The whole world's watching...

Good sense makes a man slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11)

Taylor and I have been watching the World Cup together, but I missed the final match between France and Italy. The next day Taylor gave me an ahem blow-by-blow and I asked him to write up a post for the blog. Here 'tis:

Although many of you probably did not even know that it was going on, the World Cup in Germany this year has been filled with many surprises. The drama included everything from first-time participant Ghana defeating power-house Czech Republic 2-0, to Trinidad and Tobago's coach quitting the night before their first game, then returning the following day.

On July 9th, the final game was fought between France and Italy. The French team's captain was superstar Zinedine Zidane, well known for his ball-handling skills and leadership. He is easily the best French soccer player ever and had led France to the 1998 World Cup title.

Although he's nearly thirty-five now, and announced before this World Cup that he would retire as soon as it ended, he's still an amazing player. After scoring on a penalty kick by audaciously chipping it into the top netting just seven minutes into the game, it looked like all was going well for Zidane and his French mates.

However, just 10 minutes later Italy struck with a header that evened the score at 1-1. After 80 more minutes of play the game was still tied, resulting in two fifteen minute overtime periods (not sudden death). In the second overtime Zidane's career would come to an astonishing end.

After exchanging some words with an Italian player, he turned around and viciously head-butted him in the chest resulting in Zidane receiving a red card and being ejected. This meant his team had to play a man down and Zidane himself had to leave the field for the locker room.

This football great ended his career in front of over a billion people in a shameful way and was unable even to come out after the game to receive his second place medal. As proof of his new legacy, his Wikipedia entry already includes a video and pictures of this incident.

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:32)

Comments

Dear Taylor:

I didn't get to read a detailed report of Zidane's comments about the head-butt. It was something about the Italian guy insulting his family. What exactly did ZZ say?

Dear Taylor:

Excellent job. Having now also heard your oral description of this event, I can say with confidence that your post maintains accuracy, brevity, and clarity. I was once a copy editor for the sports section of a (school) newspaper, so I can testify how difficult it often is to find interesting and elegant sports writing. Keep it up.

Warmly,

Josh

David,

In a French talk show, Zidane said that the Italian had said something about his wife and sister. He also said that he does not regret what he did but is very sorry to all of the children that saw it. He said that he would have rather the Italian punch him in the face than say what he said. The interview is somewhere on youtube.com, but I'm not sure where.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woe94VRy1aw&search=zidane%20interview

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