Monday, July 31, 2006

Im Speechless

I'd like to say she is the new spokesperson for Azzurri Dreams. I love Feyenoord and he is invaluable to our opertaion but if this woman, Alexandra Paressant, wanted his job, his ass would be out in a moment. But unfortunately I have not replaced Feyenoord.
In the where are we until the football season starts part of the summer, we are reminded that those pesky Brazilians are always scoring. Maybe not against France, but who cares when rumor has it you scored with this woman. night in and night out. So what if they only burned down your statue, I am sure you did more then that to her in the hallway.

Now I understand why Ronaldihno did not have his game legs during the World Cup. And I promise not to stoke this fire any more, but one can only say that I rarely respect the English press, but this story, as reported in The Sun, whether true or not, just made my day.

But now, for legal purposes, I need to focus on football.

Ashley Cole is going to Chelsea. Next story. Oh wait he is going to Real Madrid. No, wait he is going to Chelsea. Just sign this deal will you, you're driving us all crazy. Hope you had a great honeymoon, now make up your mind so you can join up with some new team for your tour of America.

Juventus are asking Inter for €40M for Zlatan Ibrahomovich, pricing him out of the market so he either ends up staying at Juventus for one season until they come up to Serie A next season. Or just a hunch, so he can end-up at Real Madrid.

Palermo are intent on signing midfielder Christian Zanetti.

Turkey calling. Why is it all that Brazilians end-up there. Latest has Roberto Carlos going to Fenerbahce. He has come out since meeting with Fabio Capello saying he wants to stay at Real Madrid. But with Cannavaro, Ramos, Cichino, and one more addition to the defense(see Ashley Cole), Madrid's MLS-like defense is solid and then don't need him. I am sure Roberto can hang out with fellow Brazilian Marcelinho in some Turkish cafe' wondering if the rumors about Alexandra Paressant are true.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Reading the Future

I too would look this worried. No not for the 9-month suspension I just received after my national football tribunal. But because if I knew my star's father had been in Madrid negotiating a new contract on his behalf, I would be this long-faced. But wait, Galliano always looks this way, doesn't he...but I digress.

This summer's deal are fun, aren't they? Although the most protacted deals in the past few years were those of Sir David and Ronaldihno, the ones that are about to happen still have another 32 days before the summer conclusion to this transfer market. So get ready, because some of these we will get tired of hearing about. And the name-calling(see Real Madrid vs. Milan) and finger-pointing will only intensify. Players will know their interests are best-served by asking for transfers and then bidding will offically being. See Kuyt, Tevez, Reyes, Landon(nah, I am just kidding on this one).
No I am not a psychic who knows what is going to happen before it happens. But when it comes to Real Madrid I do know one thing; what they want they get. Two news agencies, Telemadrid and AS both have Milan's Kaka' signing for Real Madrid. And the kicker is this, they will unveil him on August 9th so that Kaka' does not play Champions League for Milan this year-Ouch. Now, the growing readership at Azzurri Dreams knows we do not like to speculate(ok, well I lied) but I have a feeling we will see Ronaldo or Julio Baptista mentioned possibly in some swap. Great, a great player for a fatty. That is fair but I digress again. Call it a hunch. And to add injury to insult, supposedly Kaka', with the thousands of Real Madrid fans already waiting for him and sleeping in the parking lot of the Santiago Bernabeu, will be unveiled wearing the #19 jersey as worn by the great, drum-roll please...Jonathan Woodgate whose greatest contribution to that team has been his fashionable hair style over the past two years. This move makes absolutely no sense to me and why Milan would want to sell him is beyond me.

But maybe, just maybe, its because they need the money to launch an official bidding war for Fernando Torres and are intent on bringing defensive midfielder Mahamadou Diarra from Lyon. The Mali star is great but he plays a different position but Carlo Ancelotti wants to remake the mid-field of his team freeing up Andrea Pirlo. Milan is thin with strikers and should focus on this. They are already looking to offer Bonera whom they just signed from Parma last week.

Back on the other side of town, its getting sticky. Luca Toni's bid from Inter is rising by the moment, just as my blood pressure does when I watch an England match. One vicious rumor has Adrianno going to Fiorentina and Toni coming over for close to €20M. Fiorentina now needs to compensate for the loss of Champioms League money and Inter know this. zlatan Ibrahimovic is to follow shortly for close to €12M. Juventus keep claiming they are not selling any other players but then again, they say that because their phones are still being tapped and are trying to deflect all the calls that aren't from the cash-rich Inter.

As for me, I need to make an appearance and wave to the many passerby's that stand below the Azzurri Dreams offices hoping to get a glance of me. More news to follow shortly.

Azzurri Dreams

Friday, July 28, 2006

Clean Urine

As if there was any doubt that I would pass any drug test, I am here to announce to the ever-growing Azzurri Dreams readership that I have not doped. Not now, not in the past. My analysis of the game is all natural. Although some would suggest my disgust at anything to do with the French and English national sides is heightened by some 'abnormal' substances recently found in my bloodwork, I am here writing with this the full legal and moral support of Feyenoord. With that said, we can now address today's ramblings. Roma are looking to strengthen their team ahead of their Champions League appearance this year.
They are keen on signing Ghanaian midfielder Stephane Appiah. I am sure he will want to leave his Turkish experience behind and go back to a country with no match-fixing implications. Roma are also looking to bring in Serbian striker Mirko Vucinic. And just to re-assure our American viewership, I did not intentionally choose the picture with a dejected American team from the last game of this years Group of Death, it was merely a coincidence.
It is on. It is off. Luca Toni has been categorically told he will not being to Inter. Oh well. I do not buy it. Now the brain trust has decided to focus on bringing the Juventus strike force of Ibrahimovic and Trezeguet to Inter. Lets see, what to do...with Adrianno, Martins, Cruz. I think Trezeguet goes elsewhere, but as you all know I have been know to be wrong from time to time.
Manchester United are after Argentina players Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. No way. Supposedly Mascherano is off to Inter and Tevez is too good to end up at Manchester United. Tevez is on his way out and that is obvious after what happened in Brazil on Monday night. I look for AC Milan to make a move for this kid that can flat-out play and pairing him up with Crespo.
As for other news, lets just say if I were Liverpool I would focus on not going to Haifa without at least 1,000 hooligans. I am sure they can offer all the security they would need in a war zone to handle Hezbollah, Israel and the PLO and still have time to have some very nice pints of warm beer.
And in the 'did miss something' portion of today's ramblings why is Sol Campbell such as hot commodity right now. Seriously, if anyone can tell me, please email me. The latest has him linked up with Roma and Marseille. Ok, I have to go back to have my Sample B re-tested but will be back shortly.

Azzurri Dreams

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Im Out

No, not like Lance out-of-closet. But out of ideas on how to hide the fact, the disappointment, that surely must come with not being able to bash the Swedish-Savant. But it may be my lucky day after all. Rumors circulating in England have him, minus one-sheik taking over the Aston Villa coaching job. Could this be my lucky day? Seriously, if that is the case, Feyenoord may never be able to pry me away from the AzzurriDreams offices. If that is the case, can you imagine an entire-seasons worth of sexual innuendos, meetings with Beckham and whatever drama that merely being the Swedish-Savant brings. I shudder to think at how much worse my carpal tunnel will become because I will be typing at a feverish pace...almost non-stop, like the media lining to ask him what the hell he was thinking in Germany.

But for now, lets just report some news. Feyenoord has just handed me a small piece of paper. It reads, "Do not mention Hezbollah and mention something Dutch." So I say, for lunch today, we will go Dutch. He frowns and I know what he means. Ok, here it is, the deal for Dirk Kuyt is back-on with Liverpool. The Dutch team wants €14 Million, Liverpool, after picking up another dud in Pennant only want to pay €10 Million. But this kid can flat out play.

Milan, have just trumped Inter's bid for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, offering €22 Million. This along with Gilardino upfront and Kaka' running wild behind them would make for a great, young striking force. Look for Inter now to really start freaking out and trying to secure Luca Toni that wants to leave but has been told by Fiorentina that he now going anywhere.

As if this makes any sense. We all know Ruud Van Nistelrooy is leaving Manchester United. That is not the news. The news is that Ferguson is taking a chance and looking to bring in Jermain Defoe to replace him. Seriously, are you kidding me. Replace one of the top Champions League scores of the last few seasons and a guy with a 150+ domestic goals with a guy...wells lest just say, the Swedish-Savant did not even pick him for his illustrious squad in Germany. The argument here is about age, and just once, I would like to see Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledge this rather then publicly out his players that have given him so much. Ruud we wish you only the best at youre new team and don't worry, Manchester United will do nothing without you this season. But seriously look at the picture above and I too would be that happy to leave the drama that is now Manchester United. Oh wait he now has to deal with the Real Madrid circus.

Azzurri Dreams

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Only a Warning

This type of media attention usually follows Feyenoord and I when we leave the plush offices of Azzurri Dreams. It usually takes at least a drink or two to take the edge off after I feel like Carvalho whose personal space has been intruded(but for the sake of legal purposes, I cannot decribe this analogy any further).

I must admit, we at Azzurri Dreams always looked at the match-fixing crisis in Italy and subsequent verdicts as those huge rainmaker law settlements only to usually see the actual damages awarded dwindled down. And so it goes that the Italian landscape has changed, for the short-term, but the long-term implications have not. Lost in all this that a message was sent, a strong one, but teams were still given the lucrative opportunities to play back in the Serie A so really, what type of message was sent. This was the opportunity to clean out the game. And it did not, entirely.

In all, we saw the dismantling of Juventus for two years and Milan(-8), Fiorentina(-17), Lazio(-11) appeal and rejoin the race for the scudetto. Now the funny thing, is you have two teams vying for the Championship, Inter Milan and Roma with Milan probably focused on the Champions League.

Now the idiots at Inter still do not have a team that will run away with the title with AC Milan still being able to make a strong run for it. As for Roma, I do not know if they can win it as they need strike support(look for them to grab Iaquinta) but then again they are only chasing Inter. I wonder how great it will be watching a team play that has 2 games in hand over their nemesis and city rival. At least, in the Serie B, we are geared up for nights of fabulous riots when Napoli and Juventus play...take that Inter, oh wait that is what your fans do.

Now let the deals start coming together. Inter up their bid for Luca Toni, want Viera(almost a foregone conclusion) and will sign at least another Argentine player they do not need to go along with the other 11 they already have. Watch for Crespo to be linked up with either Inter or Milan and for the conclusion of the Buffon deal in the next short few days now that his new employer will be playing in the Champions League.

The Italian Championship now looks like this:

Fiorentina (-19)
Lazio (-11)
Milan (-8)
COPPA UEFA: Palermo, Livorno e Parma.

The future is that the lesson here in Italy(again) is that the special interests in the game, won out again. Corruption has a smiling face on it again. There is a dink in the armor, but they all came out alright. Again, as they always do.

Now we can focus on the new story rocking the European football community...the scandal in Turkey. Not really, that would be as interesting as watching David Beckham apply hair gel at half-time to spike his hair. But lets give thanks that this saga just like Wayne's kick and the terroist head butt situation is behind us and I can get back to doing what I do best, talk about football and not the drama that comes along with it. Then again, I might be bored.
Azzurri Dreams

Thursday, July 20, 2006

45 Million and Counting

No, that is not the number of times Zidane's ass has been kissed in the media since July 9th. Or how many times I have watched Fabio Grosso's penalty kick to win the World Cup. That is the what the crisis at Juventus has netted them as of today in selling off the worlds top players. Gone, Zambrotta and Thurman to Barcelona. Lost Cannavaro and Emerson to Real Madrid. And while I cannot hide my sadness that my National players will not enter their own stadiums to the cheers of Gladiators upon the start of the upcoming Serie A season, I wonder if there has ever been a player Diaspora like this. Sir Alex and the rest of the gaffers in England must be wondering why, just why they cannot recruit any of these players to England. But I will answer that later on.
And the selling will continue with Buffon off to Milan, Vieira set to reach terms with Inter while they also try to sign Ibrahimovic and Trezeguet to be offloaded by next week. Its sad with all this player movement from the team where we have seen so many of these players becoming great. But not as sad as the Chelsea signing of Roberto Carlos so the owners son can watch his favorite player at $tamford Bridge every weekend and maybe, just maybe on occasion get a free kick on target(notice I did not say score).
Seriously, though with the quality of the players that the Spanish giants have signed, the European landscape is altered again...this time dwindling the group of ultra-competitive teams across Europe vying for the Champions League down to just a hand full. Look for Bayern and maybe one other team to team to be able to keep up and compete this upcoming season for the Champions League.
But hey, somewhere, of course in England someone is signing Nicolas Anelka as I mentioned some idiot would do many months ago. But the bottom line is what a coach like Fabio Capello, just maybe in the post-Galatico phase of Real Madrid, they might actually just focus on playing the game again and win something. And if they could only get rid of a fat Ronaldo(ok, now I sound like the Brazilian Press, I am now sure from the early training videos that Fabio Capello may be, just maybe, be the man that ultimately says to the world, Becks take you and your wife off to the MLS, we do not need another prancing midfielder who disappears for the entire game but re-appears for the photo opps.(this comments might seen rude and needless but now that I cannot bash the Swedish-Savant and grown tired of my own Zidane-tirades, I might need a new target).

