free geoip

Monday, July 10, 2006

WC2006: Inglorious finale

It's rare that TDH gets worked up about something that happens in sport, even in football. The odd disallowed Newcastle goal may be an exception, but that seems to happen so often that TDH has gotten almost used to it. Zidane's moment of madness, though, struck TDH hard and deep.

After you reach a certain age, it's hard to look up to footballers. Most of them are just kids, or adults who never had to grow up. But a few seem to stand apart, with a stature that transcends their abilities on the pitch. Zidane was such a player. And for him to do something so manifestly stupid in the final game of his career - arguably the most important game of his career - left TDH stunned. The initial speechlessness soon turned to disappointment at yet one more fallen idol.

The obvious question is, "What did that f*ck Materazzi say?" But as vile as his tweaking may have been, it shouldn't have mattered. When you're leading a team, when the game is coming down to its final moments, when you have the chance to add the capstone to your career, you should rise above any petty abuse. Zidane couldn't.

Compliments to the Italians for some finely taken penalties. Their earlier play was hardly inspiring. And as they danced around, TDH had to remember that these guys weren't just doing it for the fans or for their country, but also in large part for themselves. They also looked very, very young.




Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

it disappoints me enormously that Zizou was sent off. Matrix is a prick, and initially, I thought that he must have said something unutterably awful (immediately, my thoughts turned to racism), but I've since been corrected by an italian friend and even in the uk press: materazzi is known for being a prick, but he's no racist, and its common knowledge apparently that his best friend at Inter is Obafemi Martins.

That said, no sympathy for the french. Over their final two games, they couldn't score a legitimate goal, winning penalties from dives by Henry (a cheat and a bottler) and Malouda (a cheat). Italy never dove in this game, and yes, they were outplayed for long stretches after 120 mins vs. germany, but they deserved it more than France, for whom falling over was a more effective tactic than attack. For all of their possession, they only really had two or three chances.

7:56 AM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

and another thing, as much as I love zidane, and would love to blame that prick Matrix (who, let it be remembered, plays for Inter), lets get a sense of perspective:

Beautiful footballer, and normally a big game player he may be, but Zidane is and always has been a thug. He's a thug who happened to be the best player in the world. The two things are not incompatible at all.

Evidence? 13 career red cards for an attacker is an atrocious record. He stamped on a Saudi in 1998, and nutted a Dane (I think) when playing for Juve in the champs league - he was banned for five european games after that. He's known for stamping on players, and has used his head for butting more than the ball in the past, so lets not get carried away and assume that Matrix insulted his heritage or did something awful.

I'm sure he said something, probably something quite horrid, but the fact is, pretty much everyone does on the football pitch. No, it's not good, but you never, in any walk of life, react like Zizou did.

3:51 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home