Once again, supremely disappointing. Barely squeaking out a victory against a French team without it’s two best shooters in a penalty shootout. The interesting part was how France found itself in the shootout without its captain and national hero; Zidane headbutted Materazzi which resulted in a red card and his ejection from the game. The circumstances of what happened are unknown, but I’m certain that Materazzi did whatever it took to provoke Zidane into action. It’s not unlike the Italian team, which breaks as many rules as it can get away with to achieve victory, whether it be by diving like submarines, feigning injury, or hitting another player when they’re down on the ground. Check out these youtube videos for some examples of how vicious and dirty Materazzi is: video one video two
Here’s a great capture of the Zidane headbutt:
I’m glad that the Finals didn’t resort to Italy vs Portugal, which would have been an invariably dirtier game. I remain disappointed that some of the more elegant teams couldn’t make it to the finals to compete with France, but uncertainty is at the heart of World Cup. See you in four years, soccer.