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WC 2006 Match Chat: Spain vs. France, noon PT
2006-06-27 11:00
by Bob Timmermann

Live from Hanover!

The final match of the Round of 16 matches up 1998 champion France against the World Cup's most notable underachiever in Spain.

However, the Spanish are showing signs that they want to make a run in this year's Cup. The Spanish won all three of their group matches, whalloping quarterfinalist Ukraine 4-0, spotting Tunisia a goal and then winning 3-1, and then waltzing past Saudi Arabia 1-0.

France did not control its own destiny in order to make it on to the next round. France played a scoreless draw with the Swiss and a 1-1 tie with Korea. France needed to beat Togo by two goals and hope that the Korea-Switzerland match had a winner. And that's what happened as France beat Togo 2-0 and the Swiss beat Korea 2-0.

These two European powers have met each other 27 times. Spain has won 11 times and France has won 10 times with 6 draws.

As for the history of these two countries in matters outside the pitch, pick up a book on European history. You'll find them mentioned soon enough. Check the parts about Napoleon for the good parts.

In recent times, Spanish coach Luis Aragones and French player Thierry Henry have had a history. Aragones's statement about Henry makes him extremely unlikely to ever coach on these shores.

Comments (116)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-06-27 11:28:20
1.   Kayaker7
I'm conflicted. I want France to win, so that Korea can have bragging right for the draw. But then, a good friend of mine just married a girl from Spain. Both are pretty weak rooting interests.
2006-06-27 11:31:46
2.   Kayaker7
Wow, Aragones is doing a fantastic job, considering that he's busy sketching cartoons for MAD magazine.
2006-06-27 11:32:02
3.   Bob Timmermann
The winner of this match gets Brazil in Frankfurt on Saturday.
2006-06-27 11:34:48
4.   Bob Timmermann
Also the Final 8 will consist of six European teams and two South American ones. So the aberration of 2002, with a North American, an Asian, and an African team among the final eight won't be repeated.
2006-06-27 11:36:06
5.   Kayaker7
3 What a positive motivation to win.
2006-06-27 11:38:39
6.   Penarol1916
I've just recently decided that I'm rooting for Spain to win it all. I have no idea why since I've never really liked any Spaniards I've ever known, except for Indigo Montoya of course.
2006-06-27 11:38:55
7.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think either side would be particularly scared of Brazil.
2006-06-27 11:40:06
8.   Bob Timmermann
But you're going against your pick! If you were an economist, you wouldn't be making that choice!
2006-06-27 11:42:33
9.   Kayaker7
7 I think everyone's afraid of Brazil...even if it's just a little bit...
2006-06-27 11:44:08
10.   Penarol1916
8. I was an economist, my strategy for my picks was that if I was less than 60% sure of the outcome of a match, then I would pick the team I liked least, thus hedging my emotions. I only do this because I am under the assumption that the universe hates me and wants me to suffer.

The fact that I hate the English team and their fans is the only reason I have them winning it all.

2006-06-27 11:49:56
11.   Kayaker7
How do you pronounce Casillas' first name? Aye-ker? Or, Ee-que-r. He must be a Basque...
2006-06-27 11:53:45
12.   Bob Timmermann
Casillas's bio says he was born in Madrid (or one of its suburbs). It could be that his first name is made up. There aren't any Ks in Spanish naturally.

I don't think there are any Basques on the Spanish team. Or at least not one with a name that stands out. Most seem to have either Castillian or Catalan names.

2006-06-27 11:55:08
13.   Ravenscar
Spain wins and then accomplishnes the feat of taking down an uninspiring (so far) Brazilian team.

So say we all!

(At least all of us in the middle of Battlestar Galactica season 2)

2006-06-27 11:56:41
14.   Kayaker7
The wife of the friend I mentioned in post #1 mentioned that names with "k" is usually Basque. The president of our corporation, which is Spanish-owned, is named Inaki, which she says would be Ignacio in Spanish.
2006-06-27 12:01:10
15.   Penarol1916
14. I was always under the impression that Iker was a nickname. I don't think he is Basque though, he didn't come up through any of the traditional Basque clubs in Spain.
2006-06-27 12:02:37
16.   Kayaker7
15 Okay, got it. After talking with my friend's wife, I was surprised by the level of emnity she felt towards Catalans and Basques.
2006-06-27 12:03:21
17.   Voxter
I think I'm rooting for Spain, because France has been so spectacularly boring since Euro 2000. Also, I have irrationalk problems with Zinedine Zidane.

