, and the manager basically said that this really helped because he won’t play the style that the rest of the team do.

Alas, no-one loves Neymar. He’s under investigation for rape, his country doesn’t need him, his club, PSG are looking to fine him because he hasn’t reported back for training on time, the French fans don’t like him – they throw bread at him when he’s on the pitch... I can see another tearful press-conference any time soon. But Neymar is a ‘galactico’ literally translated, ‘from another galaxy’, and Neymar, like ET, wants to go home.

Back to Barcelona, which he left to go to PSG to earn a lot of money, fall out with his colleagues and get on the wrong end of du pain. But I’m not sure that Barcelona actually want him because they’re just about to buy Griezemann.

However, it’s important that his transfer goes through.

Why? Because when Barcelona buy Neymar from PSG, PSG can then afford to buy Bale from Real Madrid who can then afford to buy Pogba from Man Utd and so on and so on until we end up with a replacement for Catts.

It’s the Circle of Life Simba.

cue music....

Man City meanwhile have just broken their club record transfer deal for Rodri from Athletico who’s being lined up as a replacement for Fernandinho, and gives Pep Guardiola a chance to channel his inner Del Boy on the touch-line:

‘e ‘oo dares wins Rodri, oo dares wins my son...

Brazil v Qatar
People just don’t realise the damage a sliced wholemeal can do.
Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images