Football is full of unusual stories that make you reconsider everything you thought that you knew about the sport. In most instances that’s because of a miraculous goal or a heart stopping save, but in the case of Rivaldo and Wolverhampton Wanderers it’s just downright stupid.
Look, Dave Jones is a smart man; he helped guide Wolves back to the lofty heights of the Premier League following a 19-year absence, and for that he’ll never have to buy a pint in Wolverhampton again. Unfortunately Big Dave seemed to have one too many back in December 2003 when he attempted to sign the one and only Rivaldo, though.
Yup, that’s the same Rivaldo who tore defences apart for years at Barcelona and led the Brazilian national team to World Cup glory. Of course we’re all for optimism because you have to believe in yourself in order to succeed, but thinking that he’d swap the Spanish sunshine for the fifth worst city in the world is utterly baffling.
Yes, that’s an actual fact from a survey in 2009; depressing stuff.
Contrary to popular belief, however, Wolverhampton isn’t as bad as many make it out to be. Sure a move from the Nou Camp to Molineux would have its trials and tribulations, but it isn’t everyday that you get to move to a club that has a 24-hour ASDA just 200 yards away from the ground; advantage Wolvo.
In terms of the actual line-up, words cannot do justice to the image of Rivaldo slipping a killer ball through to Kenny Miller game in and game out in front of the old gold and black faithful; it’s the kind of partnership that dreams are made of, really.
When it came to the actual negotiations behind the prospective deal, Dave Jones’ short but sweet statement went as follows:
“You never get anywhere without asking.”
In many ways that’s the kind of mentality that football managers up and down the country should be having, because at the end of the day there’s no harm in testing the waters. Who knows, on another evening maybe Rivaldo would’ve taken a whiff of the cold Wolverhampton air and decided that he wanted to challenge himself on the British Isles.
Now to call that unlikely would be a dramatic understatement, but we could all learn a lot from Dave Jones’ mentality behind the madness.