Monday, July 10, 2006

No Question For The Day

Sometimes quizzing comes at no. 2, especially when the French no. 10 announces his retirement and leaves the world stage in such a fashion. I would like to get all your comments on the player, the final, the red-card, the goals or anything else about the world cup.

All of those comments will be up here tomorrow.

QOTD will be back tomorrow.

The emotions conveyed in the mails was unbelievable. Anyway this is what all of you had to say about Zizou and the World Cup.


Sumant Srivatsan

I don't agree that Zidane's stupidity was the sole reason for France's loss in the World Cup final. If the deflection had not dropped behind the line, his shot would have been dismissed as arrogance. While he was good, his performance this time around was not deserving enough to win the Golden Ball. France's dependence on Zidane is more a figment of the media's imagination than representated in their performance on the field. The biggest influence in France's resurgence in this World Cup finals: Claude Makalele, with Patrick Vieira coming in a close second. Henry and Ribery did more in front than Zidane did. Too much of the spotlight was on Zidane because it was his last appearance at the WC. He collected two yellow and one red card, missed the game that sparked France's transformation into a contender in this year's WC. That was Vieira's game, and it proved that France was a better team without Zidane in the lineup. Much is made of Henry's sub-par performance in this event, but let's face it - if the French had let him have the ball a bit more, he'd have done a lot more.

Zidane is a certified hothead, with a history of losing his head at crucial moments. I'm not going to deny that he was one of the most talented players of his generation, but he was also one of the most volatile. Let's also not imagine that one man could make such an impact on a team's fortunes. We will never know what prompted the head-butt; it is something that happened on the field, and it should stay there. It is between two players, a game within the game, something that happens in every sport, at every level. However horrible the taunt, nothing can justify Zidane's reaction. This is as bad as him stamping on the Saudi Arabian guy, as vicious as Cantona's kung-fu kick, as disgusting as watching Beckham spit at the ref. It's bad for the game, and it's positively revolting that FIFA found it necessary to give him and France a consolation prize in the form of the Golden Ball. The man, admittedly, has deserved such an award in the past, but this time, not at all.

Fabio Cannavaro should have won. FIFA screwed this one up.

Manu Rekhi

FIFA was wrong in thos gesture. Another thing FIFA should have done is announce the use of instant replay to review controversial referee calls. American football finally caved in. When will FIFA put an end to "Oscar" performances on the field.

Anil T

I never much bothered about personalities except to sympathise with
them since they are so royally screwed by the media, "but one step
from the sublime to the ridiculous." But after what I saw yesterday,
I'm proud to say that I've become a fan of the Monk forever. Just to
imagine myself in his place and feel the passion of the moment, if
someone had sworn at my mother or father or nation, to jaunt a few
paces ahead, turn back, look the enemy in the eye, and then ram my
skull into his solar plexus, and feel the breath knocked out of the
worm--ah! sublime. Live life beautifully. That's more than playing
football beautifully. Imagine, as the captain of a nation, playing the
world cup final, if I can show a finger to the rules, masses,
analysts, commentators, moralists, judgmentalists, and all those 3rd
party bystanders who have nothing at stake, and say to the world that
'Yes, I'm right. I will take some things personal, damn the
consequences!" I would have lived a worthy life. That is passion for

Remember guys, it is us who will remember Zizou for a long time, not
for football but for something that has been taken to a higher level.
Zidane, we love you.

And one must learn to differentiate between cunning (referred to as
gamesmanship in the sporting world) and good old gumption that warms
the cockles of every red-blooded heart. I don't know what the Saudi
did, but I saw the Italians resort to some slick 'gamesmanship' last
night. And if Beckham did spit at the refree, wow, I just love that
man! God, it is football for god's sake!

Shyam Krishnan

Genius can't be quantified, and the reason people can't appreciate a player of such caliber is when they start to think in terms of goals and fouls and not inspiration and sheer mastery of football.

