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7/07/2006 02:44:00 PM
Who's the worthy champ?
The hype has nearly run out and the final is just about here. Both teams are great stories: the Italians distracting the world from a disastrous scandal back home, the French battling age to give it one more go and send their captain out a two-time world champion.
So who's going to win? U.S. Under-20 head coach and SI.com contributor Thomas Rongen said France was a dark horse before the tournament started. Can Les Bleus pull one more upset? Or will the Azzurri's punishing defense carry them to their first title since 1982? Let the debate begin.
This is pretty simple! The Italians will win because they must in order to save their reputations at home. From what I here winning the world cup may be the only thing keeping some of them out of jail for gambling illegally. I sure do hope they win because.....damn...being that pretty in jail would stink.
It's funny how media people want France to win simply because Zidane is retiring. That's BS logic to me. No other squad has endured media bashing and pressure from all sides than Italy. They deserve to win it all.
Italy and not for the scandal back home. That's all side story and had nothing to add on the pitch no matter how much credit Lippi gives to that bringing the team together. The reason I pick the Italians is based solely on football terms, i.e. that fascinating encounter with the Germans. It won me over. :-)
I really do hope that Italy wins. They have demonstrated a solid defense that is almost unbreakable. Too bad that Nesta won't be able to play, because it would really be unbreakable. Also Buffon has shown to be one of the best keepers the world has ever seen. I hope Totti steps up his game alot more and lives to his potential. I also wouldn't think it would be a bad idea to place Del Piero in alot ealier in the match. He brings in great stricking/play making skills. He is a leader in goal scoring and most of he brings experiance. I was excited to see him play and watch Italy's momentum rise on Tuesdays game.
But France has also shown some great competition. Especially since Zidane has found his form. With Italy not having Nesta in the rear, I am kind of nervous about the team containing Zidane. But I have my confidence with Cannavaro's defensive execution.
I don't think it is that great of a deal that France beat Brazil. Brazil this year played with an unbalanced line and a sense of cockyness. They were not even close to their best.
But over all this is going to be a great match. One to maybe go down in the history books. We are going to be watching 2 teams that play with alot of emotions and have alot of history competeting against eachother.
Italy will win because they have a deeper bench, an offense that has come alive much more than France, and an absolute rock solid defense. "Why am I supposed to cheer people from a totally corrupt organization that is being taken down for match fixing?" says Anonymous. Forget about the calcio scandal. If you've followed the scandal, none of the Italian players have been implicated in it. None of them are going to jail either (as one post suggested). You can cheer for Italy because they have shown at the very least the same heart and determination throughout the tournament as the French.
Now, France played outstanding against Spain and Brazil. But if you're impressed with their win over Portugal then you've got low standards. They could only manage one measly penalty kick goal against Portugal? That's all? Italy's defence will shut them down. And the Italian midfielders and strikers won't be as forgiving as the Portuguese when Barthez awkwardly bobbles the ball to them. The Azzuri have gotten stronger with every game. Until the FRA-POR semifinal, it seemed that France would do the same. Though it's always a crap shoot, I'd take a team's most recent performance as the best insight into how they'll play the next game. Italy looked better against Germany than France did against Portugal.
hard fought battle by both teams but italy just simply has a better defense and have 11 goals by 10 different players (4 of them coming form the bench) the only peple who can score on buffon are the italians themselves (which wont happen in the finals. italy wins 2-0 GO ITALY!!! number 4
I hope Italy wins. Forza Italia. Given all this excitement, I really believe the final is up for grabs. The Italians, in order to win, must play tough, push on the French defense and keep challenging Barthez (he is getting old and sloppy) and Italy will win. France must open the game through their wings and forget about mid-field control, the Italians will kill them, focus on the wings and counter attacks. Given all this, I still vote for Italia!!!
let us face the realty France won out of luck and not by skills. many of you may agree. I did not see any great skills from France. France has one good player Zidane all the rest are sleeping... I think that the defense and superiority of the Azzurri will determine the game on Sunday.
Player by player, line by line, Italy shall win. Think Buffon vs. Bartez. Think more attacking potential of Italians. But this is pretty thin. If Bartez plays well, the teams are nearly identical. Incredible defence. Strong midfield. Almost carbon-copy lineup. Italians definitely have more potential to strengthen and spark the game. France may fall to fatigue. But this is the final.
On France side, it is the World Cup ghosts that ruled this championships. Let me remind.
1. Spanish luck again. 2. Netherlands loses to Portugal - again. 3. Brazil beaten by French - again. 4. England loses penalties to Portugal - again. 5. Germany falls to Italy - again. 6. Portugal loses to France on Zidane's penalty - again. Will the seveth ghost from the 2000 Euro complete the picture? Will France come back from deficit and than scores to snatch the title from poor Italians? The will be a sign of destiny, for sure...
let us face the realty France won out of luck and not by skills.
In all seriousness, its funny how people can watch the same games and draw such different conclusions.
I totally disagree with. I found the exact opposite to be true. I think Italy has won out of luck, not France.
I won't pretend italy doesn't have skills, they have skill to spare, so does france. Hell, France is composed of some of the greatest players of this generation and Italy has tons of rising stars. Look how many players on those teams were named bey Pele among the best 125 players alive. Zidane, Henry, Vierra, etc.
However, in the knockout round games France has clearly, to me, shown more skill in terms of their wins than Italy. I don't believe anyone could watch their games against Brazil or Spain and say France didn't win based on skill. They dominated both games and luck had little to do with it.
