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France Loses World Cup Final

I suppose the head should say that Italy won but it is so much more fun to say that France lost:

Italy Beats France for 4th World Cup Title

Italy let France do nearly anything it wanted Sunday, except win the World Cup. That belongs to the Azzurri, 5-3 in a shootout after a 1-1 draw.

Outplayed for an hour and into extra time, the Italians won it after French captain Zinedine Zidane was ejected in the 107th for a vicious butt to the chest of Marco Materazzi. It was the ugliest act of a tournament that set records for yellow and red cards, diving and, at times, outright brutality.

Another civilized Frenchmen.

But it's soccer so who really cares anyway? The only reason it is worth mentioning it is that the French lost at something else. At least this time they didn't quit before the game started.


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Comments (30)

The cowardly act of star pl... (Below threshold)
Imhotep:

The cowardly act of star player Zidane head butting the Italian and getting the red card is oh so French!

An ultimate insult for the ... (Below threshold)
Lemuel G.:

An ultimate insult for the French is that they lost to the ITALIANS.

As much as I detest the Fre... (Below threshold)
flakbait:

As much as I detest the French and as little as I care about metric football, according to my roommate who DOES care about the world cup, the Italians were doing pretty much the same thing in their game against the US-- lots of fouls or whatever the hell it is that soccer has.

Unless he's pulling my leg, and the Italians were NOT playing dirty to win against the Americans, I hardly think it's worth cheering for Italy's win over France-- unless, of course, you automatically froth at the mouth every time the country is mentioned.

I was watching just because... (Below threshold)

I was watching just because I like the game - I started really hoping the Italians would win after that head-butt. Flakbait - it wasn't a normal game foul - they weren't anywhere near the ball at the time. It was outright assault.

You fergot to mention that ... (Below threshold)
Sven:

You fergot to mention that Zidane is one of them there a-rab is-lame-o fascists. Ayuk.

I really appreciate the ath... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

I really appreciate the athleticism, endurance, and skills of these men. But, there needs to be some way to make sure the better team wins. Playing to 0-0 or 1-1 draws and then having the game decided on who has the freshest legs seems to detract from the game. My friends that have been fans for many years tell me that is part of the beauty of the game, that is, the tragic loss. Maybe if I watched more Wagnerian operas?

Soccer a third world sport ... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Soccer a third world sport for countries who can't make or afford a base ball bat and base bags...

The only thing in the world... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

The only thing in the world that can make me cheer for Italy, is that they are playing France.

The cowardly act of star... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

The cowardly act of star player Zidane head butting the Italian and getting the red card is oh so French!

And it was as wimpy a head butt as it could be. The chest? How weak is that? Be a man. Go head-to-head if you wanna make a statement.

Haha, good one serfer62! Th... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Haha, good one serfer62! Third World countries like England, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, S.Korea, Japan, Australia, the U.S. (where both Pélé and Bickenbauer wound their careers down--expect the same from Ronaldo and Beckham within the next three years or so)... but it's still a pretty clever comment. I'm sure all of those foreign losers would give up football for baseball given the opportunity. Say, what do you think Europeans think about baseball? Probably something along the lines of "Those drugged-up fat asses are supposed to be athletes?" I'm not knocking baseball. I love it, and am addicted to the stats for some strange reason. I'm knocking stupidity. You love the sports you grow up with. In Mongolia, people on horseback ride around chasing a stuffed dead goat.

Steve L., he could have killed the guy. His head hit him right in the sternum and flattened him. There was nothing wimpy about it. Watch it on Sportscentre. He's a psycho, and if he weren't retiring I think FIFA might expel him from international play.

I forget why I say I like football about a year after the World Cup, but then I remember once it starts again a few years later. And they were thoughtful enough to broadcast this one when I was awake. (Looking at you, stupid South Korea.) A few insanely terrible games (Italy-U.S., Portugal-Netherlands) did detract from the overall quality of the tournament though. And it's a shame that FIFA's plan to get more Americans to care about football by ranking them #5 (when they aren't in the top 10) didn't do it for you guys. I guess they'll have to try a top seeding next time. And maybe get some near-naked cheerleaders and have more commercial breaks.

Totally Matt,I can... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Totally Matt,

I can't see Americans watching this game if the players were nearly naked women. They've got to do something to reward teams that are trying to win instead of trying not to lose. Alternatively, I suppose they could just skip to the penalty kicks and forget the rest of the game.

If it weren't for the poor sportsmanship, there would have been nothing of interest in all but a handfull of games.

The French didn't lose. Th... (Below threshold)
Headzero:

The French didn't lose. The French NEVER lose!

They surrendered.

Holy Shit. Paul you are an ... (Below threshold)

Holy Shit. Paul you are an ignorant bastard. The only one here who isn't is Totally Matt, Ricardo or flakbait's friend. This is one of the greatest games. A testament to that fact is how popular the sport is worldwide. Americans HAVE come to love the sport. Didn't you watch the game? They showed a shot of a crowd of people (in an ampitheatre it looks like) in BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS....IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA watching the game...together. And you know what? they were doing that even if the final match didn't even have the US men's national team!

Look on www.fifaworldcup.com, and look for celebrity interviews/blogs. Kofi Annan had one and he was whining that the UN is green with envy.

