Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Sunday night's all right for fighting..."

After all that heat, almost as soon as people began emerging from the stadium, it started spitting – and within minutes, we were in the midst of a full-blown thunderstorm. Perhaps the England players would have enjoyed those conditions more.
The temporary structure of the media structure here in Stuttgart suddenly seemed rickety and rocking, as panic-stricken journalists packed up their bags and rushed for – well, I’m not quite sure where they thought they might find shelter.
But for the next few hours, the rain, thunder and lightning beat down in quite perplexing contrast to the tropical torpor of just a few hours earlier.
The real Sturm und Drang, though, was to be found in Nuremberg tonight, where a game of football occasionally threatened to break out between Holland and Portugal.
Instead, both sides seemed happy to settle for a night of all-in wrestling instead, from which any player who ended the game without at least one card to his name just hadn’t tried hard enough.
Four men off – and it could have been more, such as Nuno Valente for some kung-fu fighting on the otherwise-anonymous Arjen Robben, and Luis Figo for a sneaky headbutt.
The ref did actually card Figo for that instance, so Fifa may not step in with extra sanctions ruling him out of the England game.
I suppose we can’t be too greedy, though, the absence of Deco (not so much Costinha) being a significant factor.
It all became so undisciplined and reminiscent of WWE, I half-expected the substituted Figo to run back onto the pitch brandishing a chair.
Then, all that would be needed was David Coleman to present the Match Of The Day highlights of the ‘Battle Of Nuremberg’, sternly warning viewers of a sensitive disposition to take themselves off to bed with a mug of Horlicks now.
Thanks to an anonymous stranger for stepping in with the lovely photos above, of the bad little boys from both sides, sitting together on the ‘naughty step’ at the end...


The Overnight Editor said...

I can't keep up.

See you when you get back from planet football.

prolix said...

16 yellows and none issued more than twice, Graham Poll would *not* approve.

Anonymous said...

Most interesting game so far
and here are the snaps you asked for: