Sunday, July 09, 2006


Zinédine Zidane, like all heroes, ended-up disappointing us. He deserved his red card and France deserved to lose.


Jim said...

Yes I was sorely disappointed, such a fabulous player, such a crazy thing to do. I thought France edged it slightly on play, but nevertheless Italy were always likely to prevail in a penalty shoot out.

Richard said...

I'd agree that France did outplay Italy for 120 minutes, and yes, Italy was likely to win if it went to penalty kicks. Deciding the champion on penalty kicks, however, is not satisfying. Perhaps declaring the match a tie and then having a second match a few days later would work. I don't suppose the German organizers of the tournament would be thrilled about such an outcome though.

As for Zidane, a stupid, dangerous (blunt force trauma to the chest has been known to kill some people) act such as this should result in some sort of penalty. Rumor here in the U.S. is that the Red Bulls of the U.S. soccer league are interested in signing Zidane, so if that comes to pass perhaps he should be suspended for the first few games.

I must say that despite the head-butt, it would be nice to have a player of Zidane's caliber playing here in the New York area. When I was a boy we had Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia (among many others) playing for the New York Cosmos. Each of them was past his prime, but it was great to see them play anyway.

Jim said...

I hate penalty kicks as a decider, and you just know that at this level the extra time is always (Germany v Portugal excluded) going to be extremely cautious with no-one wanting to make a mistake, thus its almost certainly going to go to penalties. I did read what I thought was a marvelous suggestion today, which was to have the penalty kicks taken at the start of the game. A bit warped but both teams would know what the needed to do in the course of the 90 minutes/120 minutes.

I think players like those above can always enhance a side, regardless of their age, the level of skill they have and can pass on to younger players is well worth it, even if they don't play the full 90 minutes.