Football offers much more to the Premiership stars than just money, it offers pride, emotion but also fear. It is a game of many highs but consists of very low points of an individual’s career. This is when the ‘beautiful game’ becomes less about the money and more about the game itself, as Premiership players who play for their country show pride and passion as they sing the national anthems of their respective countries. Also in high profile games the players seem to be more involved with high flying tackles and more emotion is evoked throughout the duration of the match. In such cases individual players are represented as being conscious and committed to their sport, we see the side of them that is so important to their self esteem. This is reported on in the British press in a certain manner; they like to capture stories of a particular emotion such as sadness. A prime example of this is the moment of which Chelsea’s captain John Terry stepped up to take a penalty to win the UEFA Champions League trophy against their bitter rivals Manchester United, but slipped and missed, which eventually cost them the trophy. The press picked up on this and the day after this had happened had many images of the captain crying as he contemplated what had just happened, possibly the worst moment of his whole career. To make the matter worse it was all in the public eye. But moments such as these where the press report heartbreak at the last hurdles of a cup final so to speak clearly shows emotion within any player of the premiership or of any league for that matter.
The Daily Telegraph reported the dramatic events of the previous evening with a special report on Chelsea captain John Terry, stating in their headlines “Tears for John Terry and Chelsea after cruel ending”. The article goes on to go down the route of picking out at every opportunity how much it will affect not just the players confidence but the team as a whole, as it was their first final they had participated in. The Telegraph also picked up on the fact Didier Drogba was only the second player to be sent off in a Champions League Final, the other being Jens Lehmann of Arsenal. “Drogba Stood in Shadows of Shame” after the strikers’ moments of madness, which wasn’t frowned upon by many as they fully expect such behaviour from the player renowned diving antics. It was widely reported in the press that the event had generated a massive £200million, TV Rights, Prize money and expenditure of fans, so this shows the vast amount circulating in the game.
This is a clear cut sign that money is not the only consideration for many players, it’s the opportunity of great success and winning a trophy or winning against your rivals in a bid to win the league that would present higher satisfaction. The British press also like to heap pressure onto the England National Team and the players involved, as they regularly report on the failing of the side and their poor attempts in world tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championships. “It’s not just bad news for David Beckham, as England’s failure is set to hit the economy hard”. This showing how heavily the nations involved in the competition can benefit from selling merchandise but also how not qualifying just as England didn’t can have an adverse effect on them. It is said that England has lost £2bn, as a result. Companies such as JJB & Sports Direct have all suffered falls in shares, some close to as much as 18%.
The British press always focus on the low points of England’s campaign in both qualifying and in the tournaments. Their constant pressure on the highly paid players to exceed expectations of a quarter final place. One issue that came into the public eye was the controversial moment when Cristiano Ronaldo was deemed to have winked at the ref and played a part in getting then Manchester United team-mate, Wayne Rooney sent off during the World Cup Quarter-Final match between Portugal and England in 2006. This incident was highlighted in a severe manner for weeks upon weeks, slamming Ronaldo and his actions, but also how much friction would be caused when pre-season training had began once again. A national website claimed “The Portuguese wonderkid helps his Manchester United team-mate to a red card and becomes the most unpopular man in England overnight.” Branded “Ronaldo the winker” this of course would have a detrimental effect on any player’s confidence, but not Ronaldo, his arrogance makes him stronger, his critics just provoke him to perform better. The Guardian reported on another dismal showing by England with the headline ‘England pay the penalty after Rooney sees red’ this showing the huge disappointment in the performance of the English stars. Also quoted in the same article, was Cristiano Ronaldo’s actions in the game and how the British press jumped on this outrageous incident ‘Ronaldo was quick to draw to the referee's attention. Old Trafford might be a rather volatile place in the months ahead.’ Harsh words such as these ‘being branded the most hated man in England, this will no doubt dent the young Portuguese winger’s confidence, when his ability should be the only thing doing the talking. These reporting methods influenced their readers greatly, even to the extent that readers had developed hatred towards Ronaldo and some even going beyond tasteful limits and creating websites displaying death threats towards the star. However distasteful they may sound, it was the nation’s reaction and England players’ reaction to the incident that showed that deep down they cared very much about the final outcome, and that they would give anything for success in a major tournament.
To the sport itself the press reflect the player’s passion and commitment and can evoke sympathy, but also their careers. The approach the media adopt when reporting on matches or high profile careers, is to either humiliate or praise the player in question, so the audience will believe what is written, and not take their own perspective of the story away with them. This means they do not see the whole picture. Huge pressure is put on footballers when important matches are to be played, the build up to matches in the press is so extensive, that hype can sometimes become too much. There seems to be an invisible border between greed and pride, which is crossed by many a player. There are so many elements in an individual’s career, it is not always possible to pin point when there is an interchange.
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