The End of the Affair

One should never blog while overly emotional but I am going to press on, regardless of how mortified I will be tomorrow and how moronic you will all think me. Firstly, hearty congratulations to the Italians! Secondly, WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING ZIZOU?! I truly thought the stupidest sporting thing I would see today would be Roger Federer's custom-made white blazer at Wimbledon. The Rog had been buttering my muffin since four years ago today, when he endeared himself to me with his tears upon winning the title for the first time. But when he stepped onto the court two weeks ago looking like a bartender on a P&O cruise ship, the fire in my loins faded significantly. There's no excuse for that sort of thing, unless you're auditioning for James Bond. But to be honest, my eye had already wandered by then, as I'd gone World Cup Mental and completely fallen for the lovely eyes, baldy head and twinkle toes of Zinedine Zidane. How shite then, that the undisputed winner of today's Stupid Award turned out to be Zidane himself, with that horrible headbutting of Marco Materazzi during extra time. I have never been so… fucking… gutted. Yes, I have been an unashamed bandwagon-hopper with the World Cup. Gareth always finds it hilarious how swiftly I become so passionately obsessed with sporting events, but this one was particularly all-consuming. So to see Zidane's sparkling career finish in such a moment of madness was utterly devastating. Why did you do that? Why did it have to end this way? I alternately screamed at the telly and tried not to bawl. Dudes. To see someone you idolise do something so crazy is gobsmackingly impossible to comprehend. It was like Valentino Rossi had reached over and slashed someone's tyre in the middle of a MotoGP, or Adam Gilchrist had pulled up a stump and poked a batsman up the arse for a laugh; or Thom Yorke gatecrashed a Coldplay show and whacked Chris Martin over the head with a 20 kilo bag of Fair Trade coffee. Oh hang on, that last one's just my secret fantasy. It is just such a rubbish ending to a tournament of ups and downs and downs. Though I may finally understand the offside rule, it still feels like all I gained from five weeks of football is a paler complexion, a crushing sense of disillusionment and slightly larger arse.

Rafael Nadal: outplayed; and outdressed by both Federer
AND some little boy with his top button done up.

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25 thoughts on “The End of the Affair

  1. i was pretty gutted too… but more than the headbutt i am intruiged as to what materazzi said or did to piss off zidane who is normally a pretty mellow bloke. i’m sure all will be revealed.

    you should have seen parramatta rd this morning… choca-block. norton street was closed so traffic was bumper to bumper all up to camperdown. it’s as if australia had won!

  2. It’s a shame that after he had had such a wonderful tournament, that brain fart is what he’ll be remembered for. I, too, want to know what Materazzi said to prompt such a bizarre response.

    And it would have been nice to see the Italians actually take a shot on goal in the final 75 minutes! It’s hard to praise them as champions when all they did for 95% of the match was play defense.

  3. A propos of nothing and unrelated to this post… been reading your archives, and so glad to see you refer to it as “Big fucking Ben.” Thought I was the only one!

  4. Gutted is the word, all right. Zidane, you fucker, you broke my fucking heart today. And that shot of him walking off the pitch and passing within a few feet of the trophy…awful, awful. We were shocked and numb in the Max household.

    And you’re dead right Deborah: what did Materazzi say to him, anyway? Crikey.

  5. Yes, I was disappointed with Zizou as well however it is hardley the first time that his temper has gotten the better of him (and it is explosive when it happens). It did remind me that he isn’t a god (despite those eyes and that smile). He is just a very good player who sometimes looses it. I am sorry however that this is probably going to be one of the things people remember about him. Maybe he will have to give up is planned retirement after all….

  6. Gods, yes, what the bloody hell were you doing, Zizou? The rest of the game was just misery after that.

    And what was with Materazzi’s nipple grab?

  7. You are so right about Federer’s blazer. OMG!

    I was just a bit gutted by the Zidane thing. The Italians did not diserve to win, the French were the better team on the night so it was so annoying for it to end that way. And zizou could have been the hero because he was the difference between them.

    He’s 34 and should have been above it. But I guess a lot had happened by then – the dislocated shoulder incident that had me squirming on the couch and he maybe didn’t have the presence of mind to think ahead. As I said to Dan afterwards – he should have shrugged it off and headbutted the guy after the game once they’d won.

  8. I suspect Materazzie was relentless! Some have said there was racist slurring, a nipple grip and lowest of all aggravation of his shoulder post dislocation.

