miércoles, 7 de julio de 2010

Zinedine Zidane and the Gods of football

The 2006 Football World Cup Final was going to be the topping in the Algerian French player’s retirement cake, but instead, it cast the midfielder into the mists of back door goodbye, and Marco Materazzi’s chest into the bottom of French desperation.
Zidane was a genius in footballistic life and the perfect gentleman in public affairs. Honest, kind, goodhearted, but also hotblooded and moody, his career was full of brilliant plays and some shameful aggressions. Knowing that and being Italian, Materazzi exploited his dirty tricks against the core of the “bleus”. Zidane’s sending-off was not unfair, just the opposite, the French player really far deserved it. The point is, what kind of noble justice is it which allows the subterranean game to make a good person lose his tempers and –literally- his head?
Zinedine was worth a different end, maybe a Hollywoodian one, in which he scored the winning goal on the very last second of the extra time or the definite penalty in the final round. Almost nobody retires on top of the business. It football, at least, I cannot remember many. People believe in a very romantic sense of justice and rights and in an omnipresent God of football who, from time to time, put things in their right place. When the over-competitive Italy defeated the old France, he had to be on holiday watching a different TV channel. But this is life and top sport was not going to be much different. Zidane was fired because he couldn’t resist provocation or punish back in a slightly more indifferent manner.
This final blemish didn’t prevent the Algerian from receiving the Golden Ball award for the tournament, maybe because he was recognised not only for that World Cup merits, which were not very impressive, but for his complete career. At the end, people remembered him as a delicatessen with a mild sour taste at the end.

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