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Monday, July 10, 2006

et tu zidane?

so the world cup has ended. Football fever is over. Zidane has retired. After a beautiful flowing balletic performance against Brazil where he showed everyone what football could be like, Zidane could not sustain the enthusiasm against Italy. He probably felt that he didnt need to put up with this any longer, and any opponent who tweaked his nipple would have to pay for it. Also it was a deadened game, the Italians defending with 11 men in the goal and doggedly holding out for the penalty shootout. Zidane gave it his best, almost getting the winner when his header was just barely tipped over the crossbar by the Italian goalkeeper, Buffon.

What a display though. What a team. Beautiful passing, stout clean straightforward attacks. Sharp tough defending, clever and skilful midfield, ceaselessly running wingers, the panther like henry prowling upfront. This was truly a worthy team to play your last game with. They produced the few moments of brilliance in the final and a fairer world would have seen them win. However it was not to be. Italian football needed a boost and thats what it got. May the show go on. But you will never see the likes of Zidane again. Someone who grew up in the rough part of Marseille, a child of immigrants, a serious man who honed his craft in the toughest leagues in the world.

as he says in his own words " 'It's hard to explain but I have a need to play intensely every day, to fight every match hard,' he told me. 'And this desire never to stop fighting is something else I learnt in the place where I grew up. And, for me, the most important thing is that I still know who I am. Every day I think about where I come from and I am still proud to be who I am: first, a Kabyle from La Castellane, then an Algerian from Marseille, and then a Frenchman.'"

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