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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nach Berlin!

It was another great night for Les Bleus, as they thrashed Portugal 1-0 via a stunning penalty kick by Zizou in the 33' of the game, successfully barring the Portuguese from advancing to the final. Though their performance was kinda lackadaisical compared to their previous 2 matches (against Spain and Brazil), it was unbelievable and amazing that they still managed to emerge as victors despite having a lesser share of ball possession for the 3rd consecutive time. Honestly, Portugal played a better game in that match. They were fierce and vigorous in ball attacks. What's more, the ball nearly hit the goal for quite a lota times! I suffered quite a few heart attacks throughout the game, and lucky for me, the Portuguese couldn't make it to the final. Guess France's lucky star is with 'em all through the tournament, and is twinkling brighter than ever, much to the delight of all their supporters!

Furthermore, this match also signified the final reunion of soccer world's 2 greatest legends --- France's Zinédine Zidane and Portugal's Luís Figo on the same pitch. These 2 sensational players who're retiring from international soccer soon after the tournament had even exchanged jerseys after the match. What a heart-warming scene! Strong rivals on the pitch, yet buddies outside of it, both veterans were even teammates during their years at the prestigious Spanish football club, Real Madrid.

The tournament's most anticipated match will be another remake of the 2000 UEFA European Football Championship final between the French toast and the Italian pizza, in which Les Bleus defeated Azzurri 2-1. This World Cup is full of remakes of history for France's many matches (in which France won all of them), including Brazil vs France (1998 FIFA World Cup final), Spain vs France (2000 UEFA European Football Championship quarter-finals), Portugal vs France (2000 UEFA European Football Championship semi-finals), and last but not least, the one stated above. It's also a blue-blue clash in the final, since the nicknames of both national teams mean blue in their native languages.

So which national team do you guys think would outplay all of the World Cup qualifiers this time? The Italians are certainly hot favourites, yet the French aren't gonna give way that easily, especially after their unexpected triumphs over initial favourites --- Spain and Brazil. There's a huge possibility for France to emerge as the eventual champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, since France not only won all the matches against Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Italy in 2 great tournaments held several years ago, but also won the remakes of them in this year's tournament, except the final match, in which we're still guessing the winners.

I'm an ardent supporter of France right from the very beginning, but I've absolutely no animosity against Italy. Still, I'm praying hard for France as I want them to claim the title for the 2nd time since they first ascended the throne in the 1998 global soccer phenomenon held in their homeland. Hopefully my prayers are heard and luck is on France's side.

Anyway, allez Les Bleus, Zizou and mates! And to everyone on Earth, nach Berlin!


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