Real Madrid will still have some problems in defense but with Cannavaro, Ramos, Cichino and another stiff(see Woodgate, Pavon, see entire 2003-2006 Madrid Defense) Capello has just secured a strong defense with two flank options in Ramos and Cichino that can make those runs and keep teams pegged back. Barcelona has just added Thurman to help Carlos Puyal in the middle and with Zambrotta on the side, have also revamped a defense that was suspect last year. Now if they get some striking support for Et'o, now that Ronaldihno has gotten over the disappointment of seeing his statue burned to the ground upon his return from the World Cup(some would say he never left?), you have the top two teams in Europe contending for the Champions League making Spain, not England(as the only the English Press would lead you to believe) the dominant league in Europe. Eclipsed in all this, is that Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United will once again only pretend to compete for the Champions League and be able to offer their players an incredible array of fish and chip platters as parting gifts. Although with a weaker landscape in Europe this year, they should be able to cash in.
Dare I say it, if England is the greatest domestic league in the world, why is that their teams have not signed anyone truly great this summer(with the exception of Andriy Shevchenko)? The argument for great cannot be made for Ballack, Kalou but granted Rosicky will let Arsenal once again play the most entertaining and tactically sound and free-flowing ball in England, English teams will not compete for the Champions League. I tell you, the readers of AzzurriDreams why England's league is lacking... because England for all its prowess and open and entertaining style, in this league, their is a lacking technical and tactical capabilities of the Italian and Spanish Leagues. The long ball just does win games(Ask the Swedish-Savant and Bruce Arena, to name a few).That is why the truly creative players(the Dutch excluded) typically opt to not play there. Now trying to convince the England media to leave what happened in Istanbul...well in Istanbul will be difficult. We will reduced to watching European matches in the next two to three years without Juventus and Milan contending but I still do not think it will be enough to bring the English league up to par with the other league I have mentioned...but hey we all have the Charity Shield and the Carling Cup to look forward to this year in England.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Azzurri Dreams Calls for Peace

No. Not with the French but with the political powers within the International Community that read our site on a daily basis. Although the White House today came out and said Marco Matterazzi is not on the top 10 most wanted list, he is quickly closing in on the top spot held by Osama Bin Laden. Prodi, Blair and Putin have all decided to focus on capturing him to personally thank him for making the French seem, well you know French. Although there are many rumors that are circulating as to my spotty appearances lately, there is no truth that I am in Lebanon organizing a peace match between a Zidane-led team and a coalition team comprised of Israeli's, Syrians, and Lebanese.

If only the UN, the G8 and the WTO would listen to my podcast(circulating via the web, but you have really dig for it) advocating football as a way to spread love and peace, the world would be a happier place and I could charge more for advertisements on this site. I thought the shameless headbutt would be the most aggravated act of violence that I would see this summer but it was only the beginning. As I am writing this, my legal counsel has been alerted by Feyenoord that I am officially getting 'political' and they worry that this might alienate the growing readership of Azzurri Dreams. But that is not case.

My simple theory, in actuality, a simple template for World Peace is as follows. Watch and learn from the beautiful game and you will learn how to overcome all the atrocities that lead to war; ego, possession, religion, selfishness and lack of unity. Watch the great club teams in the world playing for 90 minutes, and you will see followers of Allah kicking around a ball with friends of Jesus. African players and Scandanavian players pass to each other. Language barriers are overcome through simple gestures. Strikers learn to trust their defenders and goalies look to midfielders for a quick link-up through the spine of the field. There are no barriers when it comes to soccer, because, in its ultimate simplicity, is the core value that it is a team sport. Hell bent on putting a little ball past a goalkeeper who is only waiting for his chance to shine, we realize that the game is the ultimate experiment in proper race relations, unity and team work. You need eleven men(sorry to all the feminist followers of Azzurri Dreams) to combine to carry out the ultimate goal. There is no need for ego or a mightier attitude. Personal differences, cultural and religious, are put aside as a team comes together to battle against a common opponent. Now calling your mother a bad name, well that is another case(but we won't touch that one, for a while).

And although FIFA is on my short-list(especially since the London Times ran an article saying they tapped the Azzurri Dreams switchboard) of people I currently dislike, they do stand united behind winning a war of prejudice and racism and inequality that is overwhelming the game, especially in Europe where an uprising in neo-nationalism is threatening to ruin the game for so many. And while that might seem like a lot to stomach(almost like Sepp's smile), the game teaches one thing. Man rallies around a common goal; whether it ends triumphantly or in defeat, the hand shakes and hugs after a match go a long way to bridging relationships that will help in the next 90 minute battle they wage together.

