Italy are the 2006 FIFA World Cup Champions!!! In a Pulsating encounter at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, the Azzurri beat the Les Bleues in a Penalty shootout to claim the ultimate prize in soccer – The Jules Rimet Trophy!
The Match went underway at half-past eleven IST and I stood glued to the TV throughout. I even wore a Blue tee to show my support for the Azzurri! Francelooked the sprightly team in the beginning and they had a minor scare when Thierry Henry seemed to have sprained his neck. He however recovered quickly but the italians were shocked when the French were awarded a penaty in the 7th minute. Materrazzi alleged to have brought down Malouda(who is due an Oscar Nomination!). Zinedine Zidane coolly tucked away the penalty and France led. But not for long….in the 19th minute, Materazzi rose highest to meet an Andrea Pirlo Corner and Italy were level again. The rest of the half did not produce any goal and neither did the second half. While Italy looked the best of the teams in the latter part of the first half, France peaked their game in the second half but were unlucky not to have scored. The game went into extra time and the second period of 15 minutes were electric. First, Zidane thumped a header which was atheletically saved by Buffon and then quite unprovokingly, Zidane head-butted Materazzi and was red-carded promptly.Thus bringing to an ignonimous end, a glittering & illustrious career.
The match then went into a penalty shootout and it was all down to luck! Andrea Pirlo, Materazzi, De Rossi and Del Piero all converted their spot-kicks for the Azzurri but although Sylvain Wiltord, Eric Abidal and Sagnol found the net for France, Trezeguet’s miss from France’s second penalty meant that Italy’s last kick-taker Grosso could win it for them. And he did just that 🙂