The grass is greener across the pond

AP-Luca BrunoI went on record saying Italy and Portugal were my two favourites going into the World Cup. As the tournament went on I was told to chose 1 by my friends so I went with Portugal but silently cheered for Italy as well. When Italy won their game I began dreaming about having my two favourite teams in the finals but that's all it was a dream. Zizou broke my heart as he converted on a penalty kick against Portugal in the first half of the semi-final game. Setting up a Italy v/s France final and this would mark the end of a few international careers. Zidane, DelPiero have decided to make this their last appearance on the world stage and things were set up for an exciting final.

Exciting it was, as Zidane once again converted on a penalty kick early in the 1st half (questionable call... in my opinion) France was leading but it wasn't long before a brilliant free kick was converted into a goal as Materazzi's header found the back of the net halfway through the 1st half. The next hour was more of a defensive battle with both teams only getting a handful of chances but the two heroes of the day were not done. With just minutes left in extra time, Zidane was involved in some words with Italy's goal scorer and it is not yet known what was said but we do know that this caused the "header heard around the world". Out of nowhere he turned around to ram his head into the chest of the Italian player like a raging bull. This might be expected from an emotional Italian player but not from Zidane who has always displayed a level of poise on the field. On this afternoon Materazzi obviously got under his skin which led to an early exit from the game and a sad way to end his International career. The game went on to be decided by penalty kicks and the Italians emerged victorious (to my delight)

After all that went down Zidane was awarded the "Golden Ball" as the player of the tournament which I felt should have gone to the Italian goalkeeper Bouffon. Overall the World Cup was as exciting as always and it was noted by me that the competition was very balanced creating for some major upsets in the earlier rounds as the Czech's went home before making it to the elimination rounds. Germany did a good job hosting the event and on a personal note I was glad I didn't have to listen to the coverage and broadcasting work done by ESPN. I do love the sport but after a whole month of watching soccer everyday I still cannot say that I will turn my TV on to GOLTV during the next 4 years and start following a league or team. So Until 2010 when I will hopefully make it to South Africa this is the last of the soccer talk on here.

Another major tournament took place on the grass courts in England as Roger Federer defend his Wimbledon title for the 4th year running and Amelie Mauresmo emerged victorious on the women's side. Men's tennis hasn't been this exciting since the days of Boris Becker v/s Stefan Edberg and Sampras v/s Agassi. Federer v/s Nadal is becoming a staple as these two young'ns are on top of their game. Nadal won the French Open and has won most of his games against Federer but if the streak was going to be broken it was on grass where Federer remained king. Besides one or two hiccups along the way Federer controlled the game the entire time. Nadal is more exciting to watch as a sports fan as he wears his emotions on his sleeve but one cannot question Roger Federer's talent and determination. He was clearly the better player on this day and we can now look forward to the US Open.


coach said...

Nadal is the future of men's tennis. He is another Agassi or Mc Enroe. Exciting and animated unlike the dry Federer . I enjot watching Nadal !

Justin said...

I think Federer is more fun to watch than Nadal. He's like MJ: he'll make shots that you never thought could be made. Just amazing. He is so in control especially on grass.

arthur said...

OK, this is a late post from me, sorry.
golden ball for Bouffon? I Don't think so. He might be the Greatest Keeper in regular Season, but during this tournment, the best and the most memorbile proformance was from Zizuo. and for the record, I might do the same thing, but I'll headbutt materazzi so hard he could not get up.
Roger Federer... Man, it is him again. he is the Grass Court god.