As for the crisis(call it a war, but I prefer crisis because it reminds me of men that need psychological assessments, constantly), I suggest this...let us start a pick-up game in the middle of Haifa or some remote Lebanese field and watch the as bombing stops, it will come to a standstill as everyone gathers around to come watch and ask if they can play. It will garner enthusiasm and calls, whistles and excitement and people will forget to bomb each other. They might still headbutt each other, but at the end of the day we'll leave the real crisis in the world(see Manchester United and the USA managerial void) and just try focusing on getting along and wondering, how in a world so dam cynical, a game could actually bring together people, so different, yet so similar that for about 90 minutes would let us all forget our problems.

Azzurri Dreams

Friday, July 14, 2006

Leave My Mommie Alone

As if our world needed any other reason to dislike the French, here we go again. In the days of censorship, I would been prohibited from saying what I am about to say...but since Feyenoord has cleared this with our legal team, here it goes.

Zidane, you messed up. All men, great and lesser make mistakes. What differentiates the two is the acceptance of their actions and not to make any excuses. I know you are still bitter about that chance in Golden Goal saved by the chosen one, but please let it be. Your mother would want it that way. I am certain that on the streets of Marseille you heard even worse then you did Sunday in Berlin.

President Jacques Chirac called Zinedine Zidane's head-butt in the World Cup final "unacceptable" on Friday, adding that something must have provoked it. "What is certain is that, for a man like Zidane — a man balanced in all respects — to have this type of reaction, there had to be something," Chirac said. So what your saying is that a man is not repsonsbile for his actions if provoked? Does he not have the freedom choosing not re-act? And do you really want to raise the next generation of players in France to be so disappointed over something that was suppossedly said that no one can veirfy. Why is it that we only have one side of the story, that of the Accussed...maybe jusy maybe because he is trying to right his wrong?

Hear is a news flash to the French--Did your press agents say anything about not crying about it especially about your mother? These guys are gladiators on the field and to believe that something like this would cause the golden boy of the last generation to loose his cool is just BS. Zidane over-reacted due to the fact that he was exhausted, hurt and not aided by a French bench with whom he pleaded to take him off the field. Anyone that knows anything about European football can make these three points and pass them along as truth:

1)Zidane has history of violence(see 14 reds in professional career)
2)Materazzi has a history of provoking players and getting questionable calls against him as well because of his reputation(need I remind you, look at the red card against Australia and the penalty kick awarded to the French)
3)FIFA has an idiot at the helm that has let political and cultural pressure surround him to start an investigation into....drum roll, Materazzi, not Zidane, who performed the aggravated act of violence towards him. Lets blame a guy that may or may not have uttered something that we cannot verify.

Trash-talking is part of the game. Be it about your wife, your team, your reseeding hairline or sister, you just learn to deal with it. It makes you stronger to walk away from it only to come back and score the winning goal on the guy who insulted you. You then shake hands and exchange jersey's. But what strikes me as odd is that now the attention has shifted to how Zidane is a victim in all this. Zidane, poor Zidane. Can we say, that the French star has already started positioning himself for a position in the governing body as did his countryman, Platini.

His acts, his need for sympathy and lack of manliness on how he has handled himself after the game dwarfs him in my opinion. His status as a man among boys(as was always the case on the field) for me is gone. Even his apology reeked of inconsistency and lacked conviction, unlike the head butt. Admit to your mistake, take responsibility for your actions and do not seek out the approval of a nation that is distraught with losing...dare I say it lost and to the Azzurri.

Don't you guys have other problems in your country--for instance crime, unemployment and making sure the new Airbus 380 can actually fly? Unlike the bias shown in France, and the press we will give Zidane the benefit and say he lost his composure(again) and now simply needs to move on with his life. Enough with the drama.

Here is the final newsflash to the French...The Cup is with the Azzurri where it rightfully belongs and no mamma's boy can take it away from us.
Azzurri Dreams

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Press Conference

Now that the happiest of times have started to mellow a bit and the last of the fire works from the Olympiastadion have settled down, we at Azzurri Dreams called this press conference to quash any rumors on our prolonged hiatus from reporting the news that our growing readership painstakingly had to deal without for nearly four months.

