Thinking About France-Italy
The more I think about the Final this Sunday (if you have to ask “what Final?” then stop reading now), the more I think I’m going to have to stay neutral this time around. Here are my thoughts:
- I love Zidane (or, j’aime Zizou) and his resurgence is inspiring. The fact that this will be his last game ever just adds to the glory of it all.
- J’ai etudie francais depuis un an, et ma femme et moi avons voyage a Paris pour notre vacances de mariage. J’aime Lille OSC aussi.
- I’m a sucker for the underdog, and with only 1 World Cup to their name – won on home soil – the French are still the upstart at this level. Let’s not forget the debacle of 2002 either.
- I wrote in Matchnight’s World Cup prediction piece that Thierry Henry would be the player to have the biggest impact for his team at this World Cup – and there’s a chance that prediction could come true. Heck, even Ribery managed to score a goal earlier this tournament, so you know the French must be doing something right offensively.
- My wife’s family is Italian, and they’re led by the grandmother/matriarch of the family (one of the sweetest women you could ever hope to meet). Her house has a handful of Italian flags around it, and she can tell you all sorts of stories about the extended family in true Italian style. Plus, I’ve been threatened with “a trip to Youngstown” if I ever hurt Carole – so I’ve got that working against me.
- So far, the only team to score on Italy is, well, Italy. Under pressure from us Americans. It would be some source of comfort if they completed the shutout – and vindication for an American team that played them very tightly for the draw.
- For as much as I love the underdog, I also don’t like one team to dominate too much. Brazil, with 5 world titles, needs to be caught. Italy would move to 4 titles with a win, giving Brazil some company on the pedestal that so many people put them on.
- As a central defender, I don’t get as bothered by a defensive-oriented team – so catenaccio never really bothered me too much (sorry Jamie). There’s something about a ruthlessly efficient defense that I find inspiring, I guess. See #2 above.
So, those are some of my thoughts. I’d love to hear yours, so leave a comment if you like. Or at least vote in the poll.