Eamon Dunphy has contributed much to football. He’s generally an excellent, entertaining pundit on RTE and his books Only A Game, the Roy Keane autobiography and A Strange Kind of Glory are compelling reading.
The above 2008 video, however, in which he calls Ronaldo a “disgrace to the game” is not a high point, especially in the context of Ronaldo’s godly hat-trick against Sweden to secure World Cup 2014 qualification for Portugal (see below).
Oh, Eamon. We still love you. But we’ve no time whatsoever for Sepp Blatter after his slur that Ronaldo “spends more time at the hairdresser”. So what if he does? He looks great.
With FIFA giddily extending the voting for this year’s Ballon d’Or on the same evening Ronaldo scored that magnificent hat-trick catapulting Portugal to next year’s World Cup it is no surprise to see a new favourite in the betting.
Cristiano Ronaldo was third favourite before Tuesday night’s game behind Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi. Less than 24 hours later he has been cut to 2/5 and looks the most likely winner of the 2013 award. Ribery was odds on yesterday and helped France qualify for the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Ukraine yet slips to second in the betting – now priced at 2/1.
Messi who has recently been hamstrung by injury has fallen to 8/1 and third favourite in the betting, whilst Zlatan Ibrahimovic is now a 33/1 fourth favourite.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic begins his preparations for the World Cup finals. pic.twitter.com/shCvBXjg9J
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 20, 2013
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “Sparkling form for club and country means Cristiano Ronaldo is now the favourite to be crowned as the best player in the world. CR7, who has more goals individually than any Premier League team since January, single-handedly dragged Portugal through their World Cup playoff and gave himself a strong chance of pipping fellow nominees Ribery and Messi to the Ballon D’Or title.”
Ballon d’Or 2013 Winner
2/5 Cristiano Ronaldo
2/1 Franck Ribery
8/1 Lionel Messi
33/1 Zlatan Ibrahimovic
World Cup Winner Odds (of those teams qualifying through the play-offs)
100/1 Ivory Coast
250/1 Ivory Coast