Dunphy rages at morons and “fucking Morning Ireland” amid Messi backlash

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On Monday’s Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1, Darren Frehill rounded off a sports bulletin with word of Lionel Messi’s two goals, including a last-gasp winner, in Barcelona’s 3-2 Clasico win over Real Madrid.

And there was a little jibe for RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy, who seemed close to tears on television last Wednesday night as he lamented the end of a Barcelona era and the decline of their talisman following the Champions League exit to Juventus.

“A certain pundit that we have here on a regular basis thought he was finished,” chuckled Frehill.

The bulletin may well have had cornflakes spluttering in the Dunphy household because Eamo was in fighting form when he phoned in for his regular slot on 2FM’s Game On Monday evening.

Regular pundit Alan Cawley immediately stuck in another reducer: “You’ve made a bit of a boo-boo, Eamon.”

But Eamo was not having it. At all.

“You got it all wrong. The first thing I said was that Barcelona as a team were gone and that we won’t see that team again. The next thing I said, and we all agreed, was that Messi would be still, even if he’s lost 10/15/20 per cent, he would still be a great player.

“And I also said that I hoped he’d  come to the Premier League and maybe to Manchester City, and that it would be a fantastic thing.

“The third thing I said was that Real Madrid, not just Barcelona, were struggling. And anyone who watched last night will see that.

“Now, to misrepresent that… funny enough another RTE programme did this morning… This is what stops people talking candidly about football and having really interesting discussions. Because some moron will say you said something you never said.”

That off his chest, Eamo was willing to let Cawley state his case. Not really.

Eamo: “Well go on, finish your point.”
Cawley: “I watched the show last week.”
Dunphy: “And what did I say?”
Cawley: “You said he was finished.”
Dunphy: “I didn’t.”  
Cawley: “Well, you more or less said…the week before you had a package ready to go saying he was finished.”
Dunphy: “No, we didn’t say that either…
“What we said were that the Barcelona team that we have all loved for the last seven or eight years was no more. It’s over. What we said about Messi was that he was  diminished from what he had been as a great player. And that was clear in both Juventus games.
“Now if you watched last night’s game, I don’t know if you did or not or if you just watched the headlines…”
Cawley: “Eamon, I think you know me better than that.”
Dunphy: “Well what can I do when you are saying you were watching a television programme last week and you don’t remember what you saw.”  
Cawley (Laughing nervously now): “We all remember.”
Dunphy: “What do you remember? Did I say Messi was finished?”
Cawley: “To a point.”
Dunphy: “OK, get the tape out and have another look.”
Cawley: “To a point, you said his best days were behind him and he’s finished…”
Dunphy: “You should get a job on fucking (possibly said ‘pucking’ in Fr Ted style swear avoidance) Morning Ireland. I didn’t say that… You’re talking about something you allege that I said that I didn’t say. Now when you have a look at the tape, you can apologise. Because there’s a difference between saying that Barcelona are gone as a force in European football and saying Lionel Messi is finished. And by the way, scoring two goals last night wouldn’t prove very much in the great scheme of things.”

At this point, host Damien O’Meara felt it was safer to wrap things up.

For the record, no tape of Dunphy’s complete lament for Messi exists in DangerHere Towers. But from the parts the RTE Player has preserved for the public record, there is this:

“He’s not the player he was, Darragh.”

“Messi is not the Messi of memory, recent memory, but still not that man.”

“That genius needs energy and inspiration, and he gave energy and inspiration to everybody around him. But he was always linking up with Iniesta and Xavi. And that’s now going to be a memory.

“You might see Messi in the Premier League with Manchester City and what a thing that would be for the Premier League.

“But I don’t know how much he’s got  in the tank. He’s been there since he was 14. He’s been in the team since he was 16 and he’s 29 now.

“And they’ve been on such emotional highs and you can only go to that place so many times in your life, no matter what sport it is.”

And earlier this season, before Barcelona’s Champions League visit to Celtic, Dunphy promised:

“I’ll expand later on my Messi is finished theory if he doesn’t score a hat-trick.”