Sunday, July 9

What the..?

First and foremost, congrats to Italy and the Italian fans (and Roger Federer fans--though we know Nadal is totally coming back to claim the next Wimbledon; he's just getting used to the grass). Second, what the heck happened during that exchange between Zidane and Materazzi? The only player I respected on the French team--I was thinking just last night about how dignified and subtly charming this team captain was, though he was, in my opinion, on the wrong team--flips at the 18th minute of extra-time. I think everyone--both the teams, the coaches, the audiences at the stadium and at home, even the commentators--was left speechless. It was such an awkward incident, not because no one's seen fouls like that before, but because of who it came from.

Anyway, because I have yet to find an authentic report of what the exchange actually was before Zinedine Zidane turned around and head-butted Materazzi in the chest, the following is a link from TIME Europe that is the best account I've found.

http://time-proxy.yaga.com/time/europe/2006/wcup/070710,zidane.html


UPDATE
Here's an attempt to subside our speculations on what occurred during that Materazzi-Zidane exchange from Reuters UK:

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-07-10T173324Z_01_L10426945_RTRUKOC_0_UK-SOCCER-WORLD-FRANCE-ZIDANE-MATERAZZI.xml

Also, according to an article from BBC SPORT (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2006/teams/france/5164094.stm):


Materazzi refused to answer questions afterwards, though Materazzi's agent Claudio Vigorelli said: "I've known Marco for a long time and I don't think he is capable of provoking a player. He is a good boy."

Umm, I'm no sports buff, but I think it's fair to say that there are no "good boys" playing for any team in the World Cup. There are decent people who try to play as cleanly as possible, and then there are people like Marco Materazzi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Thierry Henry (who should be congratulated since FIFA just announced his topping the most fouls committed list--17 in France's six matches). But since his agent's known him for so long, and despite his professional commitment to selling Materazzi at every opportunity, I guess we'll just have to take his word for it.

UPDATE
Materazzi lied in saying that to him, "the mother is sacrosanct." Zizou speaks honestly to the children of the world and his fans (Reuters):
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=sportsNews&storyID=2006-07-12T182838Z_01_L12760960_RTRUKOC_0_UK-SOCCER-WORLD-ZIDANE.xml

I still like him--with or without the Golden Ball.

1 comment:

Hater said...

Zidane is a genius and an innovator. I mean, who else could come up with such a powerful headbutt at such a crucial point in a crucial game?

I have the video on my page. A thing of beauty!