Sunday, July 02, 2006

World Cup Predictions - 4

So England lost. My predictions about an English victory was a bit hopeful, but I felt England played very well yesterday. I have no complaints about the referee, but Portugal is a very tricky team. They riled up the Dutch (another good team) by making them lose their composure, plus they dove and pretended to be fouled, and yesterday they did this to the English hotheaded forward Rooney. As an English supporter I have no complaints about the red card, but do I hate Cristiano Ronaldo. Girls ofcourse like him. I think he looks gay, though not as gay as Sorin of Argentina.

However, the fact that Brazil lost almost (almost!) made up for England losing out (pre-emptive apologies to Aisha, Bengali Fob for the gloating to follow). Even an England supporter like me will agree that England is over-hyped and may lack a certain quality to make it a truly top side. I did not see them going past semis. Brazilian fans harbour no such confessions however. In their mind:
  1. Brazil is the best team. No one plays more attractive soccer than Brazil.
  2. Brazil never engages in dirty tactics like clutching shirts, diving or crying.
  3. Brazil's stars are the most artistic (such as Ronaldinho).
  4. All they need to do is turn up. The rest of us should just hand them the trophy and go home.
  5. Brazil deserves an automatic berth at the final.
  6. Football loses its lustre if Brazil is not in the game.
Well, yesterday I was happy (read ecstatic) that ALL OF THE ABOVE were proved wrong. There was only one team in the match and it was France. There was only one team playing attractive, attacking football and it was France. There was only one artist on the pitch and it was Zidane of France. I felt like the Arabic commentator and wanted to yell "Zidane! Zidane! ZIDAAAAAANE!"

I wonder who 99% of Bangladesh is going to support, now that Argentina and Brazil is out of the cup.

Having gotten that gloating out of my system, the semi finals are now too close to call.

Germany vs. Italy
This German side lacks a certain quality. The team is playing well, boosted by home support and is the most prolific team left in terms of goal scoring. However, Italy has only allowed one goal in (that too an own goal). Their defence is much more organized (and better) than the Germans and they are a truly punch and counter-punch team.

The key I feel will be the German defence. If they can avoid getting rattled, stay organized even when Klose and Co. go forward, and prevent Italy in the final third, Germany will win the game. The advantage for Germany are obviously the home support, German efficiency and organization, as well as their attacking flair. If you are attacking (Germany) and the other team defending (Italy) you are more likely to score a goal if you defence can nullify counter attacks.
Winner: Germany (perhaps penalties).

France vs. Portugal
Boy, no one saw this semi final! And are these teams evenly matched. Portugal has a coach who has never lost a World Cup match in charge, their players are all in form and good on attack (and Deco is back) while France as a team are in the form of their life. I have said before that if France plays like they played against Spain, they will beat Brazil. The question is whether they can sustain it for a third match, as the pace is no doubt tiring.

I feel the French do not have to play in such an attacking manner anymore. Portugal struggles to break down a good defence. They could not get past a tight Greek defence in the Euro 2004 final. They struggled against Iran for the first half until the Persians slacked off. They could not get past a ten-man England. Therefore the French will have to shut down the flanks, concentrate on not giving up the ball (unlike England) and play a much more possessive game than usual. Can they do it? Yes.
Winner: France.

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11 comments:

Farah said...

Portugal if they cannot go near the opposition goal takes long range shots and in Deco they have one who can score from a distance, and Barthez is not a good goalie who can stop long range shots.

Farah,

Isheeta said...

LOL... re: your first paragraph!

I agree EXACTLY with all that you said, and I just had to laugh out loud considering my previous post! (I feel a little gay myself with the post, but well.... cant help it, Ronaldo is pretty cute!)

Did you know that when the Arg vs Ger game was on, apparently the electricity was cut off and there was a riot in Bangladesh?!

Awesome... well, not the riot, but just how the whole 140 million country is soccer crazy.

bdblogs.com said...

I agree with your prediction. It's more likely be a German Vs. Frnace final. Here's my prediction in the beginning of this worldcup.

btw, I have added your blogs at bdblogs.com, Home of Bangladeshi Blogs. Note that, bdblogs.com is the original one and has no connection with bdblogs.net.

regards.

Anonymous said...

I dont like Ronaldo myself however I hate English hypcorisy where they themselves dive cheat and kick others but act innocent when others do the same.

Portugal dished out what England deserved.
What did you expect Ronaldo to do after Rooney stomps Carvalho?? If it was the other way round,English fans would be drooling at how the selfless Gerrard went to protect Cole/Hargreaves.

Some English fans are a disgrace to the game, first they forced Urs Meier to reitrement , now they want to crucify Ronaldo

MM

Jorge said...

hello,
I´m Portuguese.
Portugal and France are equal teams. But the playmaker portuguese, Deco, is back to the semi-final. And the portuguese national team have a superior energy them the french. Portugal will win using the counter-attack because the France players will gone assume the control off the game. who scores: Maniche, of couse.

best regards

mezba said...

Discovered a poem written by a Brazil supporter about the match here.

Farah: I agree Barthez shouldn't have been in goal but right now nothing can be done as France cannot put anyone else in the goal.

Isheeta: Lol I actually wanted to link to your post but then decided since your blog is private I won't do it. But your feelings for Ronaldo are common amongst the fairer sex!

Bdblogs.com: *thumbs up*

MM: I didn't see too much English diving and so on this world cup. And I wouldn't go to the referee asking for a red card for my club mate if I were Ronaldo. That's just not nice.

Jorge: Yup, Deco is the dangerman for France. Portugal is very good at counter attack (as we so against Mexico). I think France though has the capability to deal with that.

Kamal Aanand (Kamz) said...

Yeah, expected the frech fries that was in the offing to Brazil! :)

Anonymous said...

I read on Daily Star that a Bangladeshi fan of Argentina died of a heart attack after Argentina was elliminated !!!
Dang I didnt know ppl in Bdesh were that crazy about Football.

Anonymous said...

this blog is written by a bengali ronaldo fan:
http://r-revolution.blogdrive.com

check out her take on the ronaldo-rooney incident.

Habib said...

thanks Mezba. I invite you to blog at bdblog.com, Home of Bangladeshi Blogs as well.

to Anonymous,
last night we were talking like this, ppl might be changing in Bangladesh...This year no one died after Brazil/Argentina gone from WC! Now you have come up with this news! Crazy ppl!

The Bengali Fob said...

The gloating, the gloating and all the gloating form the French supporters (read Zidane supporters) are getting to me...

Then again cn't blame you guys. I can't believe what I saw the Brazilians do! They did nothing! They were being schooled by Zidane so badly. Yep, I'm hoping like most people that it'll be a Germany vs. France final. And jsut to make you gloat even more Mezba, I'm supporting France. I've caught Zidanitis you see.

Oh, not ALL girls like Cristinao ROnaldo because I sure don't! Something about him that just pisses me off. It's all about Beckham folks... (sigh)