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Post-Final thoughts

July 9, 2006

Well, that was certainly an entertaining Final eh? These are some of the thoughts running through my head:

  • It’s too bad that Zidane had to get himself ejected; he’s supposed to be a better player than that. It must be remembered, though, that he’d already sat one game earlier in this tournament, and was suspended in ’98 for stomping on an opponent. At any rate, I was very chagrined to see it happen.
  • Congratulations to the Italians – it has to be a relief to finally win a Cup on penalties. Somewhere Roberto Baggio is smiling. I know my in-laws are all happy, even the ones who don’t really follow soccer seemed to be planning on watching the game (my sister-in-law Gretchen, and the family grandmother/matriarch especially). They know I was kind of pulling for France, so it’ll be interesting to see how much grief I get the next time I see them.
  • It was also really good to have both teams score for a change – the last time that happened in a Final was 20 years ago when Argentina beat West Germany 3-2.
  • There was a graphic on ABC that Zidane is now the 4th player in history to score in 2 separate Finals. I was curious, so I looked up the other three (thank you Wikipedia) – the others are Paul Breitner (1974, 1982), Vava (1962, 1958), and Pele (of course – 1970, 1958). It’s interesting that there haven’t been more, given the number of times a country has made a Final in consecutive years:
    • Italy (1934, 1938)
    • Brazil (1958, 1962) 
    • Netherlands (1974, 1978)
    • Germany (1982, 1986, 1990)
    • Argentina (1986, 1990)
    • Brazil (1994, 1998, 2002)
  • How cheeky was Zidane’s penalty kick? And then to have it almost bounce down and out after his soft chip? Damn – I know I wouldn’t have the guts to take on that way. Of course, I also know that were I to take a penalty in a World Cup Final, I would a) be dreaming, and b) either do a slow roller directly to the keeper or Sky It Like Beckham.
  • I can’t wait for the Nats to get back on the field again. I especially can’t wait until Olympic qualifying, or the next Gold Cup. Let’s get back on the field in games that matter, damnit!
  • Until then, I plan on following the Tour de France and sneaking a peak every once in a while on how the America’s Cup preliminaries are going. Carole’s gotten me somewhat interested in tennis now (I’m glad Federer finally beat Nadal this morning), so the US Open will probably find its way onto the TV as well. And, of course, I’ll keep following the Crew relentlessly as they continue to search for a forward who’s worth a damn.
  • I can’t wait until South Africa 2010 to get here.
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