Sport on TV: It's a tale of two Ronnies and a rocket to the stars

Jürgen Klinsmann has returned to our screens just in time to heap misery upon our burgeoning hopes. "Our favourite German," as Gary Lineker called him (Match of the Day Live, BBC1, Thursday) – the list is not a lengthy one – exudes the haughty assurance of a true winner, and immediately he raised the bar: "To be a special player you need to win a major trophy, the European Championship or the World Cup."

Lineker went quiet for a moment – with awe or shame, maybe both. Perhaps the pause was while the former England striker, like the rest of us, ran a quick mental check on all the players in the last 46 years who we thought were legends but weren't. Keegan, Lineker, Gascoigne, Shearer: no. Johnny Jensen, Angelos Charisteas: yes.

Klinsmann was talking about Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of the first Euro 2012 quarter-final between Portugal and the Czech Republic. Straightaway the commentator Jonathan Pearce reminded us that even the Czechs had won the Euros back in 1976. Add Antonin Panenka and his chums to the roster of legends then. One might quibble that they also had the Slovakians in those days, but that's like England benefiting from the inclusion of a few Scots in the team. We have that prospect to look forward to in a month, at the Olympics.

Given that this was the "Ronaldo show" and the camera lingered lovingly on him for most of the match, it seemed possible that actually Klinsmann was wrong. In these days of billion-pound broadcasting deals, special players are created by the TV producers. And Ronaldo played the "posing, preening, prolific" part perfectly. Many legends of the past might have crumpled like a diving German striker under such media scrutiny. Ronaldo had threatened to let us down in the first two matches but really he was toying with us, showing his close control. Now the other side of the two Ronnies is rearing his pretty face, and it was inevitable the TV star would end the show with the winning goal.

"Will this be the year he becomes a full international football legend?" screamed Pearce, one of the few men in broadcasting who can ask a question at 90 decibels. It's certainly a piercing noise.

We were informed that Ronaldo now has his own logo, in which the "A" is replaced by a silhouette of him poised over a free-kick. One can't imagine such iconography around many of the German players down the years – maybe Franz Beckenbauer with a Kaiser crown, or Rudi Völler with a bubble perm? And what would Stefan Kuntz's agent have come up with?

Summariser Martin Keown seemed to disagree with Pearce on virtually every foul committed, the layman eventually maintaining a rare respectful silence. Then there's Gordon Strachan, who is incapable of letting the man he replaced as Middlesbrough manager, Gareth Southgate, finish a sentence without interrupting him. It's cringeworthy but the expectation is almost as delectable as the games themselves. And what of Roy Keane on ITV, who disagrees with all and sundry to the point where he looks like he's spoiling for a fight. Even on the sofa at home you're squirming and sweating slightly. Perhaps after all he is a special player who never won a major tournament. Now please take your foot off my neck, Roy.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone