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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic / Plant Fitter

£24000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Lancashire based engineeri...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Account Manager

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SEO Account Manager is requi...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders