Monday, July 10, 2006

World Champions!

Semel in Anno Licet Insanire. Which means, once a year it's ok to go crazy. So when it's 24 years you do not win anything, it's 24 times better. We won. As unbelievable as it is, Italy won the World Championsip (the only real one, the football one) against France, at penalty shoot-outs. First time we ever won a game at penalties, which goes together with another series of records: after having been the first to ever win against Germany in Dortmund, first European team to win 4 world titles, the first team of having had 10 different players scoring and, most important, the first team to win having been scored against only two goals. The first team no one managed to score against on a normal game situation (one was an unprovoked own goal by Zaccardo, the other a penalty by Zidane). 2 goals taken in 7 games. And for the ones who say we are defence only, we actually did score 12 goals.

True, France probably deserved to win the final game, but all in all, I think we deserved the title. To be said that, while the french coach is being much worse of a sore loser than german coach Jurgen "KataKlinsmann" Klinsmann has been (Klinsi is just so cool), the french press is, for now, showing the german one how one can lose in style. The best game of the whole tournament was arguably Germany-Italy and we deserved to win that. After that, we were probably on our way down. But winning against France, who threw us out from the World championship in 1998 again at penalties shoot-out and defeated us in the Euro championships 2000 with a golden goal by the same player who yesterday missed his penalty... that added an even sweeter taste to everything. And Zidane presented to the news the best picture possible of defeated France (and worst ever of himself) as he walked head down past the cup on his way to locker rooms after having been red-carded for a head-down, bull-like, charge against Materazzi.

So it was celebrations in the streets again, improvised fireworks, cars going around honking and blasting music, people throwing themselves in the fountains (and if there is something we have in abundance in Rome, that's fountains), flags and national anthem all around. Pure, happy, absurd madness spreading from kids who weren't even born last time Italy won something (I was 6 myself at that time) to oldies (I met my own boss in Piazza Venezia). And again the side violence, again in Campo dei Fiori (and Piazza del Popolo), again and again...

Yesterday I was out celebrating until I don't know when, 3 am or 4 am probably, and today I'm mostly asleep while wearing my Italian t-shirt under my business suit. Until 9.00 am no one was to be seen in the office and faces are mostly grey, fatigued and yet relaxed and happy. The email system of the office is all congratulations mails and whoever is pretending to work is probably just checking the news sites and writing emails. That's football baby. Tomorrow, or next week, everything will be back to normal, but how Lorenzo the Great of Florence said "who wants to be happy, be it, there's nothing certain about tomorrow".

The only thing missing was being able to celebrate in the streets with my girlfriend (incidentally, Germany ended up third, and they have the top scorer of the tournament). We live in an imperfect universe, after all.

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