Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Difference Three Games Makes

At 10PM (European Daylight Time) on June 23rd, France were done for. The second half of the Togo game had just kicked off. France had not yet looked like scoring and were on their way home, a laughing stock. The old guard - Makelele, Vieira, Barthez, Thuram and Zidane were too old and should never have been selected; Ribeiry, Malouda and Abidal were too young, too coarse, and weren't ready for the big stage.

Then, something funny happened. Makele and Vieira started playing together as a snarling, fearsome unit. Henry realised he is capable of scoring in big games. Ribeiry went from flash-in-the-pan to the most feared winger in the tournament. And Zidane, playing each game as if it were his last (which it is), shed the last three comparatively mediocre years of his career to become, once again, the magician of old. They've turned over Spain (possibly the best team in the first round of the tournament) and utterly outclassed the mighty Brazil.

Two and a half games decent games in ten days after six years of England-like levels of underachievement doesn't make you the tournament favourite. But you have to figure Portugal would rather be facing almost anyone else tomorrow. Zidane is awake, and anything is possible.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kamagra said...

men in soccer is totally unknon the result of something, and only one game can mark a incredible difference, specially in this case.

11:07 AM  

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