Sunday, July 02, 2006
  In Zizou, the French trust!
All my predictions for the quarter-finals came true except for Brazil winning against France. I am a Brazil fan and I wanted them to win. Brazil team is packed with stars like Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Cafu, Roberto Carlos etc. who can change the shape of the game in one instant without any support. France has a team consisting of players whose average age is 30 years. Viera, Henry, Zidane, Barthez, Thuram etc. have seen better days and are past their prime. I expected Brazil to eliminate France quite easily.

However, something odd and unexpected happened. A man named Zinedine Zidane found what it means to be young and free at the ripe age of 34 years (really old by soccer standards). Zizou remembered what it is like when the body is 20 years old, you have hair on your head, and the mind wants to take on the whole world single-handedly. He played as if there was no tomorrow and transformed himself from a man to a God. Yesterday, Zidane managed to teach the collection of Brazilian stars some basic lessons about soccer. He controlled the midfield like a general who knows exactly where his different troops are positioned in the field and made his next move without even blinking twice. He was thinking ahead three or four moves like a chess player and passing the ball through gaps that even commentators and spectators failed to see.

Words are not good enough to describe this majestic performance of Zizou. After Maradona's superlative performances against Belgium and England in 1986, this is one of the best individual performance that I ever saw on the soccer field. Click on the link below and wonder!

Zidane in World Cup 2006

It might be that France will be eliminated by Portugal in the semi-finals or they might lose the finals, but it does not really matter. At the age of 34 years, I do not know how many times can Zizou pull out such an incredible performance out of his hat. Make no mistake, the confidence of the French team rests on the tired shoulders of this old man. Without him, they become a very ordinary team. But, for the sake of sentimentality towards one of the greatest players I have seen, I hope that France goes on to win this tournament one more time. Zizou can then rest his boots in peace and will join the hallowed portals of the legends like Pele, Yashin, Best, Cryuff, Mueller, and Maradona.
"Saptarishi" in Sanskrit means the Seven Sages or rishis who are extolled at many places in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. They are regarded in the Vedas as the patriarchs of the Vedic religion. The constellation of Ursa Major is also named as Saptarshi. (Source:

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  • Anonymous Vikas Chand // Saturday, July 15, 2006 11:02:00 PM
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