The ego has landed, the Special Uno is in the building

2010-06-01 00:00

TRYING to perfect a sport that you were never intended for is a tough task.

Just last week, I played in a charity golf day and my fourball included a Portuguese, an Indian, a coloured. Yours truly provided the darkie quota.

It was a memorable afternoon — not least for the quality of shots on display!

Let’s just say it was a rare off-day, because rarely have so many tree trunks been subjected to so much torture at the mercy of little white balls.

As a way of spicing things up, the four of us decided to put a wager down for the final stretch.

Well, you have never seen such a transformation. It was like politicians in an election year — no shot was too difficult, and no putt survived the drop.

To hack a long story short, the elderly Indian had a lengthy putt at the last to save our cents, and he duly obliged before adding the immortal words: “Money talks, but bullsh*t walks.”

When the moment of truth arrived, he stepped up to the plate — and also put the seal on a tale that will grow ever bolder with time.

That leads me on to the “Special One” being officially welcomed to the world’s biggest club yesterday.

That is if “big” reflects the seemingly bottomless wallet at the disposal of one Florentino Perez.

Real Madrid haven’t exactly needed the keys to their trophy cabinet for the past two years, so they will be desperately hoping that José Mourinho’s winning mentality rubs off on the latest collection of galacticos assembled at the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s an impressive cast list. Ronaldo, Kaka, Guti, Benzema and Iker Casillas.

Clearly then, there is no need for wholesale changes.

All Mourinho will do is shore up one of the most notoriously dodgy back lines in the game, and then Madrid will be a different beast.

Remember that all of Mourinho’s sides are built from the back, and then forward.

His mentality of conceding less than the opposition flies in the face of Madrid’s “if you score four, we will score more” approach of the past.

Mourinho has already hinted that he expects Ronaldo to buy into his style of management.

Whether that means we will see the second biggest ego from Portugal tracking back and making tackles is debatable, but one thing that separates Mourinho from the rest is his intolerance of crap.

He doesn’t argue with his players, but rather gives them the option of complying — or rotting on the bench.

What will be equally fascinating is how long it will be before Spanish football tires of Mourinho’s ways.

He draws an audience. His press conferences are more like movie premieres — you simply have to be there in case he says something totally outrageous.

Mourinho’s run-ins with Barcelona from his Chelsea and Inter days will be akin to adding tabasco sauce to a jalapeno pepper. It will be simply explosive.

The Barca faithful still call him “the translator”, and Mourinho still revels in beating them at every oppportunity.

And don’t put it past him to wrest the league away from the Nou Camp at the first time of asking.

Lest we forget, Mourinho hasn’t lost a league match at home since before his Chelsea days.

Madrid pushed Barcelona to the final day last season, and that was with a defence that had yet to master the basics of man-marking.

So how much more damage can they do with a manager who has built his reputation on building an impenetrable defence?

In all the hype surrounding events in Madrid, one almost forgets that there is a World Cup tournament starting in 10 days.

The SABC keeps asking if we can feel it, but all I can feel is the nagging effects of winter kicking in!

Weather aside, one can’t help feeling a wee tingle down the back at the thought of Kaka and Messi having the same issues with Eskom as we do for a month.

Then again, they probably have the world’s best technician on speed-dial for the whole month.

It probably is a bit loopy to picture little Messi, in his oversized night shirt, stubbing his toe on the bed corner while he fumbles around for a spare candle.

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