But I lived in France for a while, so maybe I should think a little more about it . . .

Ah well.

2006-06-27 12:04:20
18.   Penarol1916
16. That is somewhat surprising, since usually it is the other way around and Castillians tend to think Catalans and Basques are just stupid for not getting over the fact that Spain is one country. Interesting to see that it sometimes goes the other way too.
2006-06-27 12:04:47
19.   Voxter
Those irrational problems are Basque.
2006-06-27 12:07:18
20.   Kayaker7
18 I asked her who her favorite players were, on the Spanish NT. When I mentioned Puyol, she emphatically said, "No, he's Catalan." Morientes was fine, because he's a true Spaniard. Goikotxea (a former NT member) is no good because he's a Basque. It was an intriguing conversation.
2006-06-27 12:07:45
21.   Bob Timmermann
I learned that when you go to Spain and you learned Spanish in the U.S. that it can be pretty hard to carry on a conversation with anyone outside of Andalucia.

I also can't understand Argentines and I imagine that Uruguay would present similar problems.

But the Mexican guy working in my apartment right now and I have no problems.

2006-06-27 12:08:14
22.   Penarol1916
20. Goikotxea was my favorite member of the 1994 Spanish side, primarily because I loved saying his name.
2006-06-27 12:09:02
23.   Voxter
2006-06-27 12:09:29
24.   Bob Timmermann
And there was a famous keeper for Argentina who went by Goycochea. He was the God of PKs.
2006-06-27 12:10:42
25.   Penarol1916
21. Uruguay and Argentina both speak with Italian accented Spanish, due primarily to the fact that the Italian population in both countries outnumbers the Spanish population.
2006-06-27 12:10:54
26.   Kayaker7
22 Yeah, I recall he scored the second goal against Korea. Then Korea scored two in the last five minutes to pull out a draw.

As for my friend's wife, I find it odd that someone with such strong views decided to marry a Korean-American. Well, at least they're both Catholic, though they don't really practice it.

2006-06-27 12:13:18
27.   Bob Timmermann
I did not have trouble speaking to Chileans. But HBO showed an Argentine miniseries recently, "Epitafios". I tried matching up the dialog to the subtitles, but I soon gave up.

I have also learned that Argentines like extraordinarily violent mysteries.

2006-06-27 12:14:09
28.   Voxter
21 -- It's similar with French. It can be hard to handle accents from farther south than Lyons. African and Carribean speakers are almost out of the question unless you're fluent and/or they're trying really hard to make themselves understood to you. Qubecois just sound funny, though.

I lived just south of Lyons; when I came home, my French teacher took to calling me "Rivierien" because I had developed an accent she didn't much like.