I repeat, nothing vicious was ever said about Feyenoord's mother or sister let alone his younger brother. He never labeled me a dirty terrosist. In jest we might have kidded about swapping girlfriends in all honesty but who does not during thesemoments of crisis as our teams ascended towards the finals. Azzurri Dreams was requested from sources that cannot be named to drop the reporting on the World Cup. We were not paid off with a bribe, our phones were not tapped. But we were kindly reminded that our commentary on the game was not needed for a short while by the footballing powers that secretly control the game.

We have not received access to the deluge of emails that were sent to us during this great World Cup and we regret that we cannot respond to all of you. Thus, at the advisement of our legal counsel, we simply say that we are back to doing what we love to do at Azzurri Dreams--reporting on the beautiful game with a glance towards what might be happening next in the great leagues across Europe. As we have all learned, during the past four weeks, dreams do in fact come true. Our growing readership now knows that since we are back live.

Azzurri Dreams

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

FIFA Probe

I am (un)officially launching a probe into FIFA. Feyenoord fears for the political implications but it must be done. Leave it to Azzurri Dreams to look at the situation like no one else dares to. Even more despicable then the ridiculous Zidane headbutt, is the lack of class shown by FIFA during the finals match. That's right I am now convinced that Sepp Blatter, along with George W. Bush and Tony Blair is part of the Axis of Evil. Sepp, the President of FIFA, must have been too busy counting all the kickbacks his organization is still getting for awarding the 2010 World Cup to Africa for I cannot come up with any other reason he would have been too busy to attend the medal ceremony. The president of FIFA himself snubbed the ceremony.

I have many theories in regards to this blatant disrespect; since he is Swiss he was afraid to walk down the steps of the Stadium in Berlin in case someone in the stands might ask for more restitutions from his country dating back to World War II. Or maybe, just maybe, he was wiping the sweat and tears off Zidane in the locker room wondering how the hell did the Italians win this World Cup and steal away from his beloved French. Or maybe he just wanted the jersey off the number 10 before someone else could get it and put it on eBay. Even Franz Beckenbauer who was still destroyed by Germany's epic loss to Italy a few nights before was seen smiling and congratulating the Italians.

But the real reason why it simply no longer matters Sepp is this. And its very simple; this World Cup was part fantasy, part fate, and not even your lack of class or deafening influence on the game could affect what was written sometime before ol' chap. Italy was chosen as a team of destiny, amid allegations, suicide attempts, negative press and racist taunts and the group of death to show the world one thing as Romano Prodi said yesterday that this was about giving "calcio nazionale la dignità che merita." For those who do not understand, it means giving the national team the dignity it deserved.

Sepp Blatter, I count down the days to your resignation. The game will be better for it. Like Raymond Domenech you showed arrogance and tasteless class when it came to congratulating the Italians. Its ok, though we were more then happy to receive the medals and World Cup trophy from Lennart Johansson.

Azzurri Dreams

Monday, July 10, 2006

24 Memories

The World Cup is about memories. But not the obvious ones of who scored how many goals or what players or nations were discovered. Its not about stadiums filled with fans and the television replays that make legends of one-time goal scorers. It runs deeper then that. Back to childhood and infant dreams, when the game itself was the memory we all longed for. Where cheering our nation or allies rallied entire populations together for the good of seeing a little round ball kicked into an opponents goal.

The World Cup is about the circularity of life within 120 minutes that shows you your entire existence and its beautiful opposite within seconds of each other. The high can quickly be followed by a limping low. Glory is usually hindered by flaw. The euphoria of the moment will never last as long as the disappointment you can just as easily feel. Yet we gravitate towards it. The game itself creates illusions that eleven men are in control of their fate; that is the folly of this game--the illusions of control that cause so many greats to fall and those lesser to aspire to new heights. The beauty itself is that every four years the World Cup creates new memories for young and old alike.

But ultimately the World Cup is about yourself. Your recollections and dreams and disappointments, poignantly kept in a neat little calendar that only seems to recount four weeks of madness every four years. It is about an older man looking at himself in the mirror and not seeing 24 years past since Italy's last World Cup, but rather 6 tournaments and three continents of tears and disappointments. It is about a boy waking up on a beautiful sunny day in July 1982 to see his team win the World Cup and wait what felt like an eternity to win it again. It is about an older man wondering where that young boy has gone only to become that young boy again on another beautiful July day in 2006 and watch his country hoist the cup again. From both the child in me and the adult that I have become, thank you again to the Azzurri for having given me this wonderful memory to seek out again.

Azzurri Dreams

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dream Team

Team of Destiny:

Azzurri Dreams