Monday, July 03, 2006

My FIFA comes to an end

This weekend has been very disappointing for multiple reasons - one of them being England's loss to Portugal in the World Cup Soccer Quarterfinals. As most of you know, I'm a big fan of the English football team. Michael Owen, Beckham, Rooney, Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Terry are among my favorites any day whether they play for their country or for their English Premier League clu (bs. With such flair and talent, I would still bet that England is the strongest team on paper even today. I know, they have not been playing well all through the tournament. Beckham repeated history through his magnificent free kick against Ecuador in the last-16 round to take his team through to the QF, just like he did against Argentina in the previous world cup. But that was not enough, England has to score goals. They have a very formidable defense in A.Cole, Ferdinand, and Terry but they have to score too!. England looked very weak throughout the cup without their key forward Michael Owen and their only forward Rooney (God forgive their strategy to play a single forward, esp. with Rooney not in the greatest of his forms) .

Portugal is not the greatest of the teams to play a QF against. They are more hooligans than professionals, with a special mention to their leader Figo. I consider the English team to be among the most professional players in the world today, but faced a huge let down after that dramatic incident of the immature Rooney in act. England lost the match at that very instant. They had no one to score, with Beckham sitting out too.
Honestly, they were a disgrace in the penalty shoot-outs. The first shot taken by one of their most experienced folks, Frank Lampard, said it all. Lampard is a great player, however, had been having a pathetic world cup thus far and beyond. But the experience in people like Lampard and Gerrard should have handled the pressure better and got the goals in. Penalty shoot-outs are the bare minimum I expected from them.

To rub sand on my wounds, Beckham stepped down as the English captain after leading the country for 7 years. He made the announcement in an emotional statement in a press conference on Sunday. It is a very sad moment for the Real Madrid player who has led the English team in 58 out of his 95 appearances for his country.

With England on its knees, my world cup has come to an end. I expected England to at least make it to the semi-finals where I thought they would lose to Brazil. But Brazil was in turn upset by Zizou's last France. I have an inclination towards France, but am not very interested in following the games beyond this. Anyway, I can shift my focus to other things happening now like work and Wimbledon.

England, the rocks are slippery, you need a strong foothold!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to respond to this one...

English football team is as strong a team on paper as the famed indian cricket team's batting line up is.

Formidable defense? Has the definition of formidable changed ? Seen the italians at work?

I think there's too much hype about the english premier league and the England team. Big names without as much talent.

11:48 PM  

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