Italy, OTOH, got very lucky against Australia and Germany in the very last minutes to win those two games. Sure, I think Italy overall played better than Germany, but the fact remains they could have easily not made that goal and then would have gone into penalty kicks 2 minutes later (where they would have likely lost).
France will win. This is a team worthy of 1998. If their game is together, as vs. Brasil, then they will be unstoppable. There is Zidane, Henry, Riberry, Barthez at the core of this team, many great players; best of luck!!
It will only do football justice if Italy wins on Sunday. I'm bored at how some people keep talking about history and it hasn't been broken in this WC. So according to their logic, since Italy hasn't won over France in over 20 years' international counters, France would beat Italy again this time. Wake up People! Look at the two teams before you make up your mind! Italy plays better and is still rising whilst France already looked fatigued in the game against Portugal.
Italy wins Sunday 2:0 Pirlo scores one and assists one
A couple of factors not mentioned so far on this blogs.
Italy played 120mins at very high tempo. France, instead, played a really slow game against Portugal. Italy had one more day to rest, but they might be too tired to play effectively in the final.
Have a look at the reactions of the Italians and French after the goals (and at the end of the match). The Italians were exstatic, the French not as much. Of course the circumstances were different in the semifinal, but the Italians might feel already accomplished, and succumb for this reason.
On a personal note, I feel that Italy got an awful lot of undeserved flak, whereas France got some undeserved praise. I'd rather see the Italians win.
Well my dream has come true, i said i would love Italy vs.France because i am a Juventus fan and both teams are littered with Juve players, from the past and present. This game is huge from a European continental point of view. If Italy wins, which i predict they will 1-0, then that will give Italy four world cups, leave France with one, and keep Germany at bay with three. If France wins, then they will now have two, and leave Italy and Germany with three, then France can realistically catch either country in the near future. Now for the game, there is a huge factor that will make the difference and benifit the Italians, that is DeChamps has retired and the French teams backs wont be as solid as Italy's, I know the Italian defense will keep Zidane and Henry at bay. Cannavaro is definately the best defender in the tournament and he will shine. Everyone has been talking about Zidane, and contolling the midfield, well Totti and Pirlo aren't so bad either. Buffon is better than Barthez, and Italy's defensive midfield has been real solid. Italy wins 1-0, a goal from Luca Toni.
On paper Italy should win, Strong defense, rock solid goaler, offense has picked up, coach Lippi has more experience, lets hope refs/cards/penalties don't spoil the real game. Recent encounters will not count, this is a totally revamped Italian team, really hungry to win
The key to Italy winning is to stop Ribery,he is the one that gives Zidane the space and time in the middle,Gattuso an Perrotta will see to it. Then the flank will be exposed against Sagnol he is the weak link in the French. Italy wins 2-0
Italy is definitally going to win. Their defence is strong and Buffon is one of the best goalies in this world cup. Plus they have shown great skill through this whole world cup. France has not been as spetacular and i dont think they can break through the Italian defence.
The key battle will be in the midfield. If Vieira and Makalele can shut down Pirlo/Totti, while protectin g Zidane, then France should win. But if they cannot, Italy's overall superiority (particularly in goal) will be the difference. My prediction: Italy will win 2-1. But if it goes to PKs, all bets are off
The Italians are hungry. The French are desperate. The Italians are inspired by Cannavaro and Buffon. Henry has been found by the French players. Zidane is transcendent but how good will he be on defense? Can the Italians deal with Vieira, Makelele and Henry?
Will Domenench pay for not starting Coupet? Is this the game that Nesta is needed? I think that it is. . . .
Forza Italia! France doesn't have the offense and Italy has the defense and their whole team is old and it will show after all the games they played. Zidane climaxed during the spain game and been slowly going down hill he will not be playing so good after 3 games of carring his old slow team on his back, and every forgets that Gattuso or even the rested De Rosa will be marking him. Italy will attack often and then after scoring enough sit back and let cannavaro and buffon wear the french down. 3-0 Italia!!! The cup is returning home home
A fairy tale needs a happy end.Therefore Prince Zinedine and his men will overcome the evil gnarfs,find the Magic Cup and bring it home.From that day on he will be known as His Elegance,King Zizou,the Almighty.The "King of Kings" he will be called and all the people will cheer him when he rides into sunset. The End.
It should be a great game, and lets hope there are no bad calls by the ref. Italy is slightly better in all areas. This game should showcase a lot of the great soccer skills on both sides. I think Italy will score early, France will then open up to try to equalize, but this will lead to counter-attacks and more goals for Italy. The Azzurri by another shut-out.
of course Italy - didn't they paid everyone off to get where they are. They trash talk t get penalties cause they can't win any other way. That was France's game all the way. Too bad France's captain didn't break the guys nose.
Viva Zizou …….You took your time and did what you have to do definitely the Italian must have said bad thing. Nobody is going to judge you to this particular event Zizou your great performance outshines ...…….you had it all …YOU ARE THE BEST.
Italy isn't. Their defense is good. But they trip everyone who beats them. There was only one call in the Final and there were tow fouls in the box. So Italy plays the odds of the ref calling thegame. Italy realize the ref's have been so poor that they'll never have the guts to make two calls in the box. SO Itlay uses that as a way to take oppponents down if they get beaten. Italy is nothing but a scam artist team. ure they are good too but they make it far with cheating and fooling he ref's. That is their reputation in the World. France was a lot better. Italy therefore was not a worthy Champion.
Such is life, cheaters prosper in a corrupt world. ALthough the ref meant well, he didn't have the guts to call the second take down i the box. He ruined the game's outcome. Just like the ref's ruined the whole World Cup. If you ask people many will agree to that statement.