Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It is a very exciting thought that 10 players involved in the 1998 finals will have the chance to meet again for a second contest.

At that evening in Paris, France's line up contained Barthez, Thuram, and Zidane, who are starters now. Trezeguet, Henry and Vieira were not first-choices.

For Brazil, the ubiquitous Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo started, with Emerson and Dida on the bench.

France's game was and still is revolving around Zidane being deployed behind the main strikeforce. The difference is that now Henry plays alone upfront (though being assisted by the excellent Ribery) and not conjured with Argentina-born Trezeguet.

Brazil's game, on the other hand, included two specialist sitting midfielders, two offensive midfielders (a passer in Leonardo and a carrier in Rivaldo), a fixed striker (Ronaldo) and another in a supporting role (Bebeto). In a sense, it stays the same, however with improved midfield players and no capabilty of either striker to play facing the goal instead of facing the play. Maybe if Robinho starts he'll resemble Bebeto's role in a better way.

But - before I miss the point - let's all anticipate a great match with a lot of tension and rivalry. Frenchmen, trust me, I think we want to beat you more badly than the Argentinians. And that is REALLY bad for you guys. 98 did not heal yet. Argentina 90 was healed already with Copa America, Confederations Cup and many other instances. But 98 was not.

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