    ZZ is fallible, like the rest of us, but gorgeous and captivating to watch! Without him my jumping on the bandwagon would not of been so enjoyable. That instance is not the sum of him.
    Please Shauna dont turn your back on him….HE NEEDS YOU!!

  9. I’m with Deborah and the rest. That match was completely devastating…the Italian team played a dirty, dirty game, and Materazzi must have said something truly vile to make Zidane lose his cool.
    Did anyone else think Zidane’s shoulder injury seemed like the result of a deliberate attempt? I got that impression, but it all happened so fast, I’m not sure.
    I’m totally disappointed. I think Trinidad & Tobago vs. Sweden remains the best match of the World Cup. They had a man down and not a chance in hell of scoring, but at least they played clean and looked like they enjoyed every minute of it.

  10. Well I work in a building half-full of Italians so “football” (as they call it) is pretty much all I’m hearing about today. I told them that Australia actually kind of came second, having come so close to beating the eventual winners.

  11. cheers for all the comments, groovers…

    hiya claire – there’s no way i am turning my back on zizou, nor will most people methinks. and of course it’s not the first time he’s got a red card, that’s for sure. he certainly is human and fallible. i think it’s all these elements that make him a fascinating character.

    you just can’t help feeling crushed that this is the final image of him on the pitch. i will just keep in my head a nice little montage of the GOOD moments when he was just enthralling to watch 🙂

    in case anyone missed it, it’s been linked everywhere… great background on the fella from this Observer profile in 2004 —,,1182707,00.html

  12. Why, by the way, did R. Federer wear a blazer that was a bit small for him? I have clothes that fit me a bit like that – the ones I hope some day to shrink back into – but he earns more money than I do and could afford to buy himself a new one.

  13. I have to say it – that blazer is not white but CREAM. Could there possibly be a more offending shade to wear with all that blazing Persil white?

  14. He really made that guy fly, that’s a pretty serious headbutt to the chest. For a second I thought, “Am I watching a hockey game?”

    Anyway, thanks for your commenty presence in my life. I’ve been thinking of you.

  15. I dunno, if I were an Arabic Frenchman and it was my last ever match and my mum had just been hospitalised and some loud mouth Italian said I was the son of a terrorist whore.

    I think I might, as we say in Scotland,


    in exactly the same manner.

    Actually I would have then stuck the boot in once he was down.

    In a country recently ravaged by race riots I think it is important that the nations hero and a figure head for the Arabic French community kicks racists into touch.
    To be seen to brook no shit.

    Connard Italien!

    Allez les Bleus!!

  16. I’m with Polx on this one. If I was of Algerian extract and some arrogant Italian came along and insisted I was a terrorist and then called my mother and sisters whores I’d headbutt him as well. The French totally deserved to win that game, and the tournament for that matter.

  17. Yeah! Thank you thank you for the congratulations!
    I am in Italy right now, enjoying the celebrations and partaking since I was cheering for the team myself !

    far from bing the best game to glorify a national team (the match sucked in my opinion), but they have been waiting for this for no less than 24 years: feels like they deserve it!

  18. Typically french minded, they loose their cool. Even they could win the game, they would prefer to fight and loose. Typically french…

  19. What are you all talking about?????

    The Italians played a dirty game??? Exactly when did this happen?? Do you know how much cussing and hollering goes on during ANY game?

    No matter WHAT happened and no matter WHAT Materrazzi said, Zizou’s reactions was totally bizarre and inappropriate. BTW, this is not exactly the first time that Zizou had used this tecnique to get back at the opposing teams and players. He’s known as a hot head and a violent one at that.

    It’ll all be dealt with next week when they both have to sit their butts down in front of the FIFA delegation and talk it out.

    As far as the game goes, no, Italy did not play THAT well. They had an excellent first half and a poor second half, but their fantastic defense is what got them to the finals in the first place. Buffon blocked some really tough kicks , especially the last one from Zizou, and THAT is what kept the score even.

    It’s not fair that they won? That’s football everybody. Sometimes it’s not fair, especially when you get to the end of a 140 minute game and nothing is happening. Italy went into the finals in 1998 and played much better than Brazil – but the stars were not in the right place for them that night.

    See ya in four years…

  20. Zidane is a free man, that is the point. No matter the victory, the essential is to keep your freedom.


    weeeeeeeeee areeeeeeeeeeee the championssssssss . . . .

    muuuahahahahhahaaaaaaaaaa .

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