2006-06-27 12:14:34
29.   Los Longhorns
Why do we call our friend's wives, "my friend's wife"? Do they ever become our friend too?
2006-06-27 12:15:43
30.   Greg Brock
For me, Cubans are the hardest to understand. Every conversation ends with, "Um, could you not slur the last five syallables, so that I can understand what you're saying?"
2006-06-27 12:16:45
31.   Voxter
Someone oughta fit Barthez with a ball and chain.
2006-06-27 12:18:16
32.   Kayaker7
29 Nah, that would break an unbroken taboo of befriending your friend's woman, because men can't control themselves, and friendship can lead to more.
2006-06-27 12:18:28
33.   Bob Timmermann
My best Spanish language conversations were with my 6-year old nephew from Guatemala before he learned English.
2006-06-27 12:20:20
34.   Voxter
29 -- Well, I only have two married friends, and the reason I refer to their wives as "my friend's wife" is because, in the one situation, I still don't know her very well, and in the other, I'm at a total loss to understand what he sees in her; she and I have maintained a Mutual Icy Politeness with Undertones of Emnity Society since it became clear that she was a long-term part of his life, and therefore part of mine to a lesser extent.
2006-06-27 12:21:58
35.   Voxter
My best French conversations were with my four-year-old neighbor, Laurent. We were about on the same level when I moved there.
2006-06-27 12:23:13
36.   Voxter
Choke! Choke!
2006-06-27 12:23:26
37.   Greg Brock
Wow, two blown shots on one centering pass. Whoops!
2006-06-27 12:25:54
38.   Voxter
That pass a few minutes ago was really great. Everything that happened after that was pretty bad -- typical of France in the World Cup in its last two appearances, really.
2006-06-27 12:26:31
39.   Los Longhorns
32 That's sort of what I was thinking. But doesn't befriending a woman automatically mean that you have no chance?
2006-06-27 12:26:51
40.   Voxter
2006-06-27 12:26:55
41.   Bob Timmermann
If anyone cares, two of my best friends married each other and they've been happilly married for over 15 years.

And I probably talk to the wife more than the husband.

2006-06-27 12:27:52
42.   Bob Timmermann
That's what happened to me! But I have no complaints. I was happy two of my friends married each other as it eliminated the possibility of one or both of them marrying a loser.
2006-06-27 12:27:59
43.   Voxter
If that's the only goal of this match, I'm going to be severely disappointed.
2006-06-27 12:32:09
44.   Voxter
If someone is 1.88 meters tall, that means they're, like, six feet, right?
2006-06-27 12:32:34
45.   Greg Brock
I always subscribed to the idea that men and women couldn't be friends, you know, the Harry/Sally law. But I befriended a gal a couple of years ago that, despite the nice appearance, I never really wanted...well, you know. It shook my belief system to its very foundation.
2006-06-27 12:34:09
46.   Kayaker7
Did anyone catch Barthez almost throw the ball away in the Korea match, when he changed his mind about flinging the ball out to a winger, and decided to pull it back in? The ball ended up a couple of feet behind him, but he gathered it up before a Korean player got to it.
2006-06-27 12:34:59
47.   Kayaker7
45 It just means that you're getting old.
2006-06-27 12:35:32
48.   Voxter
I've had many theoretically platonic friendships with women over the years, but none of them ever really was. There was always something more going on, from one side or the other -- sometimes both. Rarely ever acted on, but always there.
2006-06-27 12:36:20
49.   Bob Timmermann
1.88 m = 74 inches
2006-06-27 12:36:40
50.   Voxter
46 -- Yes. Barthez drives me absolutely crazy.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-06-27 12:37:40
51.   Voxter
49 -- Thanks. I probably could have figured that out for myself, now that I think about it.

Anyway, Thierry Henry is 6 feet 2 inches. He looks taller.

2006-06-27 12:41:17
52.   Greg Brock
Well now...
2006-06-27 12:42:16
53.   Voxter
That was pretty good. It looked like Spain hadn't even considered the possibility that that pass was going anywhere but to Henry.
2006-06-27 12:42:22
54.   Kayaker7
Ribery has had so many chances, including a couple that went begging in the Korea game. Now he finally scores.
2006-06-27 12:43:07
55.   Voxter
All of a sudden this game's being played at a gallop.
2006-06-27 12:43:34
56.   Los Longhorns
48 Agreed. There's something about the "friend" label that keeps people from making the move.
2006-06-27 12:44:36
57.   Greg Brock
No matter who wins (and I have no preference), I just want Henry to score, and give a nice little grin to the Spanish coach.
2006-06-27 12:44:36
58.   Los Longhorns
This sounds like a different French team.
2006-06-27 12:45:13
59.   Kayaker7
56 I actually had such a friendship turn into a full-blown relationship. It did not end well. She's a Muslim, while I am an unrepetent infidel. Both of us ended up with broken hearts.
2006-06-27 12:45:18
60.   Bob Timmermann
I'm at work, but is ESPN using Delacammera and Harkes or Stone and Fraser?
2006-06-27 12:45:44
61.   Greg Brock
JP and Harkes
2006-06-27 12:48:56
62.   Voxter
59 -- Actually, I did, too. It was great for a while, but it turned into an unmitigated disaster spanning the entire continent.

