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Gauls Versus the Romans July 7, 2006

Posted by samratsengupta in Football WC, Samrat, Uncategorized.

So a World Cup final straight out of Asterix Comics. Though the French team composition reflects more of the motley collection in  the “pirate ship” of Asterix (which by the way perpetually gets sunk) rather than the Gauls. I hope I am not being racist here as Monsieur Le Pen, who commented about the French team being uncomfortably polychromatic for his eyes. 

Italians and French are culturally close, both people are supposed to be argumentative,not workaholics( being politically correct here 🙂 ), expressive in love,  they have fashion twins in Milan and Paris. France also ruled over Italy for much of the 18th and 19th century, Napoleon even designed the Italian Flag. French team is a good ad for United Colours of Benetton. The team colors and nicknames are also Blue. Azzuri( from Azure) and Les Blues. Surprisingly even Uderzo (Goscinny and Uderzo creators of Asterix) is of Italian descent, still he surprisingly champions French chauvinism in the Asterix series.

French seem to have taken a swig of Getafix potion after their tepid group display. It also lulled the other teams into a false sense of complacency.  The French attacking midfield has been a revelation, they have a perfect trio in Ribery, Zidane and Veira. Operating at a dual level with the pacy Ribery and the languid and composed Zidane, with Viera adding the robustness. Opponents cannot gauge at what speed the French will attack, this multi-dimensional capability gives them the edge. For Zidane time slows down, he has so much time at his disposal( similar to Federer), though he is past his peak still he is one of the best midfield operators in business The only bad egg in the french basket is the egg-head Barthez, his blunders may sink the French ship.

The Romans are also well-organized as ever. The Italian team has the right blend of youth and experience. The icons Totti and Del Piero would also be as determined as Zidane as it is their “Last Supper” also. The hit men Luca Brasi(Toni) and Gilardino are sharp. Pirlo and Camoranesi add to the flair. Defence is impregnable with Cannavaro being the marshal, Nesta’s return would bolster it further. Gattuso is the wild cannon in the middle to thwart attacks. But most reassuring is the imposing figure of Buffon in goal.

Italians have the twelve year cycle in WC 70 (RU),82 (W),94(RU),06(W?) . But the French coach Domenech with Linda Goodman and MM Joshi as advisors, would have something in store to counter this.

Overall I expect a thrilling WC final, the best since 1986.  



1. Amit Goyal - July 7, 2006

I love that comparision 🙂

2. Bharat Maheshwari - July 7, 2006

I think, eventually the competition will be how well Gatusso can mark Zidane (or at least make the great man uncomfortable on the ball) and how France decide to deal with magnificent Andrea Pirlo. But what I like about Italy is that they have 2 players in playmaking position (Totti and Pirlo), which is quite unusual but highly effective. The problems is that Pirlo tends to plays quite deep, which makes it rather difficult to track him on the field. But it can be done, as Liverpool showed in second half of the famous Champions League final with AC Milan. Makelele will undoubtedly be asked to trail Totti.
There are points to exploit in both teams from where I see it. French fullbacks look rather uncomfortable and C. Ronaldo and Figo did make them suffer in the semifinals. Lilian Thuram is yet to be tested and certainly has not been in great form this season, which even led to him being dropped for Juventus for some matches.
For the Italians, thing to see will be how Marco ‘Matrix’ Materazzi copes with the presence of Henry. He is not the quickest of the players and with Alessandro Nesta absent hurt, task of looking after Henry will befall to this maverick defender. And their left-back Fabio Grosso inspite of being a great threat going forward, he is still a bit suspect when going forward. One of Italy’s main threats down the wings has been Zambrotta. But Zidane and Henry both occupy the left side of midfield, it will be interesting to see if Lippi dares to allow Zambrotta raid forward or askes him to sit back.
I cannot wait for the battle to begin and eventually believe that the game will be decided on who wins the tactical battle since both teams are equally matched.

3. Bharat Maheshwari - July 7, 2006

Mistake… Grosso is suspect in defence.

4. Ramanand - July 10, 2006

Nice post!

5. Amit Goyal - July 11, 2006

Oh!! Look how the mighty Gauls have fallen!!

6. Nathalie - November 22, 2006

Don’t you think Luis Figo really looks like Boneywasawarriorwayayix from Asterix and Obelix in Corsica??

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