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ITALY'S World Cup soccer win should inspire the country to face tough challenges, Prime Minister Romano Prodi said today.
THE Italian defender Marco Materazzi yesterday admitted he insulted Zinedine Zidane prior to the head-butt which ended the French skipper's World Cup final and career. However, what Materazzi actually said to so inflame Zidane depends very much on which newspaper you read, with the Italian refusing to elaborate beyond an acknowledgement that there was a preliminary verbal spat.
AN ITALIAN electrical chain has lost £12 million after it ran a campaign offering customers who bought TVs their money back if Italy won the World Cup.
ITALIANS savoured their team's World Cup victory as the champions returned home yesterday from a triumph that temporarily took minds off the imminent outcome of a match-fixing trial.
ITALY may have defeated France to win the World Cup, but the real winner was the "Old Europe" that Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, once derided. After all, who would have predicted a World Cup final between France and Italy? It looks as if the national teams of the two "sick men of Europe" felt obliged to change their countries' images in the world.
THERE'S an old stage saying that a good actor should always leave his audience wanting more.
FRANCESCO TOTTI may quit international football following Italy's World Cup win in Germany.
THERE'S an old stage saying that a good actor should always leave his audience wanting more and a stellar career peppered with honours and pitted with praise shouldn't have ended like this.
ITALY fought their way to World Cup glory last night, beating France 5-3 on penalties in a tense final watched by a global audience of more than a billion.
SCOTLAND didn't make it and England didn't last long, but today's World Cup final remains a matter of national pride for at least 55,000 football fans north of the Border.
FOOTBALL'S mad capacity to amaze is encapsulated in France's passage to the World Cup final, a journey so rich in intrigue and genuine shock value that, should they achieve ultimate victory against the Italians in Hitler's old stomping ground in Berlin this evening, it will surely rank as the pottiest tale in the history of international football, bar none.
WHEN Italy play France they require to face down ghosts and bitter memories. The recent history between the sides is grim for the Azzurri. Although their overall record may read 16 wins, eight draws and only five defeats against today's final opponents, France have been their Reaper in three major finals in the past two decades, and are undefeated in the six occasions since they beat them in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.
NONE of the so-called experts tipped Italy or France to reach the World Cup final. But I just had a wee feeling that Raymond Domenech's men might make it. I put money on them before the tournament started. Succeeding in international competitions is all about big-game experience. That is why we shouldn't really see the decider in Germany as a great upset.
TELL us about the corruption, Rino. Tell us why there are so few Italian supporters around. And why they're looking so sad. Have the match-fixers done them in at last? Just 48 hours from a World Cup final and there are barely two dozen fans outside your camp.
ZINEDINE Zidane is not one for lingering goodbyes.
I WRITE this the day before the World Cup final. Soon we'll find out which team will win - but I hope it'll be the French. They deserve it. If Zidane shows his best skills again, if he has enough strength and energy left in him for the final, the Italians shouldn't be able to stop this great player and his team-mates.