Thursday, June 29, 2006

The importance of being earnest

My Aussie friends cannot quite get their heads around what happened a couple of nights ago. They are not very familiar with football. They are used to much more crude and "down to earth" sports such as rugby and AFL, in which players usually kick and punch the sh*t out of each other (without complaining) but, in the end, the best team always wins. That doesn't always happen in football I am afraid. The Italians know it very well as they were booted out themselves by the Koreans for an injust ref's decision four years ago. I know it is a harsh way to lose but this is also the beauty (and cruelty) of this beautiful sport. The Australian team played at the best of their capabilities but, in the end, let's face it, their best wasn't good enough. The Aussies themselves are, by tradition, sore losers. So, as you can imagine, they didn't take this defeat too well. Even so, they never went as far as the Italians went four years ago in accusing FIFA of a conspiracy. So all credits to them. Having said so, I am glad we made it and I am even more glad it was Italy to kick the Aussies out of this tournament! In the end, the best team won. Of course, I would have preferred a clean victory (perhaps scoring a couple of goals) rather than the result of a diving competition. But hey...after all, this is football and we are Italian, aren't we?

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