Cristiano Ronaldo deserves everything he has got: David James
Former English goalkeeper David James says that he was very upset after the famous free-kick, but since then he understoodd how dedicated Cristiano Ronaldo has beenUpdated: Jun 30, 2020 08:25 IST
Top-flight football leagues including the Premier League (PL) in England, has returned after a brief pause. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool FC (LFC) are the happiest as they picked up their long-awaited title. While they fell short by one point in 2019, they racked up a 23-point lead to comfortably beat Manchester City FC (MCFC) this season.
Former English goalkeeper David James, who has played for both teams, has fond memories with them. James had the highest number of clean sheets in the league at 169. However, Petr Cech broke the record six years later. James remembers getting 102 clean sheets with LFC and learning the importance of fans during his stint at MCFC. He reminisces, “When I got the record, I was really happy. But Petr Cech broke it six years later. If you look at this season, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker has 12 and I am giving him another six years to break the record.”
Being a non-white player, James has seen a fair share of racism during his career but maintains that one should do what one does best and the officials will take care of the rest. “As long as there is no physical danger it is fine as whoever is saying these words isn’t fully educated on the standing about ethnic minorities because they aren’t exposed to it. Playing as England’s only non-white goalkeeper, I wore that as a badge of honour. I am a big supporter of staying on the field but if it becomes physically dangerous then obviously the players have to leave the field,” he shares.
While he holds the record dear, Euro 2004 isn’t far behind because it was also his first as a professional senior on the big stage. While he was a part of the squad in 1996 and 2000, he did not make it to the field due to unforeseen circumstances. “To be able to play that first game against France in Euro 2004 was amazing and even though we lost to Portugal, and it was tremendously frustrating, the support we got was incredible,” he explains.
As a goalkeeper, he has also faced some of the best forwards in the world, and football enthusiasts still talk about his famous encounter with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008. James says that is one free-kick he remembers really clearly. While he has now got over it, he says he also has a lot of respect for Ronaldo. “I was very upset but since then I got to understand how dedicated Cristiano is, and he deserves everything that he has got. He is probably the most professional footballer because of the way he lives his life and conducts himself as a football player and all the sacrifices that he makes to be the best,” he says.