10 July 2006

Aftermath and Awards

The World Cup award winners have been named and they are:

Golden Ball (top player): Zinedine Zidande (France)
The French skipper won by a very slim margin over Fabio Cannavaro. Voting did take place before the red card.
Golden Shoe (top scorer): Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Second consecutive that Klose has bagged 5 goals and taken home the award.
Most Entertaining Team: Portugal
I have to say I didn't find them too entertaining...Unless you are entertained by copious amounts of whining, play_acting and diving.
FIFA Fair Play Award: Spain and Brazil
Best Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Totally agree.
Best Young Player: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
He had a great tournament but I think many were surprised this didn't go to Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal.

My Favorite Goal of the Cup
Go here for video of the goals.
1 - Maxi Rodriguez (Argentina) vs Mexico
2 - Theirry Henry (France) vs Brazil
3 - (tie) Tomas Rosicky (Czech Rep) vs USA - Lahm (Germany) vs Costa Rica

I liked this team-by-team synopsis of their performances.

Finally, about the red card...This article shares what impact it may have. I also read in a different article that asked what will Zidane tell his four sons about the incident? This article gathers some of the French paper headlines. And this one gives a high-level look at the heights and depths of his career. Zidane's agent has said Materazzi had made a racial slur and called Zidane a terrorist. (nice pic of Zizou in that one as well) He's stated that the full story will come out in the next week. France president Jacques Chirac said this at the luncheon with the French squad, "Dear Zinedine, in such a hard and intense moment for you, I would like to express the whole nation's affection and admiration for you. You are a virtuoso, a genius of football and an exceptional human being. That is why France admires you."
Personally, I agree that something pretty hostile must have been said and I think that Materazzi acted up the part to the hilt. But, regardless, Zidane shouldn't have lost his head and his actions required a red card. I'm just sad that a player of such talent and class will leave such a unlikely memory in their last game. I'm a little heart-broke today. But I prefer think about another memory I have of Zizou. It is of the best goal I've ever seen...Real Madrid vs Bayer Leverkusen...Champions League Final 2002. Watch & appreciate the game-winner here.

Well, now four years of waiting (and qualifying) for 2010 in South Africa. And only two years til Euro 2008 in Austria & Switzerland. (Ireland is in a tough group with Germany and Czech Republic, only the top 2 teams make it to the tournament).


  1. A great lesson on Zidane's action, taken from one of the discussion boards on your links --

    This case is a good reminder that opponents don't need to be strong enough to defeat you so long as they are clever enough to make you defeat yourself.

  2. clever seems to be too praising to use in this instance. i would use a word more like amoral or slimy.

  3. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=373706&cc=5739

  4. racial slurs and below-the-belt shots aren't the model of sportsmanship - i agree.

    as to Chirac's well-chosen words: 1) Bush could learn something in eloquence here (did I just say that? about a Frenchman??)
    2) I suspect Chirac knew about the exchange before making the remarks as he is posturing to condemn the attitude of intolerance with expressing support for the minority

  5. Of course it is easy for us to say-- but why or why didn't he let it pass during the game and then on the way to the showers, give the guy what he deserved-- a punch , a shove, or beat him up but not during the game.