Friday, June 30, 2006

Zizou's Last Hurrah?

While, seemingly, all the world wants Brazil in the final of the World Cup, open your heart for the old man of French football, Zinedine Zidane. The French spent 6 World Cup matches (3 and out in 2002 and 3 uninspiring group matches this time round, although the referee hurt their efforts v. Korea) sleepwalking, only to come awake v. Spain in the Round of 16 in midweek.
This is a dangerous side, with young talents like Henry, Ribery and Trezeguet complementing old hands such as Zidane, Makelele, Barthez and Thuram. Domenech might easily be the worst coach left in this Cup, but Les Bleus have the talent to win in spite of him. Are they coming up against a Brazilian buzzsaw? Hardly! With better finishing, Ghana could have made a game of that the other day.
Two key men on Saturday: For France, the calming influence but steely heart of Vieira will be crucial, while the Brazilans must finally see a stellar performance from Ronaldinho. Either way, this one goes to extra time ...