Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup Lost at Zi End.

OK, yes, France lost the World Cup and clearly people were very disappointed here in Paris and across the country. No great parade. Everybody pretty much went home quietly and had an early night.

However, overall, the fans stick with their team and it is true that French team did better than first anticipated at the beginning of the tournament and one needs to learn to lose with grace anyway.

It must be said that whereas the Italians led the first half of the game, the French clearly led the second half as well as the extra time part of the game, but the Italian defense was too good. Les bleus (who were, everybody notices playing in white and should not be confused with the italians playing in blue!) had quite a few opportunities and sometimes missed by just a few inches. The irony is that the many who scored a win in the 2000 European championship missed a critical penalty kick that helped give Italy its fourth World Cup title. I feel bad for the guy as much as I do for Zidane.

What to say about Zidane and his blowing a fuse... Nobody knows what happened exactly –except that no matter how much the Italian player provoked him, that was the wrong response. My reaction to this event was tainted by my experience as a teacher in a French poor suburb (where similar violent gestures are quite common). The fact that many kids there look up to Zidane as their role model made me a bit angry at first – even though all great men can sometimes lose it under the pressure - I thought that his reaction sent the wrong signal. But as I was reminded by another teacher, the red card also shows those kids that even Zidane has to play by the rule and that no matter how much you are provoked, violence will only result in problems, even for the greatest French soccer player. In fact, I think this could be a really good case to discuss with them, and even if the lesson is a hard one, it is only fair. Losing the game has actually emphasized the point we teachers try to make.

Here's the video of Zidane's blowing a fuse and what seemed to have led to it.


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