Mon, July 10th 2006

World Cup losers

A tournament to forget for some...

The World Cup finals can make and break reputations. Who has come off worst this time around.

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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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Sun, July 9th 2006

Team of the tournament

The best 11 players of World Cup 2006

Five Italians, three French make up my team of the tournament. As could be expected from a team conceding just 1 goal (an own goal, at that) on the way to the final, the Italians make up the majority of the defence.


Fri, July 7th 2006

...and the worst bits of the tournament

The worst moments of Germany 2006


Ok, I’m English, and I’m bitter, but the sight of the Portugese players throwing themselves to the ground was frankly embarrassing. And then having the gaul to complain about the referee after the France game. 4 and a half hours of football without a goal before finally beging defeated.

Portugal vs Holland

Two teams and a referee making a mockery of football. I nearly put this game in the best bits, as it was fascinating to watch, but the sight of 2 incredibly talented teams trying to out-cheat each other is a sight I hope not to see again soon.


Ronaldinho arrived at the World Cup aiming to cement his place amongst the greats of Maradonna and Pele. Instead returned home a fallen hero, anonymous in all Brazil’s 5 games. Overshadowed by Ronaldo (there’s a fat joke there somewhere…)

Sepp Blatter/FIFA

The usual raft of idiotic quotes from Blatter through the tournament. The decision not to allow video evidence and to encourage bookings led to a cheat’s charter.

The dull knock out stages

Of the 14 knockout games to date (excluding the final) the good games could be counted on one hand.

Argentina’s antic after defeat by Germany

What action FIFA will take I’m not sure, but Argentina’a behaviour after losing on penalties was outrageous. Argentina oozed class early in the tournament, but became arrogant and seemed to believe they deserved to win without performing.

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Highlights of the tournament

The best moments of Germany 2006

Cannavarro against Germany

A perfect display of defending by the Italian. Never rushed, always tried to play football and great commitment to the side in his 99th appearance for the Azzuri.

Zidane against Brazil

After France took the lead, Zidane took control of the game giving the Brazillians a masterclass of skill. Always available for a pass and never gave the ball away, denying Brazil a chance to build any kind of pressure.

England vs Paraguay - the first 5 minutes

For 5 minutes England fans were able to believe we had a world beating team. A feeling that had deteriorated before full-time, unfortunately.


Partly for the comedy factor, partly for his acheivement of become top World Cup scorer of all time.

Like an overweight, Sunday league player, he often looked anything but a top class professional footballer, but the flashes of his ability that he showed (when he didn’t have to move) brought back fond memories of his better days. Despite his immobility he was far from being the worst Brazillian forward.

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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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Wed, July 5th 2006

Italy dump out hosts in game of the tournament

Italy 2 - Germany 0

After a raft of uninspired knock-out phase matches, the hosts Germany and Italy fought out one of the most exciting semi-finals of all time, and restored the reputation of the World Cup.

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Mon, July 3rd 2006

England crash out on penalties again

England 0 - Portugal 0 (Portugal win on penalties)

England lose in the quarter finals (again) on penalties (again) to Portugal (again). The inquest started immediately with the prime villains being Eriksson, Rooney and Ronaldo.

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