I will take Zidane over all the goal scoring wannabes.

Anand Padmanabhan

Zizou's a genious! Undoubtedly one of the most talented footballers to walk the path of soccer glory.
But, how much did he deserve the FIFA Golden Ball? Maybe A lifetime achievement award equivalent? Yes! Or even "The most powerful header on a Defender's Torso" award? Yes! Definitely not the Golden Ball this time around, not just for his unsporting behaviour on the field, but also for the fact that he was definitely not as effective for his team as Cannavaro and Makalele were for their respective teams.
Zizou's genious definitely came through in this edition of the WC, but still wasn't good enough to help his team win when it mattered. Sentiments apart, did he deserve the Golden Ball? Pfft!

Kushagra Shrivastava

It's just one episode that will haunt Zidane for the rest of his life. But to me and millions of others he will remain to be a source of inspiration. I still remember my school days when i used to wear Zidane's Real Madrid Jersey to practise football. As I said earlier he is a legend and his legend will live forever.

It was awesome to read responses from everyone, but at the end of the day, Zidane remains my Hero. He has given a lot to the game. I just wish he had a better farewell.

Bennet Abraham

The greatest is right here at home.... Baichung Bhutia.

P.S. I'll miss Zizou.

Supriya Nair

whether or not Zinedine Zidane deserved the Golden Ball: I don't think so. He has genius and he's a beautiful player, and dang if that headbutt wasn't the most sublime headbutt a man ever delivered another man, but since we aren't talking about the checks and balances of soccer here, I'd like to side with Sumant and say that the Golden Ball belonged to a man who made this World Cup's best captain. He held his team together, he played with pitch-perfect control and skill right from the start, and showed the world that Italian strategy wasn't necessarily all about catenaccio. If anyone proved that playing beautiful is not necessarily all about goal-scoring, it was him. Zizou's cool reached its limits, but his didn't. And while the enduring image of this Cup final will be Zidane and his various headers for a lot of people, for me it will be of Fabio Cannavaro's stoic face as he watched his men cheat history and score a perfect set of penalties at the end of a long, consistently successful tournament for Italy.

Satarupa Joardar

In this day and age of media hyperbole, 'great' is a much-abused, inane label we're ready to bestow it on anybody. Well, Zidane isn't anybody. Agreed.

Sumodh Tharien

Well a game lost because it was taken too personally?.. well there have been others who have been red carded, during the course of a game, with the team still going on to win the game.
The aura that the man had around him made him seem invincible to those around him. On a platform where you have the world's best on display, i simply cant pick any single player who made his opponents go weak with awe.

He may not have scored the most number of goals, he may not have been the fastest on the field...but he was someone who orchestrated the French resurgence, by marshalling his forces admirably, through the course of the match

In the words of Platini - "Technically, I think he is the king of what's fundamental in the game - control and passing," . "I don't think anyone can match him when it comes to controlling or receiving the ball." ..
Even in the words of one of the italians (before the final) if im not mistaken it was the world's best defender- Cannavaro "When it comes to Zidanne you cant contain him, when he's in his elements one can only make the sign of the cross and.... hope".

His human instinct to defend his dignity or the dignity of his near and dear ones, may have cost France the match which clearly oozed of classy organization, but it can never EVER take away the greatness associated with him.

Genius may spark madness, but genius is still human....bound by all its traps.

The Golden Ball is reserved for legends who prove that they are one, every time they step on the field and strike fear in their opponents hearts. The head-butt may have been unsportive and crude, but it can in no way take away the genius of a man who's moment of human fraility knocked over Materazzi and the Cup.

The adidas Golden Ball is always awarded to the most outstanding player, Even if it did ...just that (out-standing player) during the last 8 minutes of the game!


Prateek Vijayvargia

It was a great final and I must say this will be etched in my memory for years to come.
I was supporting France but they lost. Zidane - he deserved the Golden Ball. We all will miss him. But what he did to Matteratzi was bad and shud not have happened. :-( But even the best can sometimes can lose control and show emotion.

