Monday, July 10, 2006

Last Sports Post

Shop window in the Marais. Amusing because this is a predominately gay area and I would be willing to bet the majority of the inhabitants could care less about sports.

Well the French lost in a very anti-climatic or underwhelming (semi quote stolen from my friend Dan) game. All the surprising and recent support of their fellow countrymen didn't help Les Bleus. Paris was in a state of frenzy yesterday in preparation for the game. There were tons of French flags for sale at all the clothing stands around the main metro station and everyone was dressed in red, blue and white. This massive display of patriotism is quite unnatural in France so I really liked being able to see it for a change. My friend, Marion, was less than impressed because she felt it was too little too late. I think I agree with her because nobody was cheering for France during the France/Togo match. Nonetheless, it was nice to see French people finally supporting their country.

The match itself was massively disappointing mainly because of what happened in the 110th minute. Zinedine Zidane made what could possibly be argued as the worst mistake of his career. For those of you unfamiliar with him, he is considered one of the best football players ever and French football fans hold him in a type of god-like awe. The match between France/Italy was his last game, his retirement game.

Fans outside a public viewing arena 2 hours before the game began.

Did he go out in a blaze of glory? No, he violently head-butted an Italian opponent, Marco Materazzi. Physically unprovoked, Zidane turned around and hit Materazzi so hard in the chest that the Italian player fell down. I don't care what was said between the two players, Zidane's aggressive physical attack was shocking and repulsive. I have had a bunch of nasty stuff said to me and I don't remember ever reacting with violence. Zidane ended his career with an explusion from a World Cup final game and to top it off his team ended up losing. Now he has to answer the questions of whether or not the French would have won if he had played the game to the end.

Honestly, after seeing Zidane act in such a way, it was hard to cheer for the French. I think Zidane knocked the breath out of all the French fans as well. It was like a giant balloon deflating. I think the Italians deserved to win after that incident.

Nobody seems to know why or what caused him to do this, but I think his behavior was shameful! The French commentators even said, "Why Zidane, why?" After leaving the game, he did not return to accept the second place medal or to stand with his team. A continuation of his nasty behavior, or embarrassment? Who knows, but I thought it was reprehensible to act the way he did and then refuse to come out and be with his teammates. The French fans may not want to say it, so I will: Shame on you, Zidane for disappointing your teammates and your fans.

11 comments:

D said...

I was actually wondering if he is planning to talk to the press and maybe give everyone an idea as to what happened. A public apology might not be such a bad idea either.

Fancy Laces said...

I'm rather impressive by the World Cup. I do not watch WC at all, but the sports news find a way to reach me through blogs, and even my friends' MSN personal message.

Angela in Europe said...

d-I hope so. I was just so shocked! How could he do that in his last game??? I really did have a hard time cheering for the team afterwards; they played so hard for what?? To see their captain, the "heart of the team" get booted out in shame.

Flora-thanks for visiting. I have never watched the WC either, but I loved it this year.

Lotus Reads said...

I was terribly shocked and disappointed too. I think they owe it to the fans to let us know what exactly provoked Zidane into that violent headbutt - at this time there so many questions and too few answers.

Moment said...

I agree so much. My jaw dropped watching that. I still think Italy should have won. Not because I'm a huge fan, just because I believe they deserved it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela!

How are you? It's ok being back in Germany, though I miss France (Paris, not Cergy ;-)).
I can imagine the mood in Paris at the end of the worldcup final. Homestly, I don't understand why Zidane did that!? Is there any explanation in the french media?

Ok, take care and good luck in France! Say hello to everybody and every place I know (well, except Carine...).
And if you should ever be in Germany, just come and say hello, ok?

Bye,
Eva

Anonymous said...

Hi Angela!

How are you? It's ok being back in Germany, though I miss France (Paris, not Cergy ;-)).
I can imagine the mood in Paris at the end of the worldcup final. Homestly, I don't understand why Zidane did that!? Is there any explanation in the french media?

Ok, take care and good luck in France! Say hello to everybody and every place I know (well, except Carine...).
And if you should ever be in Germany, just come and say hello, ok?

Bye,
Eva

bernadette said...

You are in the eye of the WC storm! An odious act of violence, indeed! It appears that an investigation will take place...

Julie said...

It seemed like a sad end to a great career.

Beaman said...

Apparently Zidane's mother had been taken ill earlier in the day and was in hospital. Materazzi, during the match proceeded to insult his mother. Whether he knew about the previous incident or not, I don't know. Therefore it is understandable why Zindane reacted in that way, although not excusable.

Paris is a wonderful city, I lived there for a while myself. I found the French people marvellous. Sad about the French defeat, they deserved the victory, not Italy.

Anonymous said...

beaman...you were for France because Italy magnificently defeated Germany. Great games!