You'll never walk alone

the cyber journal of spiller

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Les Bleus, Azzurri and the blardy Deutsch

Yeah, Portugal vs France tonight. Nothing against Portugal but I think France has the experience and the pedigree to lift the cup again. In fact, some of the French players are the only few that had lifted the cup before in this tournament (apart from the Brazilians). So, I do fancy them over the Portugese in this match.

Speaking of Les Bleus, I used to hate them so much when they beat Brazil in 1998 final. In fact, there was a time that I got so excited and happy, whenever I see the alien spaceships detroyed Paris in Independence Day -_-"

I was so glad that France got dumped in 1st round at WC 2002 as well, without scoring a goal somemore! But at the same time, I also feel kesian for them, especially Zidane, Henry and Thuram (my favourite right-back).

Somehow, after that WC, I began NOT to hate them, and slowly developed my respect to Les Bleus. I don't know why exactly, maybe because most of the players from WC 98 squad had retired, or maybe because I watched a documentary called More Than a Game, which recently being showed in ntv7 for the past 2 weeks.

In one of the episodes, they were focusing on France and suddenly I was glued to the TV. I was impressed by Platini, Giresse and Jacquet in the WC 82 and mesmerised by Zidane, Thuram and Blanc in WC 98. Aimé Jacquet, especially, is a top-class manager. He was very successful at Bordeaux and he brought his expertise into the French team when he took over from Gérard Houllier, which I think a total failure as club and national team manager.

After WC 94, Jacquet began building his team, and all the hard work paid off 4 years later. I used to think that France won the WC 98 because of host advantage, but I was wrong. The success in Euro 2000 showed that Jacquet had developed a team that plays with so much passion and spirit, on top of their gifted individuals. The Les Bleus has earn my respect by now.

On another note, I was shock to see what happened during the semi-final match between France and Germany, well, West Germany to be exact.

Quote from Wikipedia:

"The closely fought match continued until the middle of the second half when a long through ball sent French defender Patrick Battiston racing clear towards the German goal. Moments after Battiston had headed the ball towards goal from inside the German penalty area, Germany goalkeeper Harald Schumacher hurled himself at the French player, foot forward, knocking his opponent unconscious and breaking two of his teeth.

The ball went just wide of the post and Dutch referee Charles Corver awarded a goal kick, to the vociferous astonishment of the French. Play was interrupted for several minutes while Battiston, still unconscious, was carried off the field on a stretcher. Schumacher did not even receive a yellow card and the match went on - without retaliatory violent actions, to the credit of both teams."

The famous Battiston incident during World Cup 1982 semi-final between France and Germany.

OMG, can you believe that? Referee damn KAYU right? How could he let the keeper off just like that? No yellow card somemore! Kesian Battiston, pengsan somemore! There you go, another reason for me to hate the Germany team.

If the Azzurri meets Les Bleaus in the final, will they able to revenge for their defeat in WC 98 and Euro 2000? Is this the time for Italy to win a major championship again since the Paolo Rossi phenomenon in WC 82? For players like Totti, Cannavaro and Del Piero, this could be their last appearance in WC and this could be the only chance for them to lift the cup of life.

God bless us for an awesome finale.

PS: In 1983, a French newspaper held a poll to name the most hated man in France. Harald Schumacher (the goalkeeper) won, beating Adolf Hitler into second place. To this day, some of the French players on the field that night still refuse to set foot again in Seville's Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.

PPS: Do you notice that all Italy goals have come from 10 different players? That's almost half of the entire team, and that is remarkable.

PPPS: Correction, 11 Italy players have scored, including Zaccardo's own goal :P


At Wednesday, July 05, 2006 8:02:00 PM, Blogger Keropok said...

First Wulkap was '86, so I never watched this famous game. Thanks for the clip Spiller.

in '86 Platini, Giresse, Fernandez, Tigana, Bats and team lost out on my life-long allegiance to Maradona and 10 others.

France remain close to my heart ever since. My faith was tested, but I'm bloody glad they're where they are!!!

At Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:30:00 PM, Blogger Keropok said...

So who you rooting for on Sunday, Spiller?

All in all, it has been a good Wulkap, hasn't it?

At Friday, July 07, 2006 12:01:00 PM, Blogger spiller said...

I like both teams, although I'd be more happier if Italy can win this, simply becoz France had just won it 8 years ago, and some of them have tasted the glory before.

All in all, it is a good WC. But I'd still prefer WC 2002 becoz of all the upsets and surprises, the joy of Brazil, the spirit of Koreans and Turks, and most of all, more heartbreaks. Hehe.


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