Aside from having skill it takes real confidence and sometimes even a bit of arrogance (nod to Italy and Brazil) to be the best at any sport. I would say this is especially true of football. Footballers around the world are infamous for their flaring tempers and showboating and much less known for their gentlemanship.
I’m sure we all remember the ugly incident provoked by Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 FIFA World Cup that resulted in an awkward exit to France’s Zinedine Zidane’s international football career. Of course, Zidane shouldn’t have lost his temper, but I still think that Materazzi (and a long list of others) could do with a lesson on good sportsmanship.
With only 4 days left until the start of Stage 2 matches, tensions are running high and trouble seems to be brewing amongst the English and French camps. My original picks are now far off reality but I’m sure I’m not the only one in shock about France’s performance. Now if only England can just pull it together, there might still be hope yet.
After coming across an article by ESPN’s Jemele Hill, I think I ought to give the U.S. team some credit here. Whether or not the U.S. goes through, in a game where they have long been deemed the underdog, the team has so far done its part in showcasing good sportsmanship and representing their country with dignity and respect.