When we start talking about “that really ridiculous thing” that FIFA president Sepp Blatter said or did … we always have to say which one.
To the long and painfully undistinguished list from the mouth of world soccer’s top executive, today we add a new entry.
Blatter spoke last week at Oxford University in England. Near the end, he needlessly mocked Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, poking fun at the globally recognized attacker’s on-field demeanor, which Blatter seemed to portray as some sort of robotic soldier. And the FIFA chief poked fun at Ronaldo’s “hair dressers.”
Here’s the video:
In all honesty, this isn’t up there with some of Blatter’s real doozies, like suggesting that women’s soccer would improve its popularity if the players wore “tighter shorts.” An all-timer, that one.
It was just so completely avoidable. Blatter’s latest failed bit was in response to such a softball question. There was almost no way the FIFA chief could get himself in trouble over such a relatively benign query, which boiled down to: “Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?”
Yes, he was going to upset some Real Madrid fans, or some Barcelona fans. But that’s just debate-at-the-pub material. It’s kindergarten stuff compared to some of the real “dodgy” and “shady” that so frequently envelops FIFA’s world. And yet, Blatter found a way.
Ronaldo was alerted to the video on Tuesday. And he clearly wasn’t happy with it. (Blatter later apologized via his own Twitter account.)