Shashwat Sehgal

i am pretty sure that my comments wont please any die-hard ZZ fans, but the fact remains that he acted like an idiot. He should have known better. simply put, everything is fair in sport and war, and the french should have expected a measuer of gamesmanship from the italians. racist comments or not, the experienced warhorse should have kept his temper in check, and only he is to blame what what ultimately happened. the purists will go on and on about the so called racists slurs(if any). but that wont change the bottom line : france were beaten and the sending off proved pivotal in deciding the outcome. all the demands of FIFA conducting a post-mortem as just vain cries from fans refusing to believe that their GOD is in fact, a mere mrotal. I am no France fan, i am an england fan. But my views are consistent. I also believe Rooney was at fault for his sending off and not ronaldo. Likewise, he should have kept his temper in check on the world's biggest stage and concentraed on winning the game.

Archana Satpathy

I think whatever Zidane did , there must be some valid reason for that.He is still the best.

Praveen Kumar

Zinedine Yazid Zidane and Ronaldo(Luiz Nazario) , for me are the best players of their generation.But it seems now , that even the Gods are prone to a sin.But Zidane is still God , barring that odd moment.There is something very alluring about flawed geniuses , dont you think?

Maradona , Zidane , van Gogh etc..

Naveen Venkataraman

Sanjay Gianchandani

Bee Gee

too disgusted to write anything. this aint football, this is mafia-ball!

And finally my turn to speak up:

Soccer, like most sports, has had it's fair share of geniuses, and many of them have lived life dangerously. To quote some of the commentators from last night "A genius walks a very thin line between greatness and madness." We have had stories ranging from Garrincha driving his car over his father, Bobby Moore and his shoplifting episode, Maradona and his much talked about mafia and cocaine links and so on. How easy life would have been if everyone and everything could be painted in white and black. Unfortunately we have to deal with the various shades of gray in a majority of situations.

Here we are talking about this one man who has seen it all. He has won the Wolrd Cup for his country. He has seen his team slump to the worst ever defence of the title. He has won the Euro Championships, and lost to an unfancied bunch of Greeks. He has seen the footballing clubs fall at his feet and pay unheard of amounts to have him in their side. He has actually come back from retirement to help a team get through a difficult time while qualifying for the World Cup, and help them do so. He has been mocked at and ridiculed because of below par performances in the first few games of this world cup. He has also risen from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix. But he has also done something which cannot be put under such specific categories. He has Inspired a bunch of people to believe in themselves, he has motivated the team to get the confidence back, he has been the talisman for the team and as Henry said on Zidane's return to the Les Blues side "God has come back to play for us. He is wearing the no. 10 jersey".

That is the kind of 'x-factor' we are talking about here. And once we realised that the 'extra something' that Zizou brought to the field cannot be measured and quantified we can start thinking logically about judging his value as a player for his team and in general. Once we start thinking logically, we realise he is one of those few men who defy logic, who perform 'magic' and not 'hallucination tricks'. If only we could bring down such geniuses to simple statistical figures of goals scored and red cards shown, football would lose all of it's charms.

The best player in the world cup was awarded to the person who deserved every bit of it. It's only once in ages that we get such players who can inspire generations and even outside the soccer world. Whose touching the ball can bring the faith back in a million hearts. Zidane is one of those reasons for which the game is called the 'beautiful game' and his loss is a big set back for the game.

I am not defending his action here, but lets not try and analyse what caused Zizou to do what he did. He knew better than all of us, that just eight minute separated him and immortal glory, and a second French World Cup. It's only because of geniuses like him that we have all the legends and fables in the game of football.

You thoroughly deserved every moment of your glory Zizou, and you shall be remembered for all the joy you provided and not the one moment of 'mystery' which provided the biggest anti-climax in sporting history.

Thanks for everything Zizou

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