Allez le Bleu

In honor of the country that gave us the Statue of Liberty (but not French fries, those were invented in Belgium!), this post is dedicated to FranceItaly booked their place in the Final with a thrilling 2-0 win over Germany, so all eyes turn to the French to win to avoid Italy-Portugal.  Before a breakdown of France-Portugal let’s review last night’s action post-haste. 

Feel the passion:  Italians mob deserving Del Piero after 2nd goal as tearful Germans look on in disbelief. 

Give credit:  Yes, Italy were the better side.  Attacked in numbers, didn’t just defend.  And no stretcher jobs either.  This was the type of football TTL has been begging Italy to produce for years.  Grazzi, grazzi. 

I am Canavarro:  Italian Captain was awesome at the back.  Definite Man of the Match.

Heads Up:  Germany gave it their all but not having Frings really hurt.  As the Italian defense neutralized Klose and Podolski, German midfield couldn’t find creativity needed to get vital goal.  Still, Germany should be proud of their WC run and uniting an often fractured country behind them. 

Very good game and glad was not decided on penalties.  Both goals were excellent and loved, loved that both sides pushed forward all during the OT to try and score.  Hopefully tonight’s game brings more of the same. 

France-Portugal @ 21:00 Central European Time.

1966:  Last and only time Portugal made it to WC semis.  Golden Generation of the ’90s underachieved in big tournaments, but this Portuguese side plays with heart, something sorely lacking in the past.  Much credit due to their coach Big Phil Scolari who is on a personal 12 game winning streak in WC after steering Brazil to the title in ’02. 

They’re back:  Deco and Costinha return to Portuguese team after missing the England game.  Coupled with Maniche and Figo gives Portugal a formidable midfield.  

Defence, Defence:  Portugal has proved awfully stingy with a backline anchored by Carvalho and Ricardo in goal.  But it just feels like the French won’t concede a goal as Thuram and Gallas keep everything clean in front of the resurgent Barthez in net.    Edge:  France

Midfield me:  Great match-up here as full-strength Portugal tries to thwart the best playing midfield in the World Cup.  Zidane is otherworldly but the devious, hard to contain Ribery is the key for France.  Edge:  France

Attack, attack:  Portugal usual plays with lone striker in Pauleta supported by the wildly inconsistent Ronaldo.  France has been leaving Henry up front to fend for himself lately.  Difference is that Henry is 10x the player Pauleta is.  Edge:  France

Intangibility:  Portugal has definite edge in coaching while France has heaps of  experienced players.  While this Portugal team is certainly playing with plenty of guts, I felt they were lucky to beat England France is simply on fire and their confidence as to be at an all-time high after knocking off Brazilians.  Edge:  France

TTL gives the nod to France tonight.  Some people believe this could be a high-scoring game but I can’t see that happening.  France wins 2-0 behind the masterful Zidane.  But since TTL does not have a good record of predicting games you’ll have to tune in to be sure.  Enjoy the game. 

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3 Comments on “Allez le Bleu”

  1. World B. Free Says:

    Where does Camoranesi rank in your list of hated athletes? I have him somewhere between Claude Lemieux and Brian Cardinal.

    Last night Germany failed to do what it had done throughout the tournament – finish its chances. Klose was a non-factor and looked dead tired by the end, Ballack did nothing again to distinguish himself. Really looked like the smaller quicker German players were able to do much more against the Italians while the bigger Germans did not fair well in the matchup. Once again defense wins championships.

  2. World B. Free Says:

    Where does Camoranesi rank in your list of hated athletes? I have him somewhere between Claude Lemieux and Brian Cardinal.

    Last night Germany failed to do what it had done throughout the tournament – finish its chances. Klose was a non-factor and looked dead tired by the end, Ballack did nothing again to distinguish himself. Really looked like the smaller quicker German players were able to do much more against the Italians while the bigger Germans did not fair well in the matchup. Once again defense wins championships.

    Are we watching the game somewhere on Sunday?

  3. flair2 Says:

    You have to respect the power of the ponytail with Camoranesi. He’s usually a sub but I think he’s starting due to Del Rossi’s elbow-smashing of McBride. I don’t think anybody quite got under my skin like Cardinal but Jose Vina (wasn’t he Card’s 2nd baseman?) comes close.

    Ballack did not have a good game, but sure he’ll play fine for Chelsea next season. Lahmn couldn’t get a cross in and Borowski looked out of sorts. Much of that is due to the Italians thought, particularly Gattuso and Pirlo who played excellent. For unsung hereos of the tourney my nod goes to Pirlo and Vieira of France who are simply playing amazing in the holding midfield role. And Pauleta for his unique ability to never touch the ball yet claim he’s being fouled 97 times a game.


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