Forget the underwear talk when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo.
I just finished up Tim Howard’s book, “The Keeper”, which has unfortunately become more known for its soon-to-be-edited-out story about Brad Friedel than anything else.
That’s unfortunate, because the book is filled with neat little stories for soccer fans and truly revealing tales about his struggles to be a father and husband, and his battle with Tourette Syndrome.
One such story that’s sure to capture minds involves his World Cup rival and former Manchester United teammate Ronaldo. One of my favorite quips is that many soccer players have talent and drive, but rarely do players feature high in both attributes.
CR7 and Howard, it seems, are among the few.
From “The Keeper”:
“I often lingered after practice. Just as I had enlisted Tab (Ramos) to fire balls at me back in our MetroStars days, now I asked Ruud Van Nistelrooy to open up a can of thunder. Ruud was happy to oblige, sending balls in with swerve and dip at speeds up to 90 mph. But no matter how long we stayed out there, we were never the last to leave the field. That’s because no one could outwork Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I remember watching him one afternoon as the rain pelted down. He kept working on his ball tricks while the rest of us took shelter inside.”
I guess there was never a fear of what Ronaldo would do on those rainy nights in Stoke. This is one of those selections that coaches should print out and affix to the bulletin boards in their locker rooms.
And, honestly, “The Keeper” is a quick and easy read. It’s not going to blow your mind, but it’ll give you valuable perspective on a number of things including the reaction to Landon Donovan being left off the World Cup roster and how the time away from family can affect a player.