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What was life before the World Cup ???

Super-Super Congratulations to Spain for having realized a dream that had to be postponed too many times in the past decades !!!!! And they did that playing a very elegant, fast and beautiful soccer/football, based on a perfect circulation of the ball thanks to ‘monsters’ of ball control like Iniesta, Xavi, Alonso and Fabregas !!!

And now... I’m totally lost !!! What was life before the World Cup ???

For one month, everything was perfectly organized in a pleasant routine.

Even if I saw just a few games live, I saw all of them!!!! 64 games in a month, 3 a day for weeks. First game at 4:30am, second at 7:00am and third at 11:30am so, tape all of them and start the day.

I woke up spontaneously around 5:30am. Usually, I decided to go back to sleep for 1 more hour. But, during the World Cup, ZOCK........... out of bed at 5:30am !!!!!

Make coffee, water the plants, check emails from my friends from England, Italy and the rest of the world who already started to send opinions about the games the day before while I was sleeping!!

At 6:30am, after having checked the Italian news papers (3 !!!) and the New York Times, it was time for the first game recorded at 4:30am.

6:30 to 8:30 watch the first game.

At 8:30, when it’s not foggy (rarely !!!), the sun comes exactly to our little balcony so, book and coffee outside, with a jacket if it’s foggy. Damn summer San Francisco weather !!!!

By the way, just to make it clear, I’m working like everyone else ! I just do that late in the afternoon or at night and consequently, I have free time in the morning.

I’ll open here a little literature parenthesis.

I love to read and, during the World Cup, I enjoyed 4 of the best books I ever read ! That was a massacre because, when I was watching a game I wanted to read to know what was happening and, while I was reading, I wanted to know what happened in the next game because, being recorded, it had already happened !!!!

So, to close the book parenthesis, I read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larsson, plus “Next” by Michael Crichton, in less than a month!!!!!

If you already read them, you’ll understand what a dilemma I was going through.

If you read, and you haven’t read them yet, you’ll thank me for the suggestion.

If you don’t have a problem, but because you don’t read you don’t know it, so don’t have it ! (the problem.)

Around 9:30, time for the 7:30 second game that was leading me strait to the third game at 11:30.

3 games, often very intense because many of them were “win or go home“.

(The players of Italy, France and England decided for the second choice!!! Bastards !!!!)

Anyway, as I said in a previous email, anything that we do regularly becomes a habit. When I did that routine for almost 3 weeks everyday, at quarter finals and semifinals I was already a little lost, but at least, in a couple of days they would play again.

But now............................ the magic, the excitement, the suspense is gone for 4 years !!!

I know that soon the Premier League will restart with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal who will try to keep the first 4 positions against the various Manchester City, Aston Villa, Tottenham, Fulham and Everton. How will Newcaste coming back? And West Ham, will it survive one more time? Who will coach Fulham? And Torres, will he stay or go? And Fabregas? And will Zola have another chance?

In Italy’s Serie A, Milan, Roma, Fiorentina and Juventus will try to catch up with the ’damned’ Inter Milan. Will Rafa be the right Coach? Will Allegri reinvigorate A.C.Milan? And will Delneri find the way to resuscitate Juventus? Could Roma win Serie A ?

In La Liga in Spain, one more time, Barcelona and Real Madrid will battle for the first place while Valencia, Sevilla and Villareal will try to come close to them.

The Champions League will come soon and we’ll see what Jose Mourinho will achieve with Real Madrid after having left Inter Milan and Rafa Benitez who substituted him at Inter Milan after having left Liverpool.

All of this, will force me to tape 14/16 games every weekend and see them during the week but......

that’s nothing compared to the World Cup!!!

I won’t forget.........

-The great achievement of Spain !!!! As I said at the beginning, this is a dream come true after so many decades in which they went close to realizing it but lost it in the end. Having already won the European Cup two years ago, they confirmed that they are the best team in the world that plays a very effective, elegant, organized and spectacular soccer/football!!!

-Netherlands. They were in the Final after having sent Brazil home!!! One more time, like Spain did in the past, they went close to the Cup but have to keep dreaming about that !!! And also, in order to fulfill their dream, they have to try not to forget that they invented a new spectacular way to play soccer/football. And that, when champions such as Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard were still playing, surely it wasn’t to kick anything that was moving close to them, ball or opponents !!!

One thing is hunting for the ball, which is great, and another is hunting for opponents ankles and legs, to the point of using "Kung Fu" moves !!! 9 yellow cards and 1 red, even if it is already a lot, should have been more of the second color !!!!

