Italy's World Cup

Italy's World Cup

Materazzi in the dock as FIFA step in

FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Italian international defender Marco Materazzi following the incident that led to France captain Zinedine Zidane being sent off in Sunday's World Cup final.

One final act of tactical mastery as coaches bow out at right time

IN BOWING out after their respective successes at the World Cup Marcello Lippi, the Italian World Cup winner, and German manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who earned for himself and his country redemption, have managed to leave their posts with maximum dignity.

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Italian PM pushes World Cup inspiration

ITALY'S World Cup soccer win should inspire the country to face tough challenges, Prime Minister Romano Prodi said today.

FIFA will investigate Zidane's head-butt

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.

Italy's World Cup losers

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.

Italian squad afforded a heroes' welcome in Rome, but honeymoon might not last too long

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.

They think it's all over - it is now, so get back to reality

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.

France won't make Zidane a scapegoat

THERE'S an old stage saying that a good actor should always leave his audience wanting more.

Totti ponders his future with Azzurri

FRANCESCO TOTTI may quit international football following Italy's World Cup win in Germany.

Zidane sees red as Italy win World Cup

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.

Italians on top of the world

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.

Italy v France

France 1

Scotland stages a battle of the blues

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.

Twilight of the god

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.

Recent history gives Italians Les Bleus in major finals

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.

Big-game experience in plentiful supply on final day of reckoning

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 Zizou it's just business

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.

Everyone's a Franckophile

ZINEDINE Zidane is not one for lingering goodbyes.

World Cup final victory would be a just reward for dynamic football

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.

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