Thu, March 27th 2008

From: BBC - Capello’s optimism masks reality on England’s lacklustre performance against France:

As one Italian observer remarked, perhaps cruelly: “England do not just need an Italian coach - they need an Italian team.”



Thu, August 9th 2007

Rangers are set to sign French striker Daniel Cousin for $1.5 million. Cousin is so unpopular with his current club Lens’ fans that he now only plays in away games.

The first signs that he might get the move he craves came when Lens agreed he would no longer have to play in their home matches.

Cousin has been given a torrid time by Lens fans and insists fears over his own safety sparked an unusual request to be used in away games only.


From: The Daily Record



Mon, November 6th 2006

Ronaldinho heads FIFPro poll of 40,000 players

Italians and French dominate best eleven

Barcelona and Brazil’s Ronaldinho has been named the world’s top player for the second time in succession in FIFPro’s poll of over 40,000 players worldwide.

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Fri, August 25th 2006

France coach Raymond Domenech has warned Chelsea’s Claude Makelele he risks a two-game club ban if he fails to report for the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The 33-year-old is in France’s squad for games against Georgia and Italy, despite announcing his retirement after the World Cup final loss to Italy.

From: BBC



Fri, July 21st 2006

Materazzi banned for Zidane insult

FIFA set dangerous precedent

FIFA have announced that Italy defender Materazzi will receive a £2,170 fine and 2 game suspension, and Zidane a £3,260 fine and 3 game ban.

In choosing to punishing the ‘victim’ nearly as strongly as the perpetrator, FIFA have given players a who commit serious foul play a dangerous ‘get out’ by allowiing provocation to be blamed. In Zidane’s case, the provocation does not even seem that great - a verbal insult - that the player must have heard countless times through his career.

FIFA’s attempts (however weak) to remove racism from the game on and off the pitch should be encouraged, but when it transpired that the abuse Materazzi hurled at Zidane was not racist, there seems little grounds for his punishment.

If Materazzi can consider himself unlucky, Zidane must be very pleased. Rooney received an almost equivalent penalty for his red card against Portugal. With Zidane retiring after the World Cup final the 3 match ban is irrelevant, and £3,000 pocket money for a top class (and top paid) footballer.

Former Rangers and Everton attacker Duncan Ferguson received a 3 month jail sentence for assault and a 12 game ban from football for a similar head butt on Raith Rovers defender John McStay in 1994.

As the event happened in the World Cup Final, FIFA could be expected to react in one way or another: to set a severe precedent and impose a stringent penalty, or to try and brush the incident under the carpet and forget about it.

Zidane, probably due to his reputation and the fact he has retired, has got away lightly. Materazzi, probably due to his reputation, has not.


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Tue, July 11th 2006

After an exhaustive study of the match video, and with the help of an Italian translator, Rees claimed that Materazzi called Zidane “the son of a terrorist whore” before adding “so just f*** off” for good measure.

From: The Times


Seems to be corroborated here: The Daily Mail


Mon, July 10th 2006

Fifa says video replays played no part in France captain Zinedine Zidane’s dismissal in Sunday’s World Cup final.


Referee Horacio Elizondo acted similarly with Wayne Rooney’s sending off earlier in the tournament. He appeared to be taking no action for some time against Rooney before pulling him aside and showing the red card.

Zidane seemed in no doubt he was guilty. He could be seen taking off his captain’s armband some time before being dismissed, but put it back on after the thinking the officials had missed the incident.




Zinedine Zidane has been awarded the Golden Ball as the best player at the World Cup, despite his sending-off in the final last night.



Zidane red card overshadows Italian triumph

Italy 1 - France 1 (Italy win on penalties)

Zinedine Zidane’s career came to a staggering end as he saw red for his brutal head butt on Italian Materrazi.

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Thu, July 6th 2006

Zidane penalty ends Portugal cup run

France 1 - Portugal 0

After a first half penalty from Zinedine Zidane, France closed down the game with ease to qualify for the second World Cup final.

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