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Today a bunch of us gathered for the World Cup final between France and Italy.  Honestly, I had no loyalty towards either country but was for Francthis one was it.e based on the fact that the intern in my department had France and would win $$$...and in return would buy drinks for us.  However, this should be kept in mind.  A general rule of thumb is this: The team I cheer for, generally loses.....and it's almost a given. 

Anyway, disappointing and embarrassment is all I have to say for France.  The match was excellent through 109 minutes...then the 110th minute came.  Zidane, the captain, decided to intentionally headbutt an Italian player.  Absolutely inexcusable...and an embarrassment.  His last game ever on the international stage and instead of riding off into the sunset as a hero or even well respected, he'll forever be remembered for being red carded with the game on the line. I think the lasting image will be as he walked off the field past the world cup trophy.  You know they say a picture can be worth a thousand words....this one was it.

In any case, it's sad to see this happen on the world stage like this with so many watching.  I am glad that the ref consoled with the side referees and got the call right.  It's almost as if you knew from that time on...that Italy was going to be victorious.  It just had that feel.  He also didn't argue...he just kind of looked dazed and headed off the field.

I feel for him knowing full well that he will forever be linked in history to his stupidity for that one second...instead of his splendid play throughout the 2006 Cup.  It's like a lot of things...the bad news dominates the good. And this just in: He won the golden ball. Ha! 

  • (Anonymous)
    The votes for the Golden Ball used to be submitted before the end of the final, but that was not the case this year (they were due in by midnight). I'm not sure he deserved it (regardless of the headbutt); he has historically been a great player but he played unevenly in this particular Cup.

    As for the penalty shootout: it's not over till it's over! Having Zidane out was no guarantee of an Italian victory, although it certainly didn't hurt.

    In any case, phenomenal showing by the Italian defenders, and their 4th Cup was well deserved. Those 5-star Brazilians had better watch out, they've got someone riding on their tails...

    - Sempre Libera
    • (Anonymous)
      Incidentally, why are the times on your postings so strange? I find it hard to believe you posted at 7am...
    • Azzurri!

      Re: Golden Ball
      I agree. While he played out of his mind during the knockout rounds, he was pretty much a non-factor during group play.

      Re: PKs
      Obviously nothing is 100% certain but given the circumstances it definitely pointed that way. Beyond Zidane, there is the case of the goalies....the French goalie was nothing short of shakey while the Italian goalie could be considered the MVP for the Italians (although I guess you could say the entire defense deserves an award....they gave up ZERO goals...not counting the penalty kick and own goal).

      It is a shame that there hasn't been more focus on Italy winning their 4th WC. They definitely were not a favorite when it began but they came to play....can't wait for 2010! Until then, I'll work on my Spanish;-)
      • Re: Azzurri!

        No need to work on your Spanish. I heard they broadcasted the game in English! lol

  • France surrenders. They always surrender.
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