Monday, February 04, 2008

The rise and rise of Munucho and African football...

United fans will no doubt be drooling at the prospect of Manucho turning out for the Reds after watching the Angolan striker score some wonderful goals at the finals of the African Cup of Nations. Sadly, Angola were eliminated today when losing somewhat controversially to Egypt by the goal in three. However, Manucho scored another belting goal which further enhanced his growing reputation.



Make no mistake, Manucho's performances have announced his arrival on the world stage at the finals in Ghana. Manchester United have a well earned reputation for spending big and not always with prudence, but the capture of Manucho prior to the Cup of Nations getting under way was a very smart move indeed.

Fans around the world will have been tuning in to watch the finals on TV and those who have cannot fail to have been impressed at the vast improvements in technical ability. It wasn't that long ago that Pele, arguably the world's greatest ever player, was ridiculed for saying that an African team would win the World Cup within the next 20 years. The prediction could become a reality at the next World Cup in 2010 when South Africa host the tournament.

In particular the Ivory Coast look to have a fantastic team, with players like Chelsea's Didier Drogba and Kalou, plus Arsenal's Kolo Touré and Emmanuel Eboué. African players have down the years been noted for their great physical strength, but not always for the technical side of their game, but that's all changed and many of the Nations in action in Ghana have been exhibiting power, pace and technical passing skills.

Ironically, while African football seems to be very much on the way up in terms of improvements, the rest of the football world has to a degree stagnated. The last truly great World Cup finals was back in Spain '82, when Italy went on to win the final. For many fans though, the most exciting team that year was Brazil with players like Zico, Socrates and Falco wowing the football world with their fabulous goals and skills.

For me, the next World Cup in South Africa has the potential to be the best since '82largely because of the pace of improvement within the African Nations.

4 comments:

  1. It will be great to see Manucho in a United shirt. But it would also be great to see Malouda competing in an African team.

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  2. James - Have you seen Eboue playing in this tournament. His form for the Arsenal this season has been uninspiring.

    www.wickeddeflection.com

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  3. I'm a Man U supporter. I think Manucho is quite unbelievable.

    Not many Africans let alone Angolans can score like he does.

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  4. Manucho made a great African Cup of Nations and it's now up to him to prove that he's able to perform at the same level in Europe...and considering that he will play for one of the best teams in the world - Man Utd - there will always be room for improvement. Perhaps the signing will be as succesfull as when the club signed Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer...a cheap Man Utd legend...

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