Crawl Across the Ocean

Sunday, July 09, 2006

See You In 2010

Well, that's it for the World Cup. I guess it would be self-centred if I figured that the result of the tournament was decided when I publicly declared Italy to be my least favourite team. On the plus side, I also declared that it was unlikely for both teams to score, so that was taken care of in the first twenty minutes.

I didn't want Italy to win, but at least they were full value for their victory, playing extremely well at the back but not by refusing to go forward at all. In fact, I imagine the Italians finished the tournament 2nd in goals scored, behind the Germans (although if the Argentineans hadn't run into Germany in the quarter-finals, they probably would have been up there as well).

Aside from Zidane's momentary head-butt madness (one wonders exactly what prompted it), France played well in the final. I think it was a mistake to take off Ribery - notwithstanding that he was dog-tired out there, he was still their best hope of finding a way through the Italian defense. Tough luck for the man who replaced Ribery, Trézéguet, his (just barely) missed penalty was the difference and that will be hard to live with for the rest of his days.

I was glad to see the Germans win the third place game with some style, especially against Portugal (says my girlfriend, after another cynical Portuguese play, 'they're the new Italians!') Oh well, good tournament, I hope they give Cannavaro the golden ball since he certainly deserves it, I don't think anyone else was as important to the Italian victory.

So that's probably it for sports around the blog for a while. Although Vancouver City Council votes on the proposed new soccer stadium on July 11th, with public debate on the 10th (Monday) so I'll probably comment on that decision.

The next international soccer events will be the Euro 2008 tournament in Austria/Switzerland and, for all you masochists out there, Canada's next qualifying run for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will probably start in the next couple of years as well. They really should play the key qualifiers in Newfoundland like they did back in 1986, the only time Canada ever qualified for the World Cup.


  • I would say that the next international football event is the U20 next year, being hosted here in Canada.

    By Anonymous Radical Centrist, at 4:55 AM  

  • True, good point. I was thinking men's open competitions - otherwise we need to consider the women's world cup next year in China as well, where we'll see if Canada can improve on its fourth place finish from the last one.

    While we're on the topic of the women's World Cup and FIFA events hosted by Canada, Canada should really make an effort to host the women's world cup at some point.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:20 AM  

  • oh, you hater. regarding the zidane headbutt... knowing italian footballers, it was probably something racist. i think it was funny that fifa gave him the golden ball after that, given their newfound obsession with fair play and their disappointment at how dirty the tourney was.

    the way i see it, the italians played with desperation due to the scandal back home. france dominated the game. cannavaro and pirlo were great but i think buffon should have received some kind of trophy for those brilliant saves that kept the team alive.

    i mean really, france should be ashamed of themselves for dominating the play and being the first team ever to go down in shootouts against italy.

    By Blogger angela, at 1:34 PM  

  • you should have come down to commercial drive to see all the people riding around in the backs of dump trucks and pickups (go italian construction workers) and to watch them playfully headbutt anyone wearing a zidane jersey.

    By Blogger angela, at 1:35 PM  

  • "knowing italian footballers, it was probably something racist"

    I guess, but surely Zidane has heard all that 1,000 times before, there had to be something more to it. Perhaps he was still angry about missing the header in the first half of extra time, perhaps he wanted to make some kind of definitive gesture in front of a big audience, maybe he just had a moment of insanity, but it seemed pretty inexplicable to me.

    Perhaps even more inexplicable than Cannavaro not getting the Golden Ball, although as he pointed out, he already got the trophy that matters.

    Losing to Italy on penalties is definitely not someting to be proud of. Neither goaltender really played the penalties well, they went the wrong way on almost every single one.

    As for Commercial Drive, I still remember the celebrations from 1982 (my friend, neighbour and soccer teammate at the time was from an Italian family) so I'm all good.

    By Blogger Declan, at 8:27 PM  

  • haha well i wasnt born at that point, so this was my first time experiencing the woppy goodness.

    i like materazzis insistence that he is uncultured and doesnt know what an islamic terrorist is. what a tard.

    By Blogger angela, at 3:49 PM  

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