10 July, 2006


It happened at the end of the match.
After announcing his retirement from soccer after this Cup, literally the very last match, the final match.
At such “memorable” stage, he decided to work violence against his opponent.

What made him act like that, what actually happened in front of my own eyes, no one – the audience at the stadium, the TV announcers, the analysts, and me in front of the TV – could understand.

He=Zinedine Zidane left his last pitch with a red card.

I suppose every single person watching this game had the question in their minds, WHY?
Why would he do this? He knew most well that this was his last match of his professional soccer life.

Now at this point of writing this blog, nearly 12 hours have passed but the Japanese media hasn’t been able to figure out the true reason for this behavior. All we’ve been told is that he regrets it, but is not so sorry about it.

A gentleman like him, suddenly enraged like that and not feeling sorry – what was it? As far as I can guess, right before he went head-butt he looked like he was exchanging some phrases with Materazzi...

I don’t know if that was the actual trigger, or if there’s something else/more to it.

Like many people know, the result was an Italian victory after PK.

I’m actually surprised at how shocked I am not so much by the result but by my favorite player’s odd acting. It’s really depressing.

But Thank You anyway, Zidane.
I had a marvelous time watching your play over the years. You were the one who turned me into one soccer freak from a baseball boy. You got me to know another element of life that’s more than fun.

I won’t be able to see you play, but I will never forget every movement you made on the pitch with the fantastic and “kind” pass and all that.

Now there’s one less expectation in my life, but I’ll keep on being a fanatic supporter for France in terms of soccer. Because you played.

And Thank You All-French. Thank You World Cup. Thank You Soccer.

Last but not least, sorry for writing so much not only about plain soccer but about France (not Japan). I’ll get back to the normal Japan essays tomorrow (hopefully).

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