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Zidane, Ronaldo Silence Critics

Two of the most criticized players at this year's World Cup (who happen to be teammates at Real Madrid) silenced their critics yesterday by leading their respective countries to what should be an exciting quarterfinal clash. Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane, both three-time recipients of FIFA's World Player of the Year award, inspired their teams to victory with goals yesterday. Ronaldo, criticized since before the World Cup began for being fat and slow, gave defending champion Brazil an early cushion in their game against Ghana, becoming the tournament's all-time leading scorer in the process with his 15th goal. A toothy Ronaldo came out beaming after the match against Ghana. "I want more and more and more!" he cried. Zidane, who's been accused of being old and tired, lifted France against Spain with a mature performance in center midfield, threatening with his slide-rule passes all night before capping the superb team effort with an insurance goal in stoppage time. The media had been calling out for both players to be benched due to their indifferent form in the first two matches. Said Coach Raymond Domenech, "We were admirable on all levels -- courageous, reactive, solid, intelligent, lucid and patient." That they were. Meanwhile, for Raul and Spain it was more of the same: the team came out looking like favorites only to sputter once again when it really counted.

Read the whole story at The Advertiser Adelaide »

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