Penalty kicks. I guess it’s a known issue, but still what a terribly unsatisfying way to determine the champion of the world’s most popular sport.

It’s a shame Zinedane wraps up his World Cup career with a head butt. Not that egregious fouls by Italians are unknown in World Cup competition, either.

Here’s hoping that 2010 will see a winner crowned on the field.

26 thoughts on “Hmph

  1. The Azzurri deserved it. Great control. Fabulous penalty finishing.

    Viva Italia!

    PS: Yeah Zizou lost it. Question is what did Matarazzi say to him? Obviously enough to provike a minute of madness.

  2. Yeah, I wonder what it was that Matarazzi said to provoke Zidane to do such a thing. The game was amazing before that incident took place.

  3. Over at The Guardian’s running gameblog, they said that Matarazzi pinched Zidane’s nipple.

    If anything deserves a headbutt to the xiphoid process…

  4. I actually didn’t even feel like continuing to root for France after Zidane’s headbutt. Then again, I’ve seen harsher reactions to nipple twists…

  5. Karl-Friedrich Lenz has a good idea on his blog at on penalty kicks. He proposes that they could be shot before, instead of after the match, so that at any point on the game one of the teams would have a tleast an advantage.

  6. >The Azzurri deserved it.

    Yes they did. (I don’t care what someone said to Zidane, that was simply an astonishing lapse in judgment. With your entire team and country hanging on your actions, and in a game so close and down to the wire. I can’t believe it.)

    And Buffon was The Man.

  7. “Obviously enough to provike a minute of madness.” Tribal dispute? Yo daddy’s third wife fucked a camel? “Italians” vs. the “French”? African colonial wars is more like it. Ugg Ugg. Zug zog. Me kick ball…

  8. The better team won!

    Italy was the most consistent team during the competition and won even without its star player, Totti, visibly absent from the World Cup.

    Forza Italia!

  9. Italy is worst. Cynical and ugly football crowned by the players flinging racist provocations. Must mention a gigantic corruption scandal and hard racism at home league matches too. And the match itself wasn’t really high class either. Thumb down, oh caesar.

  10. They should change the rules to something like Irish or Australian rules football – extend the left and right goalposts up over the net and give one point for kicking it between them over the net, and three points for a goal in the net.

    It would reward ball control and shots on goal and end these arbitrary and referee driven results.

  11. >it would reward…shots on goal

    observer 5, you must be thinking about that try just before Ribery was sent out in minute 99. If so, I do agree that that was a valiant, focused and thoughtful attempt, in what must have been a weary moment for him.

  12. IMHO ‘they’ ought to make the goals bigger in size. After all the average size of the human body has also increased since the rules were codified, making the job too easy for the goalies. Maybe 20-30 cm to sides and up, that should do.

  13. Amsterdamsky, how impressive isn’t it that a third-rate neanderthal like you can actually type! Or did you have your mommy/wet nurse help you?

  14. I think we all knew well about it and still hopes that a champion’s worth should not be decided by this. We can’t solely blame Zinedane for his rude behaviour the actual thing is Matarazzi forced him to react in this manner as he said wrong words to him!!

  15. We can’t solely blame Zinedane for his rude behaviour

    Yes we can.

    In any case, why penalty kicks and not an ongoing reduction of players on the field?

  16. Actually, M’s comment was a one of familial nature. Z asserts M said something bad about his mother (which Z had just found out that day was in the hospital) and his sister. M says M didn’t say anything about the mother — no word on the sister. M is not a saint — although neither is Z, who has a history of headbutting — but M’s mother died when he was 15 so he does consider the mother fairly sacred. -shrug-

    Anyway, no one, including Z, has said anything about nipple pinching, terrorist, or racial slurs.

    Allegedly is for tabloids.

  17. That’s one of the many rumors, I’d say… I didn’t see a confirmation yet.

    Zidane was nevertheless celebrated today… in France!!

  18. I agree that Italian football has its negatives. However, it takes skill and not a little character to win a world cup, and the Azzurri demonstrated both.

    Doug Merrill has had good comments on the tournament, but even those of us who aren’t gaga about Italian footie have to take pause in the face of their almost supernatural defensive abilities. Cannavaro is in a class of his own. Fabio Grosso not only defends well but also creates opportunities up front.

    Some of us understandably have qualms about rooting for Italy for reasons that are more political than sports related. The term “forza Italia” was appropriated by Berlusconi, and so even some Italian fans prefer to say “forza Azzurri”.

    When all’s said and done though, the Italian side showed a dogged determination to get to the top and they combined that determination with an ability to execute penalty kicks.

    It was a very entertaining tournament, and the Germans did a superb job.

  19. Sad….the further the clock ticks into his future, Zidane will be remembered more for is exit from his football (soccer) career, than his skill.

  20. Most soccer players are candy-assed anyway. I’ve seen worse head butts in Little League games.

    If he’d tried to butt like that in a hockey game, he’d have run into an elbow going the other way.

  21. “Football, as any sport, is but a game, Personal honor, if it was at stake, is not a game.” So Zidane noways showed a game spirit, shame on him for his weird headbutt.

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