EDitorial ± 9-Jul-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 31

As Connor MacLeod will tell you, there can be only one. 2006 World Champs are the (in)corruptibles of Italy, while 2006 worst chump is Zinedine "sticks and stones" Zidane. Shearer said it best -- "He's lost his marbles" -- describing ZZ's forehead thump to the thorax of Materazzi, who'd possibly remarked that Zidane Senior smelt of elderberries. Much um-ing and err-ing ensued, then the carte rouge was brandished: au revoir, no buts.

Even with their icon gone and Henry & Ribery pulled off, there still appeared to be twice as many blanc shirts as azure ones. There was a shot of Raymond Domenech kicking over a water bottle in frustration: if only Sven (remember him?) had shown a tad more Seat-like auto-emotion, that could have been us being French fried in the semis.

With no late magic from Grosso and Del Piero, penalty time arrived, and we all knew the Italians would blow it with the inevitable talk of Baggio the Buddhist's 1994 skyrocket. Clearly having not read the script like Brando in Apocalypse Now, up stepped man of the match Pirlo, blue pill red pill Materazzi, excuse my elbow de Rossi, and, with some very tardy prestidigitation, Peckham Del Piero and concerto Grosso. Cue calcio kisses and cavorting, Gattuso losing his shorts and all the team putting their sweaty paws on the cup before it had been officially handed over, tut tut.

Buona notte!