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The People’s Rooney
Alfredo Garcia June 1, 2010
North Korea forward Jong Tae-Se just can’t seem to shake the Rooney comparisons.
Labeled alternately the People’s Rooney, North Korea’s Rooney, the East Asian Rooney and the Asian Rooney, presumably based on how well he’s playing at the time, he is the most nicknamed player in the North Korean squad, as well as their best hope of escaping this year’s Group Of Death.
All these nicknames raise two questions: first, who is the West Asian Rooney?, and second, if Rooney is the white Pele, does that make Jong the East Asian Pele?
Not exactly prolific with his national team, since lashing in eight goals in his first two games against the footballing behemoths of Mongolia and Macau, he has scored only six since, but after scoring two screamers against Greece last week, he comes to the finals with some confidence. If his teammates can work out how to defend free kicks, they might even win a game. Especially considering Portugal’s embarrassing goalless draw with Cape Verde last week. Honestly Portugal, if you can’t pick on your former colonies, who can you pick on?
Here’s the highlights of the Greece game. Come for the wondergoals, stay for the shambolic defending.