"I held his shirt for a few seconds only, then he turned round and spoke to me, sneering," the Italian defender told the newspaper. "He looked me up and down, arrogantly and said: 'If you really want my shirt, I'll give it to you afterwards.'"
So watching the World Cup Final was kind of a lose-lose situation; I am really not a fan of Italian soccer, on account of their dramatized dives and defensive oriented play. On the other hand, although I like Thierry Henry (despite his own ridiculous dives) and Zidane, I really can't think of a situation where I would ever cheer for France. I mean come on - for Fuck's sake - it's fuckin' France.
I found myself on my street corner, where there is a French Bistro and an Italian restaurant directly across the street from one another. There was a plethora of people pouring out into the street outside of each place, with open air, perfect weather, and multiple TV's. I started out at the Italian place, I Tre Merli, enjoying their plasma screen tuned to the Spanish broadcast.
I later joined my friend Rony across the street at Les Deux Gamins, where I quickly came to the conclusion: "I guess I'm cheering for a power outage in Germany. Is it possible for no one to win?"
Still, the atmosphere was tremendous - with groans of anticipation and relief trading back and forth between the two places as shots were fired and attacks denied. Deciding the world's most important sporting event by something as arbitrary as penalty kicks is a complete travesty - as overtimes progress, they should remove players from each team, first 9v9, then 7v7 after 15 minutes, until someone scored. Anything but the arbitrary pk's.
As Italy clinched the Cup, I Tre Merli erupted, as the French sulked across the street. Good sports that they were, several of the French fans came over and doused the Italians with their celebratory Champagne which was now for naught, as the Italians sipped Prosecca (that's Italian for "Champagne" - I think).
Overall, I'd give this World Cup a solid C+/B-. The games pretty much sucked, but at least they were on at relatively normal hours, as long as you had access to a TV at work. FIFA has a lot of work to do cleaning up the dives that seem to have taken over the game.
until next time,