Football: Sponsors rule OK!

As the world cup draws nearer, Luis Figo, voted the FIFA Player of the Year, may miss the finals due to a knee injury, exacerbated through an excess of exercise so as to meet his sponsorship contracts.

The face of Brazilian striker Ronaldo, as he limped through the last world cup final in Paris 4 years ago, apparently after having suffered an epileptic fit in the dressing room, spelt a tale of misery. His sponsors had demanded that their player should take part in the final, knee injury or not. He was pumped full of painkillers and told to walk on.

It now transpires that Portuguese attacking midfield player Luis Figo, who has been barracked by real Madrid fans for his lacklustre performances in recent games, is harbouring a secret and serious injury, which needs rest. This is where the drama begins for the sponsors, who demand the number of appearances signed for in the contract. This is the unseen and hideous side of modern football, where money rules and where sport if relegated to the lowest division.

Jorge Valdano, Real Madrid’s Director of Sport, stated recently on TVE, that “Luis Figo’s injury is much more serious than people imagine. He was very near to having an operation but his great sense of duty put this off because he wants to help Read Madrid win the final (of the Champions league).

Alfonso del Corral, Read Madrid’s team doctor, confirmed that “Time is what he needs, but this is what he does not have”. Much less so with the world cup finals four weeks away and with “World’s Best Player” labelling his every step.

Del Corral went further: “He needs to go to the world cup finals to satisfy the contracts with coca-Cola, Nike and Galp Energia, worth some ten million Euros for him and for Real Madrid”

Ronaldo’s career was sidelined for four years, and only by a miracle is he fit again to line up for Brazil in Japan. Luis Figo’s sponsors place his career in jeopardy, for the sake of money, making a mockery out of the supposed sport and fools out of those who spend their hard-earned wages going to games.


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