-Andres Iniesta great gesture of dedicating the World Cup goal to his friend Dani Jarque, the Espanyol player who recently passed away at the age of 26. ”Dani Jarque Siempre Con Nosotros” !!! Considering the rivalry between Barcelona and Espanyol that gesture was really great. The Espanyol web-site put the picture of Iniesta wearing that jersey with the dedication on the cover. All the fans appreciated that very much and they’re planning a standing ovation for Iniesta when the ‘enemy’ Barcelona comes to play against them !!!

-The incredible performance of Paraguay !!!! A Nation with 7 million people (In Italy, only in the city of Milan and vicinity we have 7,5 million inhabitants !!!!!) contributed to sending Italy home, reached the quarterfinals and missed a penalty that could have sent Spain home and put Paraguay in the semi-final !!!!!!

-The great performances of Chile, North Korea and Japan !!!

-The unbelievable Uruguay !!! Reached the semi-final, lost 2-3 with the Netherlands by never giving up and clearly showing that allowing youth players to play for the first top Clubs at home, permits them to develop properly in the correct environment !!!! They also played the final for 3rd and 4th place with Germany and again lost 2-3 fighting to the end !!!

-Diego Forlan of Uruguay who scored 5 great goals in 7 games and has won the FIFA Golden Ball as the outstanding player at the World Cup !!!!

-Iker Casillas who with his unbelievable saves, even in the final made 3 miracles, contributed to a great percent in bringing the World Cup to Spain. Let’s not forget that Spain won many games 1-0 so, Casillas’ saves were really fundamental !!!!! He deservedly added the Golden Glove award to his World Cup winners' medal.

-Mexico’s brilliant development of the players that won the U18 Word Cup a few years ago !!!

-The few great come backs of the USA !!!

-Germany who sent England and Argentina home with 4 goals each in their suitcases !!! What a great souvenir for them!!! They lost the semi-final with the Netherlands but won the final for 3rd and 4th place. I can clearly anticipate that this youth team of Germany will be the team that could win the next World Cup in Brazil. You’ll see that in 4 years !!!

-Ghana’s penalty missed at the last second of extra-time after a 2 hour game and getting kicked out at the penalty shoot-out !!!

-Martin Palermo who scored a great goal at 36 years old !!!

-The Spain goal against Paraguay: on 0-0, at 8 minutes to the end, Pedro’s shot hit the post. Ball back to Villa who kicked at the post again! On the rebound, the ball traveled along the goal line, passed behind a defender, hit the opposite post and unbelievably........ went on goal !!!!

-Mr. Blatter who, after the shame of a goal not given with the ball 2 feet in the goal and a goal in off-side by yards given, finally seems to recognize that to have a re-play during the games to revue some actions could be a ‘smart’ thing to do. He didn’t use the word ‘smart’ which couldn’t be part of his decision but, there is hope.

-The people of Africa with their infinite kindness. As the ESPN commentator said at the end of the last reportage, we all come from Africa and it was great to go back to our roots !!!

Being a romantic, I often had tears in my eyes seeing players crying after the end of a game that, for them, meant going home. The whole Nation was there looking at them, during a decisive penalty or during an elementary goal chance and... they miss it !!!!!

Episodes that have changed their life.... forever !!!!

All the ‘if’ and the ‘but’ will stay forever in their minds and, unfortunately, will come back over and over and over and over....

I’ve seen hundreds of top League games. Teams can lose or win and the following week they can try to compensate for a game that went wrong.

But at the World Cup, 1 second changes the destiny of a Nation forever. Socially and economically.

And in the future, maybe that Nation will not qualify for the next World Cup. In Nations that will qualify many players will not be selected anymore. 90% of the coaches will change.

Everything will be different. One time a Nation can win the World Cup and the next time can go home in shame ( I know that really well !!!!!!!)

Why do I keep pointing out these facts?

Because, as I was saying at the beginning, the World Cup is gone and, like other hundreds of millions of people, I’m lost !!!

What was life, before the world Cup???

I’m still waking up at 5:30 but I don’t feel like going back to sleep 1 more hour. I miss the games.

There is only one solution.

From tomorrow morning, I’ll sit on the sofa at 6:30 in the morning and I’ll watch the Netherlands beat Brazil, Germany kick England and Argentina, and maybe this time, Ghana and Paraguay........................will score that ’damned’ penalty !!!!!


p.s. the weird thing is that when I whistle something for fun, it’s the National anthems of Germany, Netherland or Spain !!!!!!

p.p.s. (I received this from a friend in England) ......I met a fairy today who granted me one wish. "I want to live forever," I said.

"Sorry," said the fairy, "I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that."

"Fine," I said, "I want to die when England wins the World Cup."

"You crafty bastard!" said the fairy.
Posted on 08 Sep 2010 by coachgianni
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