Monday, July 10, 2006

fallen but still best

One of my reticent sportsmen has fallen from grace. After playing well in yesteday's World Cup final with Italy, he committed an outrageous foul in the final moments and was sent off. As the world knows, Italy eventually won on penalty shots.

Today, FIFA, the association that oversees professional soccer, named Zizane best player of the Cup by vote of football journalists. Story here.

Reda Maher of Eurosport gives a concise account of the foul.
Domenech doesn't blame Zidane
Eurosport - Reda Maher - 10/07/2006 08:45


France coach Raymond Domenech does not blame Zinedine Zidane's moment of madness for costing them victory in the World Cup final on Sunday. Zidane was rightly sent-off for violent conduct in extra-time after headbutting Italy defender Marco Materazzi.

"There a moments, when you take blows for 80 minutes, I'm not saying I'm excusing it but I can understand," Domenech told reporters after the match.

Quite what the maverick coach "understands" only he knows.

Zidane turned round after walking away from Materazzi before launching a flying assault into the chest of the Inter centre-back that stunned Italy's players and bench.

The two had completed what initially seemed to be a light-hearted exchange of words before the now-retired former Juventus and Real Madrid star snapped.

One can only assume that Materazzi final words pushed the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship winner over the edge, although there can be no excuse for the reaction, which was unquestionably deliberate.

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