I agree that it sucks watch... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

I agree that it sucks watching teams play for draws, Headzero. Yglesias suggested that the tournament change to a 64-team single elimination NCAA format. I don't mind ties as much as a lot of people do, but I think that would be a cool experiment.

....there was a soccer game... (Below threshold)
markm:

....there was a soccer game this weekend???....

> Americans HAVE c... (Below threshold)
Paul:

> Americans HAVE come to love the sport.

You just keep deluding yourself.

As soon as there was going ... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

As soon as there was going to a shoot-out, I knew it was all over for France.

Paul...how old are you?<br ... (Below threshold)

Paul...how old are you?
As soon as you answer, your age will give away your ignorance for the international sport of football. Americans my generation and younger grew up with it (we sort of came of age when it was hosted in the US in 94) and have come to love it.

Yaaayy!! France loses yet ... (Below threshold)

Yaaayy!! France loses yet again. Though they did give it one heck of a try. I guess Zidane is rethinking that head butt move right about now.

Uh, depending on what you c... (Below threshold)
scsiwuzzy:

Uh, depending on what you call coming of age, I'm likely a part of your generation, Hank, and I agree with Paul. I just can't excited about a game that runs that long and has so little action. Where at any point, I can ask who is winning and never get a clear answer.
Any other sport that comes to mind, if I ask the score and who is ahead (as in I arrived late) and I am told it is null-null, it's likely a nail biter. In soccer? Nope. It's just soccer.
Rugby.. now there is a sport that I cannot understand why it hasn't caught on more in the US.
Action. Physicality. The best elements of hockey and football, rolled into one beautiful package.

I guess it's obvious who is... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

I guess it's obvious who is winning an NFL game, scsi, but as for soccer games running on, they don't hold a candle to the 3.5 hour over-commercialized marathons that are American football games.

Some soccer games are boring and slow, but when you get a bunch of super-humans galloping up and down the field with a ball seemingly velcroed to their feet, I think you can't help but catch on.

Then again I bet hai allai (sp?) could eventually become popular. Who cares about popularity, 'cause football of both sorts is here to stay, and we're better for having the option of watching either kind.

The World Cup hasn't caught... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

The World Cup hasn't caught on in the USA. When we think of world cup, we think of Dolly Parton.

When the Miracle on Ice hap... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

When the Miracle on Ice happened, it was the best thing since the lunar landing. When the Americans do poorly in Winter Olympic ice hockey, nobody claims to care about it.

I think that if Landon Donovan et al could make it deep into the tourney, people would start to watch, and would watch more the next time around too.

When the shootout began I g... (Below threshold)

When the shootout began I guess I am the only one who saw the Italian fans pull out their "Surrender-Monkey" white flags and begin waving them wildly at the French. That was the end......France caved.

Duke

Well, technically, France <... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Well, technically, France hit the cross bar, Duke. Their goalie was too small for the format anyway. I'm amazed they made it that far in the tourney.

Anyone who doesn't find thi... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Anyone who doesn't find this funny never froze somebody solid and smashed them into ice shards. Or perhaps they just really don't like soccer. :)

http://imagesocket.com/images/zidane29b.gif

Henry you are full of crap.... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Henry you are full of crap.

There was a story last week that 6% of the people int he US were paying attention tot he World Cup.

Further story after story has been written about why Americans don't like soccer.

Dude, get over it. Nobody gives a shit but you.

>As soon as there was going... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>As soon as there was going to a shoot-out, I knew it was all over for France

Damn... the line of the day and I missed it.

funny very funny.

6% ... That's about 18 mill... (Below threshold)
Zidane:

6% ... That's about 18 million people. Wow, nobody in the US cares about football, 18 million is nothing.

... If you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. Paul, you got pretty messed up logic.

Henry, Henry, Henry . . . <... (Below threshold)
remzod:

Henry, Henry, Henry . . .

Stop wasting your breath (fingers, whatever.) They're not going to get it. They're never going to get it, and it doesn't matter. What do you care if someone else watches futbol, football, baseball or competitive eating?? Let them carp about soccer being a third-world sport all they want, it doesn't change a thing. It doesn't change the fact that it's the most popular sport in the world, even among all industrialized nations (oh, except that one that can't quite figure out the metric system . . . )

If they want to watch something else, fine. If they want to show their ignorance by belitting soccer, then who the hell cares? It's just a preference, and there is no sport that's better or worse than another.

Well, except one. American football has to be the best sport of all. The reason is simple -- it's the last sport at which we can still beat the rest of the world. And woe be unto us if football catches on with any significance in other countries. While we're running around wagging our fingers chanting "we're number one," other countries will actually be developing the skills to back up those chants. While we're practicing our end-zone celebrations, kids from other countries will be figuring out how to get there in the first place, and then acting like they've been there before. (apologies to Mr. Payton).

Look at where we are -- we can't even win at games we invented! Our dream team loses at the Olympics. We quietly fizzle out in the first real world series of baseball. (and don't give me that "rounders" crap, baseball is ours) If you don't think this is shameful, then you're either blind or from one of those metric countries.

So from now on, it's American Football for me (or gridiron, as the Aussies call it.) At least until the Japanese figure out how to play . . .




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