Thursday, October 06, 2011

Sid Lowe in Spain

Every now and again soccer players talk like soccer fans. It doesn't happen very often -- years in the game see to that, familiarity too -- but sometimes their eyes widen and enthusiasm flows; sometimes, they too look at another player and can't help smiling. There are moments in which even those inside the game offer the simplest of descriptions: "wow, what a player he is." It doesn't happen very often, so when it does it leaves a mark; there is something a little special about it. There is joy but there is also a kind of authority to the judgment when it is offered so unreservedly, so wholeheartedly -- and when it is not offered as an interviewee's answer but in conversation. Ruud Van Nistelrooy has seen plenty of good players over his career and has played with some of the best so when, before the season has even started, he smiles "what a player Santi [Cazorla] is" it means something. Something good.

Van Nistelrooy is not alone. Other players at Málaga agree.

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