The movie theater a block from my house was packed full for the free viewing of the final yesterday (so I watched the full game on my couch). The soccer was good, but the plot lines that preceded and followed each match is what I'll miss. Watching the Italian's steal the cup on penalty kicks was a sour finish. At least Zidane and the French made it a good game. I agree with the journalists that voted Zidane the Cup's best player. He was great to watch, but more so a super story.
Zidane's goal for Les Bleus put them up 1-0 early. It was his 31st in 108 appearances, and fifth in the World Cup. His head butt (if you missed it CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE) and subsequent red card will be my #1 memory from this World Cup. The French sports daily L'Equipe wrote (you can use google's translation to read): "This morning, Zinedine, what do we tell our children, and all those for whom you were the living role model for all times?" Its front-page headline: "Eternal Regrets." L'Equipe addressed it editorial directly to Zidane, comparing his best World Cup moments to boxer Muhammad Ali's heroics in the ring. "But neither Ali, nor Pele, nor (Jesse) Owens, nor any other great hero of their standing — the standing that you were on the verge of joining — ever broke the most elementary rules of sport like you did," the paper wrote. "It was your last image as a soccer player, Zidane. How could that happen to a man like you?" Maybe the translation from French is off, but the reaction is borderline hilarious >
The blow of head asséné by Zinédine Zidane in Marco Materazzi was the fact of the match of the finale of the World cup gained by Italy. Sunday, even its team-members did not know why their captain had gone crazy. The contents of the conversations between players and journalists after the final of the World cup confirmed a famous theory. To be placed in the middle of the event is not the best way of including/understanding it. Unless silence surrounding the cold heavy bleeding of Zidane, to start with that of the interested party, is the last episode in date of the retention of information issued since of the weeks between the Blue ones and the external world. What did it occur in the head from Zidane, an animal of 34 years competition, so that it decides, after a few seconds of reflexion, to condemn itself to a red paperboard while sinking in the thorax of its guardian angel, like small excited in a match of districts? Jean-Pierre Escalettes does not even want the knowledge. “Let us put at the place people. One should not criticize without stop, it is necessary to try to include/understand, indicated the president of the FFF. In the cloakroom, I saw it sad in his corner. I was not going to go to stir up the knife in the wound. I did not speak to him, I tightened to him the hand for services rendered to French football. It is damage, and sad especially. It is unhappy, it should be left quiet.” Escalettes “does not excuse” the gesture of the tricolour captain but “it does not blame it”. “That arrived to us on other levels, there it is finally of the World cup, but let us not shoot at the artist.”
Want more Zidane? Check out the head butting game (some cheeky European must have thrown this together real fast) or the collection of soccer player portraits by Mathias Breschler and Monika Fischer called Faces of Football (that includes Zidane).