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i was right !!! England and Brazil die

Ok.. the cup is warming up now.. As predicted Argentina vs Germany turned out to be a jolly good scuffle. However Argentina lost, sadly, and a lot of the blame must lie with the stupid tactics of their coach, who kept genuine stars like Lionel Massi on the bench when the need of the hour was to go on an all-out attacking spree.

England, as I had predicted, went out, again due to tactical errors by the coach. By not playing Aaron Lennon for any significant length of time, he was wasting something that he was in seriously short supply of, attacking intent coupled with the requisite skill. Anytime Lennon has touched the ball, the opposition defenders have panicked and rushed to swoop down on him. And each time he has beaten them all and released some of the more illustrious names. That they fail to use the space created by the little lad is hardly his fault. But he should have been played much more just to keep the opposition defenders busy.

He had the potential to be the find of the tournament. For me, he still is. Its a shame Sven didn't see that. And he is going home a week earlier than planned because of that one mistake. I might cause a furore here but I will stick to my view. Not Beckham's injury, not the ineffective formation, not Rooney's sending off, not lack of strikers, certainly not the missing of penalties, England lost because Aaron was not given enough time on the pitch for reasons that only SGE knows. Simple !

Brazil went out too. And as I have mentioned earlier in these parts, you don't play your reputation you play so that you create a reputation. Most Brazil players were too puffed up with arrogance and pride about being the best team in the world, which they undoubtedly are, to bother about trivialities like playing to a plan. Barring very few exceptions like Kaka and Juninho, all the Brazilian players were too busy dazzling the world with their talent to think of winning as a team.

Roberto Carlos, the worst offender, could not be bothered to think of defending, he was the greased lightning down the flank in the last World Cup, wasnt he ? Sadly, its been four long years and he is not even a flickering tube light on Bihar's power grid.

Cafu, the other winger with tireless legs, forgot that running is not the only thing that a winger needs to do. Releasing balls into spaces that their strikers can reach is the other important bit that they must do. He never realised that it seems. And so we had the sorry spectacle of Cafu picking the ball from deep in their own half, running like mad down the sideline and reaching the opposite corner, where he would stop and let a defender come close before he would try to hit the ball into the stratosphere. Since that was getting to be quite predictable, the defender would block, more often than not and run away with the ball, leaving old Cafu to run all the way back and start all over again.

In the off chance that the defender couldn't the ball way, the kick would be so hard and nonsensical that it would either land across the field into the spectators or just go straight as an arrow to the keeper's waiting hands.

Ronaldinho has talent. Lots of it. Oodles of it. Unfortunately for the Brazilian supporters, he knows it. And never leaves an opportunity to showcase it. Which means we get to see brilliant cameos on the field almost everytime he has the ball but precious little else. I think that one goal from a free kick that he conjured up aganist England to sink them in the last world cup has been the single most horrible thing to have happened to him.

He has forgotten that goals can be created in far more simpler ways. Every time he takes a free kick, he tries to create a similar miracle. And fails. In the France match, he had a golden chance to level the score and keep Brazil's hopes alive in the dying minutes of the match. A chance that Ronaldo had created with an exquisite display of diving that would have made both Rivaldo and Klinsmann proud. All Ronaldinho had to do was go for the far corner of the goal. Barthez was not going to reach there,ever.

But the twice FIFA World Footballer of the year would have none of it. He had to create magic. He had to do it the difficult way. He had to try and hit the ball above the goalkeeper and make it dip at the last minute once it had got behind Barthez. Only, it was a world cup quarter final, it was not England, and miracles dont happen all the time. He missed, not by far, but he missed, and the Brazilian team can only hope that they had the foresight to buy them tickets for the matches ahead. They certainly wont be allowed to watch them free after they charged people for watching them train, after all.

I suspect France will have the better of Portugal after a nicely balanced match with more chess on display than football. In the other half, Germany should brush Italy aside with typical efficiency unless Italy manages to motivate its already good defense with tales of their legendary defensive teams of yore. In which case, it will go down to penalties, where Italy's record is checkered at best, and Germany's is chillingly perfect.

So a Germany vs France final. Ugly, efficient, unpoetic football vs defensive, thinking, physical and tiring to watch football. Typical European match. Not what the fans of football in any coutry apart from these two would have wanted or expected, but here it is.

P.S. I want to be proved wrong. I want it to be a Italy v Portugal final.

u knw a lot about soccer.dnt u?

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