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Forza Italia! July 9, 2006

Posted by ayasawada in Sport.
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BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Italy win World Cup on penalties

Italy, World Cup winners 2006! I’m over the moon for the team. It must be fantastic to be an Italian in Italy tonight. Thank goodness I wore my lucky ’00 Italy shirt (6 games, 6 wins – made no further mistake after switching to the ‘unlucky’ ’04 shirt for the USA game – and they say superstitions don’t mean anything…).

It wasn’t a great game, but highly dramatic. In fact, every bit of drama you could expect in a football match: early penalty (nearly missed), decent fightback, a great (if nerve-shattering) penalty shoot-out. If I’m honest, though I feel a little bit of an anticlimax. Despite a good first half, the Azzuri seemed to go negative in the second half and all through extra time, allowing the French to pretty much dominate. And of course it was extremely sad to see the dark side of the great Zizou taking over for his last game. What was he thinking? And what a game the clown Materrazzi had. Gave away a pen, scored the equaliser, got assaulted by Zidane. All in day’s work for ‘Razza.

But take nothing away from a magnificent team performance these past few weeks. The final aside, they’ve made all Azzuri fans really proud of their team. It’s right to say they’ve romanced the country back in love with football, no matter what the outcome of the scandal tomorrow. Reno Gatusso was absolutely immense. Fabio Cannavaro – captain, defender, legend – winning the cup on his 100th cap. I wish I was him.

It’s been a fabulous tournament and perhaps that feeling of anticlimax is a twinge of sadness as the festival of football ends for another four years. Great memories and nice to feel ‘on the winning side.’

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