Friday, June 30, 2006

Germany vs. Argentina - Oh My...

Arguably the two best teams of the tournament so far will play two-teams-enter-one-team-leaves today. Oh my! I'm so excited about this one I've just about gotten over the Five Stages of Grief brought on by that Spain debacle (could you tell I was on Anger yesterday?)

Today's game should, by any reasonable calculation, be flat out fantabulous. Just to warm you up I'll link to this intriguing analysis in The Guardian making the case that Argentina are just too good for the hosts. The guy thinks Philipp Lahm is a terrible defender and Argentina will exploit his woes. We'll see...

The Guardian also runs this endearing profile on Maxi "La Fiera" Rodríguez - the silent-but-deadly Argentina midfielder who suddenly burst into worldwide acclaim with his spectacular left-foot volley goal against Mexico. La Fiera quips that he usually only uses his left foot to get on the bus. Fun read...

Meanwhile, Italy face Ukraine in a state of even more melodramatic than usual disarray. Four top Italian teams (Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina and Milan) - clubs where 14 out of the 22 Azurri play - are facing relegation over the Calciopoli corruption scandal. Former Azurri have taken to jumping off of tall buildings in dispair. And that's before they lose. Lippi has played a different attacking set-up in each game yet - suggesting Erikssonesque levels of indecision. Amid all this disarray, could Ukraine pull off the upset this tournament has been crying out for?

Oh, and just so it doesn't fall too far down on the page, here's that poll again:

Who do you think will win the World Cup

Current results


Anonymous mumin said...

Brilliantly written! It's good to see you're back from the valley of despair.

I'll have to leave work early today. There's no way I'm gonna miss the Argentinian - Teutonian bout.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Francisco said...

Agreed - this is one game worth getting fired for...

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't agree with your call on the Ukraine-Italy game being the upset of the Cup. I think the upset already happened: Spain losing to France. The only bigger upset could be France clipping the nails of the sambaboys.

Reason the Italy Ukraine isn't important: few expectations that either could get by the winner of today's monster clash between the Argies and the Germans. It should be a beauty. Definately worth getting fired over (as long as it's not me geting the axe...)

8:51 AM  
Blogger ow said...

Even I'm paying two hours of hooky from work for this one.

Should be a great game. I think homefield advantage will be enough for Germany to eek out a victor. And if the refs are going to make some bad calls they will probably be to Germany's advantage

10:04 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...


Good to see that you are back when I am too busy to keep up. And guess what, I WILL BE MISSING THAT GAME; THE FINAL BEFORE THE FINAL ACCORDING TO MY OWN WORDS SOMEWHERE. And I do not work in a tall building where I could jump off, azurri style.

The problem is that as a semi-boss I would have to fire myself. In front of the people I supervise I can only paly hookie for France: they do understand and will not hold it against me.

Still, I have set a TV in one hallway, with sound at low level so we do not hear anything except of the overloud "goooooooooooolaaazo Maltin Polar" and then we all rush to watch the score. Of course, there is an inordinate amount of coffee breaks at game's time, people somehow stopping for a couple of minute to watch the action. Me included. A compromise that has worked surprisingly well, everyone is reasonably happy, even when Brazil has been playing.

Fortunately thanks to direct TV you can have replays so I will have to settle for a replay tonight.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

It doesn't look like for Ukraine fulfilling your wish. It's 3-0 for Italy now. It seems Italian bashers will have two more games to whine about. Congratulations!

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

By the way. Don't bother writing about the game, even if it isn't finished I already know what you think. Italy scored an early good goal, then close down on the back, and even though Ukraine tried and tried, they couldn't beat Buffon and the Italian defense (which is made of youngster but still good). And Italy on the counter attack finished Ukraine off. You wish Italy would attack more, blah blah blah... Similar to what you wrote in the Ukraine-Spain, no? You are so predictable :-P

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo Octavio said...

Forza Italia!

I hope every Brazilian lover Italian detractor gets the government they deserved! Wait, I already wished that 12 years ago...

P.S. Daniel, it's time to buy a Digital Video Recorder.

4:47 PM  

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