Congratulations to France and Italy
This is not the World Cup final match-up that very many people expected. As I noted a while back, I was pulling for the Netherlands, but this was not their year, despite the good play of Arjen Robben and Ruud van Nistelrooy. I had been expecting Argentina to at least make the semifinals, but Germany sent them on their way.
France is the true surprise here, of course. Few of us expected Zidane to shine as he has; he is strong candidate for the Golden Ball. I have also been impressed by the play of Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Vieira and Frank Ribery. France has put a very good team on the pitch; their dominance of Brazil in the quarterfinals was impressive.
For what it is worth, my vote for the Golden Ball would go to Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo. He has given-up only two goals in six matches and he has provided great leadership to his team.