This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Culture, Germany, Life and tagged , , by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

22 thoughts on “Italy?!?

  1. But why? They dared to attack, scored two somptuous goals and thoroughly deserved the win (even though it doesn’t make me happy).

  2. The Italians were better today at both complaining and football. Re the latter, their short passing game was exceptional. They have great confidence in their ability to move the ball around in tight spaces and it finally resulted in the winning goal. Not my team (Netherlands and Spain, in that order), but they deserved to win. France is the big favourite tomorrow but Portugal could surprise us once again.

  3. Did you ever notice that 14 or the 18 World Cups, including this one, will have been won by Romance-speaking countries?

  4. Except for the last 120 seconds…

    (Don’t mind me, I’m much more cross than any of the Germans I’ve met today. And Italy did flop less than usual. And they did dominate in extra time. And they did go for it with an attacking roster. But still: bleh.)

    I’m hoping that Portugal will win it all, and a new country will be admitted to the charmed circle of World Cup champions.

  5. Well I live in a city with a large Portuguese-American population, and though I love traveling in Italy and France more than just about anywhere, I have to confess I’m curious to see the celebrations that’ll ensue if Portugal takes it.

    >France is the big favourite tomorrow but Portugal could surprise us once again.

    As far as I’m concerned (though some who follow the game more closely than I felt that Brasil could have been expected to fall), the whole thing has been an upset.

    Italy taking Germany? Portugal (though I do think that Portugal played with the same very conscious passing game as Germany, and with fluidity) taking England?

    What happens tomorrow? This is some s***!

  6. “Bleh”??

    Italy played well and deserved to win a gripping match.

    “Italy taking Germany?” It happened several times before in international tournaments. Italy have always been a “forza”.

  7. In fact, Germany has never defeated Italy in a World Cup match. I don’t know how many meetings there have been over the years, but the tv commentary made much of that fact last night.

    Both sides deserved to win a gripping match, but only one did, so yeah, “bleh.” It’s not rational or magnanimous or anything like that, so it doesn’t really bear talking about more than any other gut reaction.

  8. Wait a minute! Italy did very well and deserved to win the match, no doubt about it. To be honest; Germany sucked in the first place but recovered later. Unfortunately for them not in time.

  9. JAJAJAJAJA… comanla Alemanes trolos!!!!

    Todo no se puede comprar en esta vida!!!!

    Nosotros perdimos pero con orgullo, ustedes perdieron como maricones!!!!

  10. No offense intended from me, Guy, Ko and Ouwe, and actually I don’t share the “bleh” response from Doug. However, as Doug said, it’s an upset as far as World Cups are concerned, although Italy was awesome. It was just unexpected, that was my only point.

    I do feel that the good things I said about Portugal (except the fluidity) go for Germany as well. And as far as gut reactions go, Italy and France are my two favorite countries along with England, so I don’t know who to root for tomorrow. I can’t lose. The team that I disapproved of (the fault-fakers) is already out, as is the team I was rooting for (England) so I have only love for the quarter-finalists. Nothing but love for Italy and France.

    Now, the faults today went mostly against Portugal. However, I am happy that the fault in the 41st minute, where the French player was faulted for hitting the Portuguese player’s foot with his scrotum, didn’t cost the French the game. But that was the ref’s mistake, I think, and the Portuguese played honorably. Jesse, sorry about Portugal. They played very well, and you should be proud of them.

    Buona fortuna, amichi Italiani.

  11. Oh, and when I say the “fault-fakers,” that was one of the teams that went out earlier, not any of the teams I just mentioned. Don’t want to be misunderstood!

    Et bonne chance aussi, mes amis francais.

  12. Bleh, yes. But it’s the most entertaining, skilled, and respectable game I’ve seen Italy play. Still, though, that last minute made me wince. Thoughts of Czech-Greece in ’04.

  13. I’m not a fan of Italian style football. Overly defensive. Yes, no question they are solid … the way a Roman legion is solid when they have all of their sheilds in turtle formation.

    Those two goals that came at the end of the German game were un-Italian. The shooters actually kicked AT the goal. Normally Italian goals are flukey affairs. The result of conspiracies that involve some form of deviancy – dives, ricochets, goal post re-directs, feigned injury etc. The Grosso dive that earned a penalty against the Aussies, was the perfect Italian goal.

    I hope they win against France though for reasons that are more or less prejudiced. Although it is hard to outdo Azzurri aficionados in the arrogance department, I think the French actually DO! Scenes of jubilation in the Champs d’Elysee are more than I can bear to watch. Plus there are rumors that Senegal juju practitioners are hexing the goal posts, in order to give France the edge. Zizou actually claims he heard weird voices in the night summoning him to a promised 2006 victory.

    If I’m being serious though, on current form I think France will take it. My bet is 2-1. But I won’t be cheering.

  14. Congratulations Azzurri!

    Great penalty performance. Yes the defensive play was their key, but they made it work for them when they needed it most.

  15. I think france deserve to win. especially for zidanes last match. the italians were also very aggressive they were taking down all the french players one by one verbally and phisically. italy should not of won the match. france are the better team and always will be!!!

  16. Football is a cruel sport. Sometimes the team with the most flare and the most chances, loses. C’est la vie.

    France played well. They have a beautiful free flow style to their game and if Ziziou had put away that spectacular header in the second half it would have been a French glory game. But he didn’t, and instead head butted Materazzi.

    The Italian defensive play actually looked attractive for once, because they did a superb job at neutralizing the French. A lot of credit has to go to Buffon who made at least two critical saves.

    They earned their victory.

  17. I agree, Buffon won that game. France took more shots on goal I believe, and the attempt before Ribery got sent off in extra time #1 was valiant and could have been it.

    Apparently Materazzi may have grabbed Zidane’s arm, which had been injured earlier, in an attempt to do him over again. If so, that mitigates Zidane’s head-butt in my opinion, which would otherwise have been a stupid mistake, no matter what MM _said_.

  18. I’m imposing on the site’s hospitality a little here, so thanks in advance.

    To any friends who follow my comment, I’m switching to a new nick which I’m sending by email to selected parties. I would have posted this on my blog but I’ve been having a heck of a time keeping my blog on Google. Its brand new and has a low rating and zero links, so the Google crawler has been relegating it to the basement. However you can access it off here by clicking on the url.

    So as of June 16th I’m formally retiring the “Aidan Maconachy” signature.

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