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Thursday, July 06, 2006

WC2006: Callooh, callay!

Loyal readers crazy enough to be watching half an hour of pre-game coverage before today's semifinal (like TDH) will have seen the one moment that told you all you needed to know about France.

Half an hour before the match, after the warm-up, Zidane huddled his players (for they are his now) on the pitch. TDH couldn't tell what he was saying, but it was clear that his voice was raised. And the glare in his eyes was that of an iron leader, a fearless veteran, a warrior equal to any battle. The other players neither snickered nor cowered. They soaked it in.

After the match, Zidane and Vieira strode off the pitch like a couple of old soldiers exchanging notes, neither elated nor surprised by their victory. They know the real test is yet to come. Domenech did his part with good substitutions; like Lippi, he knows it's better to run the opposition ragged than simply to batten down the hatches. But TDH thinks we all know who really runs this team.

Back in France, though, you can bet the feeling was plenty frabjous.


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