Football Champions

Italy World Cup

THE BIG PICTURE Italy are defending champions, and like most defending champions that aren’t Brazil, almost no one is picking them to repeat. Their performances against Paraguay and especially New Zealand, resulting in a grand total of two points, won’t be making their odds any shorter. The Azzurri have taken on the team widely considered to be the other group favorite (Paraguay), and they have taken on the one expected (wrongly) to be the whipping boy (New Zealand). Now they face the Goldilocks team of Group F, Slovakia. Drawing with New Zealand and being soundly beaten by Paraguay should… Continue reading

So France lost 1-0 to China today. Which sounds bad. And is bad. But take a look at the goal from Deng Zhuoxiang that won it:

Either Deng is better than Pirlo/Juninho/Beckham combined, or every bad thing we’ve heard about the adidas Jabulani World Cup ball is true.

If you’re unfamiliar with our wonderful World Cup Blog, then allow me to explain: The blog you’re reading now is the front page, but the core of WCB is the multitude of team specific blogs, including one for each of the World Cup 2010 teams.

The authors of these team blogs have forgotten more about their sides than I’ll ever know, so I decided to tap that knowledge by asking each of them a set of 10 questions. Today it’s the turn of Paul and Julian from Italy World Cup Blog. Read on to learn all about the Azzurri.… Continue reading

We have trudged through to the final part, a portion which is vaguely familiar to many in the peninsula – some good, some bad. In fact, they just about ran the gamut of Italian emotions from ‘98 to ‘06: disappointment, anger and ecstasy.

It all may change in June, but as of right now, this long labor of love that is Italian football history has an awfully nice bookend: they won their first and they won the last.

World Cup 1998 – France

If ‘82 was Rossi’s and ‘86 was Altobelli’s and ‘90 was Schillaci’s and ‘94 was Baggio’s, the… Continue reading

As World Cup histories go, Italy has a good one. Only that Brazilian footballing juggernaut has won more titles, five to four, and Italy have a long and rich history as one of the sport’s best teams. It’s awfully long, in fact. (For the full depth of the Italian national team history, might we suggest majoring in it at school? Also available for a doctoral program, one would assume.)

The long history started out awfully well for the Italians too. They hosted their first tournament in 1934 before heading to France in 1938. Both good memories, to say the least.… Continue reading

The champs are here, and in tote with their 2006 trophy are far more questions than answers. Despite the familiar faces floating at every corner’s turn, including Marcello Lippi, back for a second tour, it’s not the same side as 2006.

And maybe it’s precisely because of those familiar faces. The squad is older, with many of the stars enjoying their primes four years ago, in a young man’s game, which inspired little confidence. Then again, Italy weren’t being given a great deal of consideration before the last tournament, and they managed to do alright. But because of those aging… Continue reading


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