60 -- It's Delacamera and Harkes. JP drives me nuts.

2006-06-27 12:50:57
63.   Voxter
I fell asleep during the Brazil-Ghana match, and dreamed that it was Brazil-Argentina. I was playing for Argentina, and we were down 3-nil. I kept waking up in a panic, and then falling back asleep to the same dream.
2006-06-27 12:51:46
64.   Kayaker7
62 Yeah, we thought the incompatible religion would keep us from getting involved. But biology turned out to be stronger than Allah, at least temporarily. He was stronger in the long run.
2006-06-27 12:53:51
65.   ABreck
Anyone have a feel for these teams? It seems like Spain is running a slow-down game (I haven't seen them before). Which feels weird since I don't see France as a running team.

So maybe it's if they make the next game against Brazil? So they're working on the offside trap. But Ghana got pretty torched by that trick.

And France has seemed a lot more lively than in the two halves I've seen before.

2006-06-27 12:56:35
66.   Bob Timmermann
I have more Platonic friends than Plato likely had. But I work in a female-dominated profession.

Fortunately, I have one non-Platonic female friend.

2006-06-27 13:00:30
67.   Voxter
64 -- Mine just devlolved into good old-fashioned hysterics and evetually infidelity (on both sides, almost simultaneous, just to make it more exciting). She is Jewish & I'm an unreconstructed atheist with Catholic underpinnings, but that wasn't really the issue.

65 -- In many ways, this game seems backwards to me. France has been a somewhat slow, ball-control kind of team for a long while, as far as I can tell; Spain usually runs and guns.

And the offside trap seems to be a really good way to get torched by Brazil, if you ask me.

2006-06-27 13:01:06
68.   Voxter
66 -- It helps to have that one non-Platonic female friend.
2006-06-27 13:04:58
69.   Voxter
Has there been a card issued yet in this match?
2006-06-27 13:05:58
70.   Bob Timmermann
No cards yet. There was only one in the Switzerland-Ukraine match.
2006-06-27 13:07:56
71.   Voxter
That was a tough match. I wonder if this in direct response to the two matches that have been totally taken over by out-of-control officials thus far. Must be.
2006-06-27 13:11:15
72.   ABreck
These teams are a lot more passive though also. Not really a lot of aggressive play for the ref to react to.
2006-06-27 13:12:34
73.   Voxter
I thought it would be cool to have one of those World Cup Finals balls, especially since my old one got popped by a passing car last week. Turns out they cost like, a hundred Euros. Disappointing.
2006-06-27 13:13:17
74.   Voxter
72 -- True that. That Swizterland-Ukraine map was rough, though.
2006-06-27 13:14:47
75.   Voxter
My spelling is sometimes rough, too.
2006-06-27 13:18:00
76.   Voxter
Every now and again it strikes me that almost everything that happens on the pitch in a game like this -- even the simplest things -- is something of which I am not capable. Like when a guy heads a ball down straight to his feet even as he runs. It just looks like another touch, but if I tried it, lord knows what would happen.
2006-06-27 13:20:27
77.   Bob Timmermann
Checking my brother's blog, I thought he was in Dortmund for the Brazil-Ghana match, but it turns out he's in Hanover for this tilt.

And I've learned that Bruno the Bear was killed.

2006-06-27 13:21:41
78.   Kayaker7
77 What's your brother's blog? The Skillet? ;-)
2006-06-27 13:22:12
79.   ABreck
Is he actually your brother? I thought it was a joke earlier but the references keep coming.
2006-06-27 13:23:21
80.   Bob Timmermann
My brother's blog is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch blog linked on the sidebar.

I'm pretty sure he's my brother. Being that he looks like me and all.

If he's not my brother, someone's got some explaining to do.

