Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Mama & Viva Italia !!

Now I am so over the Milky Way !!!!!! Italy has just won the 2006 World Cup !!!! Woaaah !!!!! What a feeling !!!!!! This is their 4th time winning the cup. Nobody expected them to win as the favourites are Brazil, Argentina and the host, Germany.

But first & foremost, it's my mom's birthday on 8 July. Happy Birthday Mama !!!!!
She got her biggest present in the form of Italy winning the cup!!!
(Yes, she's the one who has influenced me & my bro to have the soft spot for the Azzurris)

Cutting the cake

Steamboat lunch

Il Capitano Fabio Cannavaro & gli Azzurri

Keeper, Gigi Buffon with the gaffer, Marcello Lippi

I wore this t-shirt for 3 straight days haha

But the omens are already there. It's really up to you to believe it, or pass it as just mere coincidences, but here they are:

History repeating itself (Source : AFP, 25 June 2006)
It bears alarming similarities to the 1982 World Cup when they last won the Cup. 24 yrs ago, Italy arrived in Spain under a cloud after a match-fixing ring had been uncovered 2 years earlier. The scandal led to AC Milan and Lazio being relegated, including Paolo Rossi, then the world's highest paid player.

Rossi completed his ban 2 years later, just in time to lead Italy's attack at the World Cup. He ended up as the tournament's top scorer and Italy were crowned champions.

This year, Italian football is once again in the mire after another match-fixing scandal, this time on a far grander scale.

2 other portents that suggest Italy's name is on the World Cup concerns own goals and previous results. In 1982 at the first round group stage, Fluvio Collovati put through his won net in a 1-1 draw against Peru. In Italy's second group stage match against the US last Saturday (17/06/06), Cristian Zaccardo scored an own goal in a 1-1 draw.

My flip flops / slippers

Yes, the colour of Italy's flag is wrong. It is actually France's colour. In an amazing coincidence, the finalists for the 2006 WC are the 2 countries on the slipper - Italy & France. Since Italy's font is on top of France's tri-colour, so the winner is Italy. Hahaha.. what a wild theory !!!!!!!!!!!! Actually, my mom came up with this theory. But it came true after all.

The Game
It was not as exciting as the semi-finals between Germany and Italy, probably because both teams are drained out by now. Anyway, a really early penalty came through Zizou in the 7th minute when bad boy Materazzi supposedly felled Les Bleus' Florent Malouda. TV replays show it was not supposed to be a penalty, but well, referees are human. Btw, there was a legitimate call for penalty favouring France later in the 2nd half, but the ref waved to play on, maybe realising his earlier mis-judgement. Glad that he thought that way. The ball hit the bar and came just over the line. So it's 1-0 for France.

12 mins later, Italy cancelled France's earlier goal with Materazzi's header. Now both teams are tied at 1-1 . Italy had a few chances in the later part of the first half. France resurged back in the 2nd half and extra time, but was kept at bay by Il Capitano Cannavaro & Gigi Buffon the keeper punched away a dangerous Zizou header.

So the match was to be decided by penalty kicks. I've always hated penalty kicks, they are a really unfair way to decide a winner, but tonight I am thankful that the penalty decider favoured the Azzurris. Biased eh, yes I know.

Anyway, before the penalty kicks, something unbelievable happened. Zizou headbutted Materazzi in the chest, after Materazzi made some remarks to him (must be really bad, for someone as calm as Zidane to headbutt his opponent). He was red carded after the ref consulted his assistant as he didn't see it. I wonder what Materazzi said to him, he shouldn't have done that in the first place, and Zizou should have just walked away . He has actually already walked off, but turned back and decided to hit Razzi.

Zidane hits Materazzi, then walks past the cup after being red-carded

The penalty
All 5 Italians shot hit the target : Pirlo, Materazzi, De Rossi , Del Piero & Grosso
However, for France, Trezeguet missed his target. What an irony that he was the destroyer for the Italians in Euro 2000 when he scored the Golden Goal.
So that was enough to make Italy the winners !!

