Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Post game high

Today's game importance does not reside in its actual performance. By any means it was not one of the great games of the tournament. Good enough, plenty of tension, but nothing as scintillating as the France Brazil, or the Argentina Mexico to name two of the half dozen games that we will carry in memories for a few weeks, perhaps even to the Eurocup in two years.

There were two pictures among the ones that offered the FIFA site. The first one is a picture of Lilian Thuram and Cristiano Ronaldo. Arguably the two great players of today and a fitting symbol of the old departing generation and the coming young one.

This next picture is the post game embrace of Zidane and Figo, the two greats of the Real Madrid, the two great ones of their countries (France in 1998, Eurocup 2000, Portugal Eurocup 2004), forced by fate to clash in the game of their lives, before their retirement. A departing look at a decade of Football. Thanks for the memories guys!

No, the real importance of today's game is its implication:

**A new final pairing. France Italy happens for the first time in a final of World Cup (it did happen in the Eurocup 2000). Even if France does not win next Sunday, it will mean the defintive break of the lock that Brazil, Argentina, Germany and, well, Italy had on that final pairing.

The French victory at home in 1998 is finally vindicated. The "dark legend" circulating since 1998, including Ronaldo being drugged so as to allow France to win, is finally put to rest. If the French did it with an elderly team, surely they could have done it with a much fresher team 8 years ago.

**But more important than anything, Zidane is one step away from Football immortality. If next Sunday he is the one carrying the trophy he will enter into history of Futbol next to Pele and Beckenbauer, on an equal footing with them. It is just about time to bring a new hero to the game.

This being said.

CNN reports that the Champs Elysees are a huge party again.

Le Monde has its own photo gallery of their favorite moments of the game. In all modesty Le Monde allows itself to glorify Zidane with the following title "The Zidane's Bleus reward themselves with a dream finale". Well, yes, he shot the penalty score but this was not the game to leonize Zidane.

And now, to get ready for next Sunday where amazingly the two least favorites of the favorites will be the ones playing. Quico and myself did trash them enough in the past weeks, but I am pretty sure that I can write for both of su saying that we sure are glad to have been proven wrong.