2006-06-27 13:24:57
81.   ABreck
So do you ever end up sleeping in the stacks while he's sleeping on a train?
2006-06-27 13:26:39
82.   Bob Timmermann
Not so far.
2006-06-27 13:29:09
83.   Voxter
I wonder if Zidane is popular with the ladies. I bet he is.
2006-06-27 13:30:07
84.   Kayaker7
You could probably be the ugliest footballer and still be popular with the ladies...popular enough that you don't have to go home alone.
2006-06-27 13:30:16
85.   Voxter
Shut up and let's play football, dammit. I saw enough of this in the Portugal-Netherlands match.
2006-06-27 13:30:43
86.   Bob Timmermann
Barthez is very popular with the ladies, so there really is no accounting for taste.
2006-06-27 13:31:22
87.   Voxter
84 -- There may be some merit to that assumption.
2006-06-27 13:35:07
88.   Kayaker7
Barthez does have that Captain Picard-like charisma, though.
2006-06-27 13:35:37
89.   Voxter
2006-06-27 13:36:05
90.   Voxter
Yeah, but he looks like Nick Hornby, which is definitely not a good thing.
2006-06-27 13:39:00
91.   Voxter
How to Spanish and French players communicate with an Italian official? Which language do the speak?
2006-06-27 13:40:23
92.   Voxter
I think that might have been an own goal. It was going in either way, though.
2006-06-27 13:40:48
93.   Greg Brock
Yet ANOTHER disappointing cup for the Spaniards.
2006-06-27 13:40:57
94.   Bob Timmermann
They likely speak English or Italian.

But it looks like French speaking referees will be needed!

2006-06-27 13:43:43
95.   Kayaker7
Hey, it's not over yet.
2006-06-27 13:46:37
96.   Los Longhorns
Brazil fans should breathe easier.
2006-06-27 13:46:48
97.   Los Longhorns
If this holds up.
2006-06-27 13:47:25
98.   Voxter
NOW we're giving out yellow cards for BS fouls? NOW?
2006-06-27 13:47:32
99.   Bob Timmermann
France was the last team to beat Brazil in the World Cup.
2006-06-27 13:48:17
100.   Greg Brock
Zidane...quite possibly my favorite player ever.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-06-27 13:48:26
101.   Bob Timmermann
The fat lady has sung for Spain.
2006-06-27 13:48:47
102.   Voxter
That's game. I don't know if I've ever seen anybody as open as Zidane was on that play.

If I'm Brazil, I'm happy with this result. I'd rather play France, which is comparatively old and slow, than Spain.

2006-06-27 13:48:54
103.   Kayaker7
It's over.
2006-06-27 13:49:16
104.   Greg Brock
And he's French...And I still have problems reconciling the two.
2006-06-27 13:50:31
105.   Kayaker7
104 He's of Algerian extract. That's your out.
2006-06-27 13:51:59
106.   Ravenscar

I'm officially out of it now. And I started out so promisingly.

2006-06-27 13:52:09
107.   Voxter
I want the shirt that the French coach is wearing.

Anyway, Zidane may have scored the last goal, but Ribery was easily the man of the match. He was on fire tonight.

2006-06-27 13:53:16
108.   Bob Timmermann
Vieira won the Man of the Match award.
2006-06-27 13:55:08
109.   Voxter
I guess I was watching a different match than the T-Mobile voters, because it didn't even seem close to me. Ribery scored the equalizer and very nearly had two assists on top of it.
2006-06-27 13:55:14
110.   Greg Brock
105 Thanks, Kayaker. It's like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.
2006-06-27 13:56:30
111.   Bob Timmermann
I believe the Man of the Match is chosen by a selected member of the FIFA Technical Committee!
2006-06-27 13:58:11
112.   Kayaker7
Spain only had two shots on goal.
2006-06-27 13:58:45
113.   Kayaker7
110 Glad to be of service.
2006-06-27 13:59:18
114.   Voxter
So, what's the voting about?
2006-06-27 14:01:13
115.   Kayaker7
I'm definitely going to watch the replay tonight. Unless my son gets cranky, then its Baby Einstein nonstop for two hours.
2006-06-27 14:05:34
116.   Bob Timmermann
To pay Catherine Zeta-Jones endorsement contract.

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