Finally... Forza Azzurri penalty kicks to football heaven
It was a great world cup. It was nice to have it in Germany. Italy didn't have any big stars this time. 10 players scored their 13 goals (that's amazing distribution for football). And more importantly, they didn't give up any goals during actual play. Zidane scored on a PK and they managed to have an own-goal against the US. All the Italian players also play for Italian clubs, not true for any other country! I guess Italians are really happy with their tough, defense oriented Serie A league. The scandals about the players and the Italian clubs helped the team just like 82 when they previously won when facing a similar situation. I think the entire team will be pardoned again.
When the game went to OT, I could vividly remember 90 when they lost the semifinals to Argentina on PKs in Naples, 94 when they lost the finals to Brazil on PKs, 98 when they lost the quarterfinals to France on PKs, and 02 when lost the round of 16 to South Korea in the last minute of overtime (after one of their own goals was incorrectly not counted). But this time, history didn't repeat itself.
Back in 1990 I was given an Azzurri jersey as a gift which I wore during all the games listed above. I really didn't know if I should bring it out this year. But the unlucky jersey was finally lucky. The jersey is now retired. For fun, I should send it to the FIGC and ask them to give me an honory number (I'll take 7 or 8 please) and a new official jersey (stitched letters please) WITH MY NAME ON THE BACK! If anyone has contacts there, please let me know. I think they'll like the 3 o's in my last name.
Thank you Azzurri! Now, let's get one more and tie Brazil. That's what really matters.
The unbelievable Zidane drama deserves a few links:
- Materazzi who was knocked down is quite the personality (amazing video of pain)
- What did he say to Zidane? I find it impossible that they can read his lips over the video. But I do love this quote from Materazzri in his own defense: I’m ignorant. I don’t even know what the word means.
- But thanks you Zidane for missing the easy header in OT. The ideal end for me would have been to watch him get subed out late after an Italy blow out in order to let the fans cheer for him. But life is not perfect. And he showed that he's only human.
- Zidane's must-see greatest moments: easily the best player of the past 20 years (compare him with Ronaldinho)