Paul Attfield: Well, that's it I guess. The World Cup is over and the tears are flowing, England style, as another four-year wait begins. From sublime performances from the likes of ZZ and Cannavaro to the disappointment of Ronaldinho and Lampard, this World Cup did what they always do - provide debate fodder, from the bar room to the board room.
Now it's back to baseball . . .
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! It's been a slice folks. Cheers. And in true delusional style, here's to England, Euro2008 winners. Still, more chance of that than Duff being World Footballer of the Year . . . Or even getting a game at Stamford Bridge for that matter!
Posted Monday at 3:08 p.m.
Simon Beck: Goodbye, all.
My predictions for 2006-7:
1/ Queen's Park Rangers will gloriously and triumphantly avoid relegation from the Coca Cola Championship.
2/ Faroe Islands 1, Scotland 0.
Posted Monday at 2:47 p.m.
Paul Attfield: Just read a comment about how Zidane receiving the Golden Ball is a disgrace after his headbutt. That may or may not be the case, but it is a real case of double standards when you consider that Cristiano Ronaldo was shut out of the Best Young Player award simply because of his role in the Rooney dismissal.
Also saw a slightly amusing, but very misguided and immature, story. Just goes to show it's not just the England fans who get out of control!
Posted Monday at 2:28 p.m.
John Doyle: In the spirit of World Cup tolerance I'll put my Irish Republican roots aside and wish Neil's Rangers the best. Scotland too. FIFA's seeding system will make it very hard for smaller countries to qualify for Euro2008, but I'll be following closely. I'll be in McVeigh's for Ireland games, other bars for other games and, if all works out, I hope to see Ireland play a game at Croke Park in Dublin in the next year.
Robinho for World Player of the Year? Perhaps. But there's Damien Duff too. And, at some point in the future, obviously, Aiden McGeady.
Posted Monday at 2:16 p.m.
Scott Colbourne: My attempt to make it home from the airport without knowing the result of the final lasted all of 20 seconds yesterday. A monster truck painted in the Italian colours, with several enormous flags flowing behind it, was the first of many clues. Watched the game last night and was disappointed -- in Zidane, in Italy's lack of interest in scoring goals, and in the shootout to end it. I hope that final and the general negativity surrounding this tournament will not turn off the people who were tuning in for the first time. I'm going to focus on the good moments and get ready for Liverpool's campaign -- and for qualifying to start for the 2010 World Cup.
And we need Canada in that tournament. It has been too long, and we have so many good athletes playing the sport in their youth. My solution is to keep the Canadian Football League name, keep all the teams and their colours, but stop playing that silly game with the pads, the second-tier U.S. college players and that oddly shaped ball. Make the Grey Cup a national trophy for the best soccer team, using Canadian players with a few imports, and add a squad for the Atlantic provinces. If we're going to have a Canadian league in the summer, it might as well be a sport that Canadians -- and people around the world -- actually play.
But that may be another conversation. Congrats to Germany for being excellent hosts and giving it a good run, and to Italy and its fans for the win. The team wasn't all that fun to watch when it had the ball, but the record books don't care about aesthetics. And thanks to all the bloggers and the readers for their great comments.
Posted Monday at 2:03 p.m.
Paul Attfield: I see Juventus have appointed ex-player Didier Deschamps as their new coach. The Turin club must be accepting the inevitable then. Well, at least Deschamps has has experience with that kind of thing, having been captain of Marseille when they were relegated a division following match-fixing in the French championship.