On the Sunday morning the dog took me for my usual walk after I had dropped off my son at WezWa for footie. I got back in time to see said son score an excellent goal – was this a good omen for the afternoon, I wondered (and so it proved)? I watched my fellow-speaker from last Thursday lunchtime (see post), Simon Taylor, doubling up brilliantly as an enthusiastic coach for one of the youngest age groups (WezWa is, commendably, run by volunteers). But looking at other matches and age groups, I could see the poisonous legacy of Ronaldo. I know, I know; you can show me documentaries of Ronaldo getting hacked to pieces by cynical defenders, like Maradonna (for example) before him. But I don’t think you’ll easily find such self-justifying documentaries about Messi (for example – by chance, also a small player like Maradonna), and I certainly don’t think you’d be able to compile a video of Messi diving frequently in expectation of a free kick or a penalty. In sorrow, I watched so many young footballers – playing at a ‘fun’ club, after all – diving, exaggerating their falls and their injuries after tackles and pleading to the referees. This is, ironically, probably the greatest legacy of Ronaldo, undoubtedly one of the greatest footballers of all time – that and the step-over which so many of the kids have now mastered. The saddest thing of all is that, certainly as long as his speed and strength continue, he really doesn’t need any of that.