After Fabio Grosso scored the winner

The Celebration
I guess I enjoyed this one the most, more because of the Italians goofing around. Just look at some of the pics !!!
Here are 2 things the Italians did that only those who caught the game live would have witnessed (it is edited out from the replays):

Mauro Camoranesi (the long haired one) had his hair cut on the pitch itself. His teammates brought a chair to the pitch, he sat on it and got his hair cut there and then while the team surrounds him. (I'll try to find the pix)

Gennaro Gattuso (the stern looking one), at one point was without his shorts , only his underwear and shirt. Hmm..wonder why..

Bad boy Materazzi, shirt already the other way round, trying to fit a hat on the cup.
And look at Totti!!! He's wearing the flag over his head, looks like a makcik hahaha

Cup wearing hat

Totti trying to run away with the Cup under his shirt

Gattuso, the one who lost his shorts kisses the cup

Del Piero's kiss

Dancing & singing

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Azzurri through to Final !!!! Woah !!!

Now I am so over the planet system !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Earlier in the night, I called my mom to ask her how does she feel? (Me, my mom & my bro supports the Azzuri) Cool as a cucumber, she says, "Gila (Alberto Gilardino) will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow. Thy will get through to the Final. Don't worry, have a good night's sleep and check the result tomorrow. " Woah, that made me feel good.

But then came some not so ear candy comments from some girls
Girls : Sokong siapa? Me : Italy. Girls : Oh, patutla nervous, siaplah, nanti kitorg ganyang. - Obviously they are German fans.
And another one : Girl A: Tengok tak match? Me: Nak tengok, tapi seram. Girl A: Oh, takut tengok kekalahan ye. Me: Ala, janganla cakap mcm tu. Girl A: Sorry, but I feel Germany has the chance to win the Cup, well, unless they are unlucky. Girl B: Eh, you never know, tgk Brazil. Hehe, thanx Girl B!)

As my usual chicken self, I went to sleep after the end of 90 minutes. I was thinking, no way, not penalties !!!!! I'm not going to watch penalty kick outs, so I'll just go to sleep and get the results later. I couldn't sleep though until about an hour, and was dreaming Italy went through. So becos of the good dream, I jumped out of bed (after about 2.5 hours of sleep 5.00 - 7.45am) and checked out the result.

Not really a good idea to sleep though as I missed 2 goals in extra time, and at the end of it !! Grosso and Del Piero scored the goals. Forza Azzurri !!! I'm gonna catch the repeat at Putri's house later.

Yes! I've watched the repeat. It really was at the end of extra time with 3 minutes left when Grosso scored. He didn't expect to score himself, running like someone mad after scoring. Then Del Piero scored, netting from a brilliant back pass from Gilardino, with only Lehmann to beat.

2nd goal from Del Piero. Can't find 1st goal from Grosso though. Later..
Buffon always over-excited, more so when avoiding penalty shootout

Italy parking their bus in front of their goal post

Uh uh Lehmann buat apa ni??

Woah,again, I found out the Fan of the Match is another namesake !!!!!!

Rowaida Aridi

Dortmund, Tuesday afternoon. The atmosphere is red-hot in the Ruhr region's largest city as at 9pm this evening the first semi-final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ will be getting under way, with the host nation taking on Italy.

All decked out in her Italian fan gear, Rowaida Aridi is drinking in the ambiance. The 41-year-old seems hardly to notice the stifling heat; after all, she hails from Aley in Lebanon and has been living in Dubai for the past 13 years.

Why, though, is she an Italy fan? "I just love the team, they play really good football. And," she adds with a wink, "they don't half look good!" Her favourite member of the Azzurri squad is Francesco Totti. "He's a great player, and a real pro through and through," enthuses Rowaida, who is our Hyundai Fan of the Match.