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How do You Punish a Player Like Robinho?
International Herald Tribune, October 26th, 2007 3:45PM

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How, Rob Hughes of the International Herald Tribune wonders, do you punish a player like Robinho when he single-handedly spares your team's blushes on an otherwise off-color night? Robinho, who apparently missed his flight home from Rio after spending the whole night partying, had an extraordinary game for the Merengues, scoring twice, creating another and earning a missed penalty in a 4-2 Champions League win over Olympiakos on Wednesday. But for the Brazilian's dominant performance on the left -- and several heroic moments from Iker Casillas in goal -- Real would have certainly lost to the Greek club, which deserved far more from a game in which it was reduced to 10 men after just 13 minutes.

Even Real coach Bernd Schuster was forced to concede that keeping the Brazilian happy should be a primary concern for the club. "Robinho is our player, and we need to find a way to treat him well because we need him playing like he did tonight." Is all now forgiven? Well, yes, if the coach's reaction and the standing ovation Robinho received from the 77,000-plus fans at the Bernabeu are any indication.

Elsewhere, Hughes also touches on the irrepressible Clarence Seedorf of AC Milan, whose maturity, technique and ability to "balance his side" were on evidence Wednesday as he scored twice to lead Milan passed Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1, and back into first place in Group D.

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