Italy win the World Cup...apparently
- 23 Jun 06, 08:19 AM
BADEN-BADEN - Turn your back for a minute and Italy win the World Cup.
It seems that in the time it takes to have a 20-minute spin on the treadmill and spend the usual several hours in the recovery position, the final fortnight of the tournament has actually taken place and Marcello Lippi’s men are triumphant.
At least that’s what I thought had happened when I wandered on to the streets of Baden-Baden last night and straight into the middle of mass Italian celebrations.
Flags in huge numbers, car horns sounding and joyous supporters driving in laps around this sedate German town in increasingly noisy and irritating fashion.
It was a scene worthy of fans whose team had won the final, and made you ponder what celebrations would actually take place if they did lift the trophy.
History, however, tells us that the line between a champagne reception and being pelted with rotten tomatoes is very thin where the Italian national football team is concerned.
Certainly in Baden-Baden, where there is a big Italian influence, there is plenty of optimism about where Lippi's side is concerned.
They celebrated the good news of an excellent win against the Czech Republic in style on a day when a dark shroud was draped over their domestic game because of allegations of corruption.
And who else but Marco Materazzi was on target with his first goal for Italy to set up the win?
The very sight of Materazzi will bring a wry smirk to anyone who had the “pleasure” to witness him in his season in the Premiership at Everton.
Let’s just say Marco is a somewhat emotional individual who came straight from pantomime villain central casting and could turn on the tears quicker than Sir Richard Attenborough on Oscar night.
Also prone to less-than-subtle pole-axing of opponents, he was nothing short of an accident waiting to happen and his continued presence in the Inter Milan and Italy sides is a serious source of befuddlement to all Everton fans.
Keep an eye on him if he retains his place in the Italy team. It will be well worth a look.