Tonight, the world’s most egotistical footballer, the €94m greaseball Cristiano Ronaldo will make his debut for Real Madrid, the club with a bottomless pit of stupidity and Spanish gold. After several years of claiming to be the messiah in the north-west of England, he finally transferred to the only club in the world with the capacity to house such disgusting arrogance. Signing a deal that will see him eventually earn €550,000 a week, the Portugeuse winger – who the Devil has denied is his spawn – probably thought it’d be all plain sailing now and he could live the life of a celebrity demi-god. What they didn’t tell him when he was signing the contract with Madrid was that his summer holidays would include a trip to Tallaght.
Somehow a deal was struck between Shamrock Rovers and the Platinum One agency to bring them to play a pre-season friendly in the recently opened Tallaght Stadium while they trained in Carton House in Kildare for 10 days. When I was in 1st year in school they informed us of the dodgy deal that allowed Shamrock Rovers to steal the land for the stadium from our school and the local park. They promised that it would be up and running for the beginning of the following season. That was 1996. It finally opened this spring and has apparently been attracting decent crowds though the regular capacity of 3 or 4 thousand will be well surpassed tonight with temporary stands bringing the attendance for the showpiece to 10,000.
I’ll be there. In the South stand somewhere behind the goal. Those of you watching on Sky Sports can try to spot me. I’ll be the one boo-ing the giant penis from Madeira. I’m dissapointed that Kaka won’t be playing, nor will Casillas as far as I know. But there will be plenty of international stars there to bang in a couple of hat-tricks. And Gary Twigg. I’m back at home in Tallaght today and everywhere I look there’s kids out on the streets playing football in United jerseys. I’ve been watching them profile the club and stadium on Sky News too. It’s rare my dear hometown is put in the spotlight for such pleasant reasons. Of course, there is the very real chance of things going horribly wrong later. With only 10,000 tickets available, I estimate that there is still about 80,000 United-supporting knackers who are mildly dissapointed. A ton of security and Gardaí will obviously be there and there will be a certain area closed off around the stadium, but you can only push them back so far. And the idea of a huge gathering of aggressive football fans in Tallaght is hardly the stuff of Bord Fáilte’s dreams. Bookies are apparently offering 14/1 for a Shamrock Rovers victory. Hmm, I think I’d rather take my chances on Real equalling Villareal’s 27-0 win from the weekend.