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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

WC2006: O happy day

Yes, the Argentines down here are convinced that if Lippi had been their coach, rather than Pekerman, they would have beat Germany. The Italian certainly played his cards right. Instead of finishing the game attacking with Tevez, Cambiasso, Gonzalez and Cruz, he had Iaquinta, Gilardino, Del Piero and a fine supporting cast. TDH said back during last season that Del Piero finally looked like he'd recovered the form he had before his injury - and boy, was his goal a thing of beauty. Ditto Grosso's. Italy's playing positive football!

Germany really didn't do much of anything, with Ballack hanging strangely far back to cover Frings's role, and Cannavaro and Buffon (oh, it hurts to say it) made sure that they weren't unjustly rewarded. All told, Klinsmann did well to get this far with a fairly average side.

Up in the luxury boxes, Romano Prodi could barely suppress his smile as he received the grudging congratulations of Angela Merkel, Horst Kohler and even Der Kaiser. In fact, it looked as though his lips had disappeared altogether.

At this point, TDH doesn't much mind whether France or Italy win, though France is still a better story, with more exciting young players to boot. Let's just hope tomorrow's referee doesn't go for all of Portugal's playacting.


Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

better young players? Who, exactly? Ribery aside, do they have anyone under 28 in their starting line-up?

Zidane is a good story. the rest of that team are over-rated.

8:33 AM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

I was thinking of Malouda as well. He's 26. Not a greenhorn exactly, but seems young. And Govou is 26, too. I just feel like with Ribery and Zidane you're seeing the passing of the torch.

It's been a good World Cup for discovering wingers (if nothing else), with Ribery, Odonkor, Lennon & co.

4:09 PM  
Blogger The American Geordie said...

Almost forgot about Abidal, who's been playing much better lately than he did in the group stage. Also 26.

4:17 PM  
Blogger the Maradona of Malawi said...

There's been too much talk of Ribery. Players like Zizou, Maradona (yes, better than him, but Mara was better than anyone), Ronaldo (aged 17-24) and Baggio don't pass the torch on. They extinguish it. It's extremely rare for a country to produce players of that level more than once in every twenty years or so.

Ribery is good. He'll never be nearly as good as Zizou, though.

6:09 PM  

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