The dream dies. England, a powerhouse in international football (soccer) has been booted from the World Cup 2006 via their Achilles heel, penalty kicks. After ninety-minutes of regular time and another thirty-minutes overtime, the 0-0 game came down to the tie-breaker, and England could not seem to find the back of PortugalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s net.
Disappointed? Sure. But truth be told, the England side seemed sluggish and methodical in all their narrow group play victories. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see the break away ability of France or Brazil. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see the coordinated attacks of Germany or Italy. No, I saw a team that lacked aggression (perhaps a reflection of their coach) and seemed more interested in playing the ball back and chipping shots into the box from range for the meager center-forwards.
Speaking of which, Rooney could use a lesson in maturity, and Crouch could use a lesson in actually standing over the ball and moving with it. Both seemed lost and woefully unprepared for the best teams in the world.
For me, the World Cup is the pinnacle of sports. It truly is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“world championshipÃ¢â‚¬Â? Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ much more than some professional U.S. sports claim. The countries of the world spend better than 2 years qualifying for the cup, then play a grueling schedule en route to a mid-summer championship. England has won once, in 1966 Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ I hope to see them do it again. However, with the World Cup being held in South Africa in 2010, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see the pasty crew from the clouded skies of England doing much damage in that heat.
Of the remaining teams, I find myself left rooting for France. Treachery!