Friday, June 30, 2006

Missing Deco on Saturday

For family purposes I will be supporting England in their quarterfinal against Portugal on July 1, but in pure footballing terms Portugal are the better team to watch. Deco, the Brazilian-born midfield maestro, shone brightly in Portugal's chippy 1-nil win over Holland in the Round of 16.
Unfortunately, his temper got the best of him when he absolutely cracked a Dutch player who refused to do the sporting thing after an injury and kick the ball back. That resulted in a yellow. Later on, Deco picked up the ball and was adjudged to be time-wasting, bringing his second yellow and a dismissal.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a joy to behold and Figo is the wily veteran, but Deco is the engine that makes this team run. With him watching from the bench, England -- who are due a good performance -- could just shade this one.