LUCK OF THE DRAW
Finally, the Italians overcame four consecutive World Cups of hurt (losing out on penalties and then to a golden goal against South Korea) to clinch the trophy they barely deserved. This time, lucky Italy triumphed on penalties against another undeserving team, the cheating French.
Sad to say, there were too many incidents that highlighted to me the terrible injustices this competition can sometimes produce. From Wayne Rooney’s sending off (provoked by his Man Utd team mate Ronaldo, no less!) to Italy’s dubious last gasp penalty against the gallant Aussies, from Thierry Henry’s simulation against Spain (that resulted in a goal from the free kick) to Zidane’s moment of madness in the Final, this was a World Cup memorable for all the wrong reasons.
As usual, a team in the group stages caught the imagination of the neutral – this time it was Argentina. Against Serbia-Montenegro, the Argentines were irresistible.
Sadly, Argentina was caught out again by the ultra-efficient Germans (host nation), who (yes you’ve guessed it) edged the ties on penalties.
So for only the second time ever in World Cup history, the final was decided on penalties and Italy, who had struggled to beat Australia in the round of 16, found themselves winners for the fourth time. Ah but that’s the World Cup for you!