Allez Les Blues! France are through to the 2006 World Cup Final after a fiercely contested semifinal against Portugal. Zinedine Zidane converted a penalty kick after Thierry Henry was fouled inside the box by Portugal’s Ricardo Carvalho. The 1-0 score stood until the final whistle but not without some heart-stopping moments thanks to some creative goalkeeping by France’s Fabien Barthez.
It was fitting that Zidane scored the penalty. It was apparent he had the weight of the entire French nation’s hopes on his shoulders and he calmly delivered. Even though Zidane scored the game’s only goal, the true heroes of the day were the French defense – especially Lilian Thuram. Thuram was the glue that held the French defense together against multiple assaults by Portugal.
The other entertaining aspect of the game was watching the Portuguese players practice their diving skills for the 2008 Olympic Games. Instead of yellow cards they should give out medals for the best dives. Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo pulling in the lion’s share, would eclipse every other team in the medal count.
Now on to Berlin for a date with destiny for Zinedine Zidane. Sunday the French meet the Azzurri for the Cup.