Monday, July 10, 2006

Going out with a bang

At least it was a memorable game, from Thierry "Victorian maiden" Henry needing smelling salts to Zinedine Zidane being sent off to end his footballing career.

In between there was a penalty that shouldn't have been given but was, a penalty that should have been given but wasn't, a dynamite header from Materazzi -- to make up for conceding the penalty -- and another Italian goal being disallowed for offside. And every once in a while some decent football broke out. The referee, Elizondo, even managed to keep his cards in his pocket for the most part, despite players crumpling to the ground à la Cristiano Ronaldo all over the pitch.

But the only thing people will really remember is that head-butt. You have to wonder just what Materazzi said to Zidane to set him off. I assume it must have been pretty nasty, but nobody's really talking. And regardless, reacting like that is just stupid. It's the World Cup final, Zidane is 10 minutes away from possibly lifting the trophy as the final act of his footballing career, and instead he gets sent off for a moment of such blinding idiocy that even Wayne Rooney would say, "I think you've lost the plot there, mon ami." (This is assuming that Rooney knows any French, which probably is asking too much.)

Anyway, now the rumours are swirling around about what was said and why he did it. Who knows, really. Maybe Zidane figured that if Figo could get away with it, so could he. Maybe he was just having a nic fit.

And just to add the final touch of absurdity, Zizou has won the Golden Ball. Which just goes to show that voting on these awards before the final game is over is kind of dumb. Well done to FIFA for that one. Pouting and winking apparently disqualifies you from winning the Best Young Player award, but head-butting someone is peachy keen.

Despite all the drama, I'm glad that Italy won -- if for no other reason than the fact that their celebration was so incredibly gay. I thought that France were the better team in this game, but Italy were better over the tournament as a whole. (But weren't they supposed to be crap at penalties? What happened to that?)


Anonymous said...

soccer sucks it really really sucks

Ex-Pat in LA said...

I agree with your analysis
Not much of an Italy fan my self but after seeing the "incident" it was kinda hard to cheer for Les Bleus.
What i really missed was some decent Canadian coverage on TV - and a trip to downtown which I was picturing in complete chaos.
regardng ur gay comment - hey they are Italian - what are u gonna do.
no gayer (if thats a word) than a bunch of overgrown men in shoulder pads patting each other on the ass when one catches the ball with their hand - i mean "football" - go figure

Anyways just saw ur blog for the 1st time - preety cool - ill be back to read up.

08 said...


you know...i generally have great amounts of respect for Zidane, but doing something so completely stupid on possibly the BIGGEST night of his life...well the incident speaks for itself....Materazzi must've been a real arse tho - to have provoked Zidane like that.

Italians r excellent at celebrating - most enjoyable really. Especially when camoranesi reveals his hair extensions hahaha....go figure - Italians are a kooky bunch...

pie man said...

I'm glad ZZ butted him. after a tournament where every player has rolled around screaming at the meer suggestion of a hair falling on their foot, it was refreshing.

There is a refreshing naivety about this sourt of assault as opposed to all the diving and cynical cheatting displayed thoughout the tournament.