2006 / july / 02

The 2006 Cup

It started out so well... Nice games, Germany and Italy plaing on the offense for a change. Few cards seen. Argentina, Ecuador and Spain showing off with playful, inspired teamwork and technique. I've never watched as many football matches as these weeks, and with the exception of Tunesia-Ukraine and a few other boring matches, I greatly enjoyed them. But then...

But then, last Sunday's disgraceful Netherlands vs. Portugal match. The Dutch team, young and inexperienced, tricked out by the Portugese bastardos.

Did the oranges deserve to go through? Not at all. Boulahrouz' tackle on C Ronaldo was bad, really bad. But a good referee - and even Ivanov - would have kept the game in check. Not just doling out cards. Talk for a moment to the captains. The ref for England-Portugal did so yesterday, and we've seen others this tournament. But Ivanov screwed it up, royally, and the game went out the door, making way for a nasty prize fight.

And the bloody Portugese team took out every trick in the book. No sportsmanship at all. Really, really nasty fouls. Falling over. Giving a headbutt behind the refs back. Pretending and whining all the time. Holy shit, no class at all.

Did Oranje deserve to go through? Not at all, they fell for it, and they didn't manage to score (too bad we'll never know whether Ruud van Nistelrooij would've done better). But the Portugese should've been ousted as well. So I was rooting for the english, yesterday, for justice' sake. And Rooney got a red, undeserved but due to his own stupidity, and that, basically, was that.

And Argentina's coach ruined his chances by substituting Riquelme against Germany. OMfG, never do that against Germany. Especially this Germany, on a roll..

But... at least Italia is still in. They've shown they are willing to do more than the dreaded catanaccio they're known for, they're showing spirit (let's forget the match against the USA, please). The only real game of the quarterfinals was the well-deserved pummeling of Ukraine by the azurri. With Germany taking out Argentina, Bastardo Figo and his gangmates sneaking past England and Brazil exiting stage left thanks to current kings of the counter France, not to mention a total lack of samba, they're the only real deserving team for the title of European Football Champion 2006 now.

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