Ha’way Paraguay, ciao Italy

paraguay 12

Just the shortest of postings to congratulate Paraguay on their brilliant feat in topping a group also containing the, er, mighty Italy.

It was almost as pleasing to see the Italians finish bottom and follow France out of the World Cup.

Materazzi and Buffon have already received due comeuppance on these pages for their nasty contributions in the 2006 World Cup final; France behaved as we all know they did. Early exclusion couldn’t happen to finer candidates, with apologies to French relatives and daughter’s Italian boyfriend.

I imagine the Paraguayan tapas bar in London was heaving again today, and rightly so.

Just make sure our Lads, Cristian Riveros and Paula da Silva, return in one piece, ready to steer Paraguay’s unofficial English twin club, Sunderland, to Premier glory next season.

And meanwhile we wait with impatience to hear what President Thierry Henry had to say to Nicolas Sharkey at the Elysee Palace today.

Colin Randall

9 thoughts on “Ha’way Paraguay, ciao Italy”

  1. Trying to keep people from divulging the score before I get home to watch games is about as frustrating as watching “The Wayne Rooney Show” three times a week. I’m liable to murder someone for “score disclosure” as my lawyer is likely to refer it during his plea for “TWCI” (Temporary World Cup Insanity) in mitigation.

    Watching the Italians do little more than give up the ghost against one of the worst teams in what is a very mediorcre tournament should provide no real pleasure to anyone with an interest in international football. Slovakia were awful and yet still managed to beat Italy and put three goals past them. It’s not to say that seeing the Italians lose was not enjoyable. Some pleasure can always be derived from watching a giant killing act.
    It was “depressing” which was the same word Luke used when observing France implode. The Italians couldn’t even resort to the excuse that Andrea Pirlo had called Lippi’s mother “a slapper” This was a “giant killing” where the giant was already dead. It was more like beating a dead horse. The Slovakians almost seemed obliged to provide the Italians with the opportunity to awaken from their slumbers and put them to the sword in true gladiatorial fashion. The cameras kept returning to an Italian in the crowd in gladiator costume with the national flag on his face. To travel thousands of miles to attend a game in fancy dress does seem odd to me but he must have been grateful for the flag which hopefully disguised his face sufficiently so that nobody at home recognised him. To sit there dressed like that at the moment the Azzuri decided to self destruct must be a life defining moment. I doubt if this bloke will be in a hurry to do it again.

    The Slovaks seemed stunned to being able to beat the Italians with ease. It was an extraordinary moment, yet there have been other extraordinary moments in this World Cup involving the Italians in the preceding two games. Had it not been for the opposition’s lack of self belief or sheer awe at not being battered by the Italians, a little more ambition could all so easily have resulted in the Italians not only leaving the competition earlier than expected but also without any points. That might have had a result on the national psyche from which it would take a long time from which to recover.

    In the past I might have laughed at the exit of one of the world’s leading football nations, in the full knowledge that it was all rather like cartoon violence. Nobody really got hurt and they’ll be back next time, renewed and ready to go.

    It didn’t feel like that last night. It just felt sad.

  2. The Dutch finally shook off their somnambulism — maybe it was the fact that Cameroon posed no threat — and actually played some convincing football. If they can keep it up, they might have the beating of Slovakia.

  3. We’ll see what he can do against the Japanese next week. Tuesday, isn’t it?
    What a good game. They were all over the Danes with excellent passing and control and some very inventive moves. And the two best corner kicks I’ve seen in this tournament. Talk about bending it like Beckham. There was even a penalty drama. Great entertainment.

  4. Riveros is, as the most assured in possession the most important and indispensable of all the Paraguay players bar maybe Santa-Cruz.

    Personally I cannot wait to see him on the other Red and white shirt because despite being played as a holding/defensive midfielder, he is at times the most creative on the pitch for Paraguay.

    Fuerza Paraguay


  5. Even allowing for the giddy presence of da Silva and Riveros, isn’t “brilliant” somewhat hyperbolic? Certainly, Paraguay have played well enough throughout but they certainly weren’t brilliant, merely competent, against New Zealand today.

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