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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Euphoric Italy... Sombre France...

It's been nearly a week since the 2006 FIFA World Cup ended controversially at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany. It was certainly an unforgettable night for soccer fans around the world --- thanks for the infamous head-butt controversy by the French soccer superstar skipper, Zinédine Zidane, which had made tabloid headlines across the globe.

Italy once again claimed the prestigious title as the world champions for the 4th time since they last won the championship 24 years ago in Spain, rivalling Brazil, which is currently on top with the most number of titles in hand. Though somewhat overshadowed by Zizou's controversy, Italy's triumph was not totally unnoticed. The great news was celebrated nation-wide in Italy and by Italian fans and supporters around the world. It was definitely a lucky day for Italy, as they were quickly tied with France 1-1 after lagging behind for a mere 12 minutes, and the score remained still even though extra time was given. This thus dragged both national teams into the heart-pumping penalty shoot-out in order to determine the winners. Unfortunately, David Trézéguet's nearly-successful-yet-failed attempt completely shattered France's dream to reign as the world champions for the 2nd time. I have to admit --- 2006 is not France's year. :(

To my utmost disappointment, Zinédine Zidane ended his glittering career disgracefully, not in a glittering way which all his fans wanted to see. The hero who once led Les Bleus to lift the coveted Coupe du Monde for the first time ever back in 1998, was now leaving the pitch as well as international soccer after being red-carded for head-butting Italian defender, Marco Materazzi in the chest. The exact reason that had prompted Zizou's violent offence remains unknown to public.

Despite the humiliating elimination from the final match, this soccer legend was awarded the adidas Golden Ball award as the most outstanding player in this tournament. At least he was not leaving without any glory, ain't he? If you're a great soccer fan of this elegant midfielder, come and recall all his glorious moments at the pinnacle of his career and the strong legacy that he has left behind in the soccer world.

Zinédine Zidane --- a star so bright that one shall always remember and revere him for his virtuosity on the football pitch as well as being a genuine symbol of French national pride.

Zizou, au revoir!

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