Hey, you people with the super-sized stick up your collective asses--what the hell is wrong with Nani showboating a bit? As long as he's not diving or rolling about on the ground like a stuck pig, I don't give a rat's ass about "professionals don't like this stuff." Who the hell cares if he embarrasses the likes of Flamini or Eboué and their massive wage packets while showing off his skills? If anything, they should be embarrassed by how much money they take home for playing a goddamn game and then getting flustered and violent when somebody decides to treat it like a game!
Futbol is entertainment! These guys get paid to entertain. If they're embarrassed by a player's skill once in a while, well then get another freakin' job or practice up a bit so you can do some showboating of your own in response. Besides, embarrassment is a huge part of entertainment--or haven't you been paying attention to reality television, game shows, sitcoms, etc., etc. . . . people eat this crap up with a spork and beg for more to be shoved down their raw and bleeding throats. I know that winning = more fans/TV = more greenbacks/euros/pounds sterling = profits = market capitalism, Gloria in Excelsis Deo = greed is good, but at what cost (pun absolutely intended)?
What about the simple joy of playing the game? Isn't it fun to show up your "mates" with a bit of skill? Isn't that the sort of artistry and spark of imagination that inspire young players and make those of us in the more mature set sit back and sigh for the days of exuberant youth? Listen to those commentators. They gasp--just for a moment it's awe and the wonder of watching somebody dare to do something they couldn't (or wouldn't) do in a million Sundays (or Saturdays, as the case may be) and actually succeed! They're children again--seeing things anew with a sense of excitement. Then their cynicism, world-weariness, and overall dour Britishness catch up to them, and it's "Tsk, tsk, naughty boy! You shouldn't be showing off." Screw it. He's young, he's talented, and--did you hear the crowd go nuts?--he's entertaining.
I don't know about you, but if I'm out at the park or a high school game, and I see a kid try something truly daring or imaginative, I'm screaming my head of for him/her. Well, after I pick myself up from the grass, having fainted dead away seeing an American kid actually defy the parents and coaches and staunch opposition of the "hoof it clear, defend at all costs, don't make mistakes, don't try the impossible, don't get beat" majority.
Go slap on your buckle hats and scratchy black wool, you goddamn Puritans! Where are your souls?