Monday, July 10, 2006

Hand of God, Headbutt of the Minotaur

From the media of France (via UTV), on Zidane's unbelievably dumb headbutt:

L`Equipe, whose front-page headline was `eternal regrets`, condemned Zidane`s act of violence.

`Zinedine,` they queried, `the most difficult thing this morning is not to try to explain why Les Bleus, your Bleus, lost the final of the World Cup which they could have won, but to explain to millions of children around the world how you could let yourself go to the point of charging at and head-butting Marco Materazzi.

`During the match in Berlin`s Olympiastadion where so many pages of sports history were written, you were Ali, the genius of the ring, the greatest.

`But not Ali, nor (Jesse) Owens nor Pele, men that you were about to join among the most brilliant sports legends, ever broke the rules the way you did.

`Why also, weren`t you on the pitch to console your friends Lilian Thuram and Fabien Barthez after the loss?

`You left them alone, just like the millions of kids who were inconsolable in front of their television set.

`Zinedine, you must be a very unhappy man this morning. You are also going to have to explain your gesture to your four sons.

`It was the last image you left as a football player, Zinedine. How could this happen to the man you are?`

Le Figaro called Zidane`s head-butt `odious`.

`The final of the World Cup against Italy symbolised Les Bleus` performance during the competition,` the paper added.

`First there was a shaky start, then an attractive performance before we suffered again a lack of offensive punch.

`Zidane`s gesture was unacceptable and sanctioned properly.

`Thuram spoke about a real suffering and pain after the match. The captain must feel exactly the same way as his exit looked even more sad than the defeat.`

Broadsheet Liberation called the defeat `cruel` while Le Parisien preferred to concentrate on Les Bleus` achievement of reaching the final, with the headline `Merci` splashed across their front page.

I had been rooting for France. This was dangerous; my Italian wife was not pleased. But when Zidane pulled that stunt....amazing. I want to know what Materazzi said....what COULD he have said? After the incident, I switched to France, but it was really all ruined. As Le Parisienne put it: "The blue angel turned into a devil." Say it ain't so, Zidane.

(by the way, "minotaur" is not a compliment....)


Anonymous said...

apropos of almost nothing, there is a great novel called "The Minotaur takes a Cigarette Break" that envisions the mythological creature as a short order cook in rural north carolina. Highly recommended.


bourkereport said...

If you can get over your hatred of TNR, there are interesting speculations about what Materazzi might have said in the comments section of a recent post on Frank Foer & co's World Cup blog.

Check it out here:

Anonymous said...

Brave man, found the right gesture to express my anger against people who, after winning the world cup, keep driving around and around the block honking like lunatics until 2 am., which is not nice if tomorrow is Monday...

Anonymous said...

It was apparent that Italian guy (I even don't want to mention his name) humiliated Zidane in Italian, which Zidane understands but didn't know how to fight back in words (he is a taciturn person anyway). That Italian guy is one of the dirtiest soccer player ever and had lots of histories. There are times one cannot take things anymore, even for Zidane. And when Zidane expressed his anger, he did it openly (and in a way that would not cause real injury to the other guy), instead of using any hidden and vicious actions while playing the game. I think there are now more fans of Zidane than before. He may be stupid, but a good man.