Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

If Bridge left Chelsea……

Chelsea’s Left back Wayne Bridge should stop feeling insecure of his spot given the blues’ new signing Khalid Boulahrouz. There is no way that Jose Mourinho would let Bridge go from Stamford Bridge, because if Bridge leaves, then Mourinho would be left only with Stamford…. And since they do not own any player with the name Stamford, it would effectively mean that Chelsea would be left without a home arena

I am hungry!!!!


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The last couple of days have been really tough, and I needed a break… On the lookout for some lighthearted stuff on the net, I ran into a couple of good links.

It is easy to criticise Zizou for his headbutt on Materazzi. This is precisely what everyone is doing. On the flip side, Daniel Davies of the Guardian wonders at the amazing technique of the Zidane headbutt. Read his article and challenge your friends for a headbutt match…

And if you want to know what Materazzi said to provoke Zidane, check this out and ROTFL….

I really needed this!!!

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The Finale

9th July 2006, Berlin, Germany. Match 64 of the FIFA World Cup 2006 – Finals – ITA 1-1 FRA a.e.t 5-3 PSO

Italy -The World Champions

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5th July 2006, Munich, Germany. Match 62 of the FIFA World Cup 2006 – Semifinals – POR 0 : 1 FRA

The second semifinals was not as exciting as the first one was. France scored the lone goal of the match through a penalty kick and the 1998 champions were happy to sit back, absorb the pressure and defend for the rest of the match. The move was a dangerous one, what with Fabien Barthez, one of the worst goalkeepers in the tournament manning the French goal. But ‘Les Bleus’ managed to ward off the occassional surges from the Portuguese and theaterics from Christiano Ronaldo – the most overrated player around – to hold on to the lead. The most striking feature of the match was the manner in which Zidane converted the spot kick. There he was standing on top of the ball, as cool as a cucumber, took one step towards the ball and netted it home. He never looked like missing this one. Zizou is back in form. Though he can no way be remembered as a Maradona or a Pele, he does deserve his place alongside the Platinis, Rijkaards and Linekars. That his final international match is a World Cup final is a fitting tribute to the legend.

Figo had the hair, but Zidane had the flair….

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ITA vs GER Moments

Grosso’s goal

Del Piero in action

Sorrow and Ecstasy

The jubiliant Azzurri

The despondent German heroes: Klinsmann and Klose

Buffon – Champion at the Italian Goal

Jens Lehmann at the other end was not far behind, unfortunate to end up in the losing side

Pirlo – The FIFA Player of the Match

The impregnable Cannavaro was the Player of the Match, thinks me…..

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What a game!!!!

4th July 2006, Dortmund, Germany Match 61 of the FIFA World Cup 2006 – Semifinals – GER 0 : 2 ITA (after 120 minutes of nerve wracking football)

The magnificient stadium at Dortmund

What a game it turned out to be. Before the WC started not many gave a chance to both these teams. Italy torn apart by the club scandal back home and Germany suffering from poor form, which almost cost Klinsmann his job. But during the course of the finals, both teams managed to stamp their class on the tournament and the Germans were considered favourites, following their mind-blowing run in this World Cup. Very little seperated the tewo teams, and it was an even contest al the way. Most of the fascinating battle took place in the midfield. But there were some great attacks by both teams, The Azzurri getting the better of the opportunities, and hitting the bar twice. It all seemed to be heading towards the penalties, and it seemed like it was going to be one of those days when Italy were not just destined to be. They were playing in front of the partisan crowd, created chances, but failed to convert them, unlucky at times and to top it all unlike the Germans, they had a terrible record in WC penalties. But Fabio Grosso had other ideas. With just 3 minutes of the final extra time left, he drilled a terrific Pirlo pass into the net from an angle. What a goal!!!! With it sank the German hopes… To dress it up, Del Piero made it 2-0 in Italy’s favour in the last minute of injury time. Italy are through to the finals. Germans, coached by the energetic Klinsmann played their heart out and deserve a third place.

‘To win in front of such a partisan crowd is something to tell your grandchildren about. We’ll concentrate on the Final now. We want to win it!’ – Luca Toni

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The Greatest Show on Earth

Widely touted as the Greatest Show on Earth, the FIFA Football World Cup 2006 got off to a cracking opening on Friday. Many feel that watching a UEFA Champions League would make for more interesting viewing, since the players gel more with their teammates at their respective clubs where they play throughout the calender, year after year than with their country teammates, with whom they play more often as rivals rather than mates. Though it a valid argument that should be accepted and also the teams are more equally balanced at the club level and the real action in the World Cup starts only after the first round of group matches get over, the sheer passion of the fans makes the WC special.

Few could have asked for a better match to kick off the WC, with Germany taking on Costa Rica. Costa Rica have traditionally been good competitors in the WC finals and here they gave Germans a lot to think about. Its a known fact that defense was Germany’s weakest link, but inspite of winning 4-2, Friday’s match clearly exposed them and they need to do a lot better if they dream of matching up against tougher opponents. England seem to have a much more balanced side, but even they were a bit unconvincing against Paraguay. But there is something in this English side that makes them a hot favourite for lifting the trophy a second time after 1966.

Brazil, France and Italy are yet to play, but call it anti-incumbency or whatever, I somehow have the gut feeling the Brazil would not be winning this time round. Italy especially would be the team to watch out for. The fact that they are ranked a lowly 13 makes them all the more dangerous, though they will be missing the services of the irreplaceable God of Italian football, Paulo Maldini. They missed out on penalties during 1994 and 1998 and were done in by the referee in 2002. This might just be Italy’s WC. So if I am asked to pick a winner, it would be a tough call between Italy, Argentina and England. But who knows, the unpredictable nature of the sport might just pop up an unexpected winner. Lemme know your pick for the winner, and as they say, let the game be the winner :)).

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