Jun 27, 2006

Viva la Italie!

I couldnt let the World Cup just pass without a single post about it, could I?!

Most people were pissed about last night's result. I agree that Australia were the better side on display. I agree that the penalty was unreasonably harsh. I partially agree that Italy didnt deserve to go through last night. But then I'm a die-hard Italian fan (pronounced Eye-tally-un). I loved it. I especially loved it when my dad cribbed that the result wasn't fair and I could smile wickedly.

Now comes the why. Borrowing a Christian funda, Italy's the 'anti-Brazil' (like the Anti-Christ). They dont attack. They dont mesmerize. They try instead  to squeeze the life out of a game . They are defensive, they are tough, they are messy (Messi? I thot he was an Argentine... he he.. sorry couldnt resist the PJ...). They are often offside, they dive, they mislead the referee. And as it now appears, they fix matches also. Not quite ambassadors of the beautiful game.
But they are effective. You'd see them shut out oppositions and score once or twice on the counter-attack and confound the opponents, just like they did yesterday. They love killing the encounter and taking it to the penalty shootout, where Buffon is God. Its a different school of thought, and not a pretty one, but I love it :)

My fascination with Italy goes back to France 98 - when i started following football seriously. I saw a replay of the Divine Ponytail single-handedly creating magic and taking an ordinary team to the Final, only to squander it all by shooting over the bar. My heart went out to him. It was the epitomization of 'So close yet so far'

A great, creative player - reduced from 'divine' status to anonymity and infamy ... for one mistake. You gotta feel for Roberto Baggio. And his luck didnt get any better. The next World Cup, Italy had one star player - and Del Piero played the same position, so Baggio had to sit out. The irony is, by the next major tournament, DP had been sidelined by Totti - Italy's new star, who also played Left out, ensuring that DP was now left out just like Baggio (nice pun no, aint i brilliant :) ) I loved Roberto Baggio and DP, but Totti's an ass

Italy has suffered due to their own philosophy in the past. in all major events i can recall, they've lost sensationally - in shootouts or to Golden goals. They dont look like getting too far in this world cup. But I'll be cheering for them. To pain the shit out of everyone and go out in typically agonizing fashion - there'd be nothing more unimaginable than Italy losing a shootout with Buffon in goal - but i somehow feel thats exactly wats gonna happen.

Till then, cheers and cheer on!

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