Zidanes sending off overshadowed the 2006 World Cup finals. What looked to be a cracking final after the first 20 minutes, drifted off into an enthralling match, but without the spark to really light up the tournaments finale. Of course that was until Zidanes moment of madness.
The term for this in Italian is "furbo", referring to Marco Materazzi cunning ploy to get the Frenchman sent off. Or at least to wind Zidane up to the point where his game starts to be effected.
My first impression was that Materazzi had spat at Zidane. The only time I could imagine doing what Zidane did during my professional career was when being spat at. This did happen several times, coincidently against Italian opposition on the first occasion. (Anglo-Italian Cup).
But careful observation doesn't show a "greeny" heading in Zidanes direction. Whatever did cause Zidane to make the head butt must have been something he has been subjected to many times through his career, as have most footballers (See Mark Hateley and Chris Waddles comments) and there can be no excuse for it.
And a big congrats to the Referee of the final who did a great job. He let the game flow and kept good control of a match with some controversial and difficult decisions to make. I think many of the referees in the tournament got a little stage struck.
As for the World Cup finals I enjoyed them immensely. Shame it couldn't go on forever. I now have to remove the BBC and Guardian Newspaper feeds (RSS) from my blog sidebar and wait for the start of the premier league...
Final thoughts :
- The final should not go to penalties. These teams have come so far and it would be great to see the golden goal. Even if the 2 sides were dead on their feet, it would be much more spectacular to see a winning goal
- Make the goals bigger!!. Yeah it's a stupid concept changing the goal sizes, but wouldn't it make the games much more fun? I really appreciate the skills of players like Ronaldhino, Zidane, Ronaldo etc, the intricacies of their game, the way they manoeuvre the ball, the team tactics, pace of the attacks and the fantastic goalscoring exploits of the worlds best players. BUT, the World Cup Final 2006 final stages were devoid of goals, with many coming from the penalty spot and many games ending in Penalty Shoot-outs. Teams are so well matched, fitness levels identical, tactics perfectly planned, which inevitably leads to stalemate.
- What the hell happened to Brazil? I saw a great picture in one of the British Sunday newspapers that showed Roberto Carlos, standing, hands on hips on the edge of the penalty area as Henry caressed the ball into the net for Frances winner against Brazil. I know if any defender had done that for any of the teams I played for they would have had the manager and other players cursing them forever more.