By Paul Kennedy
Retiring Zinedine Zidane
is letting his feet doing the talking.
In what would be unheard upon in American sports, Zidane has refused to
speak to the press since before France's opening game of the 2006 World
Cup. Even before the final game of his career, he didn't talk to press.
Nor did any of his teammates.
the coach of the surprise finalists, wasn't bothered that no player
accompanied him for the final press conference before Sunday's final
against Italy in Berlin.
"I understand why he [Zidane] does not want to talk," said
Domenech. "Like all the others he is saying the same thing, 'Don't
talk, do." They [the players] were so criticized after 2002, so they
have decided to keep quiet until tomorrow."
France was eliminated after the first round in 2002 -- it was the first
defending champion to fail to get out of the first round -- and wasn't
expected to reach this year's final, especially after lackluster
performances in ties against Switzerland and South Korea.
1-Gianluigi Buffon (66-0); 19-Gianluca Zambrotta (57-2), 23-Marco
Materazzi (31-1), 5-Fabio Cannavaro (99-1), 3-Fabio Grosso (22-2);
20-Simone Perrotta (30-1), 21-Andrea Pirlo (30-5), 8-Gennaro Gattuso
(46-1); 16-Mauro Camoranesi (25-1), 10-Francesco Totti (57-9); 9-Luca
16-Fabien Barthez (86-0); 19-Willy Sagnol (44-0), 15-Lilian Thuram
(120-2), 5-William Gallas (46-1), 3-Eric Abidal (13-0); 4-Patrick
Vieira (93-6), 6-Claude Makelele (49-0); 22-Franck Ribery (9-1),
10-Zinedine Zidane (107-30), 7-Florent Malouda (18-2); 12-Thierry Henry
officiated the opening game of the World Cup and will do the final. He
has handed out 22 yellow cards and two red cards in four games
2006 World Cup. Elizondo's most famous call was to red card England
striker Wayne Rooney
for stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo
Carvalho in their quarterfinal clash in Gelsenkirchen.
His most controversial card was the yellow to Ghana's Asamoah Gyan
for taking his penalty kick prematurely against the Czech Republic.
Gyan, who shot because he heard a whistle in the crowd, missed the
retake -- and missed the next game against the USA because it was his
second yellow in group play. In the Switzerland-South Korea game later
in group play, Elizondo overruled compatriot Rodolfo Otero's
offside flag as
Alexander Frei ran
clear on to a deflected pass and several Korean
defenders stopped playing. Frei's goal was the second Swiss goal in a
2-0 win. FIFA was forced to block e-mail messages from angry Korea fans
to protect its web site for going down.
banned for two games
was handed a two-game suspension -- he will miss England's opening Euro
2008 qualifiers against Andorra and
Macedonia -- and fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($4,072) by FIFA's
disciplinary committee on Saturday for his dismissal against Portugal.
Argentines Leandro Cufre and
Maxi Rodriguez must
serve four and two-game suspensions for their part in the
melee after their loss to Germany in the quarterfinals.