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WC 2006: Early look at the final
2006-07-05 14:40
by Bob Timmermann

In the renewal of a very, very, very old rivalry in Europe, France will take on Italy in the championship of the World Cup on Sunday in Berlin.

Italy will be aiming to join Brazil as the only nation to win four World Cups (Brazil has five). Italy won the championship in 1934, 1938, and 1982. Italy lost in the final in 1970 and 1994, both times to Brazil.

France is looking for its second World Cup, winning in 1998. France lost in the semifinals before in 1958 and 1982.

If France wins, they would be the first team to win the Cup without winning its first group since Italy in 1982. That was actually the third straight time that the winner hadn't won its group as neither Argentina in 1978 nor West Germany in 1974 finished atop their groups.

Both nations have hosted the World Cup twice. Italy was the host in 1934 and 1990. France hosted in 1938 and 1998.

In World Cup play, Italy beat France in 1938 (3-1) and in 1978 (2-1). France beat Italy in 1986 (2-0) and on penalties in 1998. France won the last meeting between the two nations in the Euro 2000 tournament, 2-1 in overtime.

The first meeting between the two countries was in 58 B.C. when Julius Caesar and a sizeable chunk of the Roman Legion and started the conquest of Gaul. The whole process took about nine years as penalty kick tiebreakers hadn't yet been developed.

Right now, Marcelo Lippi is trying to divide the French defense into thirds.

2006-07-05 15:30:55
1.   Kayaker7
I hope we have a repeat of the Euro 2000 match. France equalized second half extra time, then won in overtime.
2006-07-05 16:23:15
2.   Linkmeister
And literature was the winner:

"All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third."

2006-07-05 16:31:16
3.   Kayaker7
Now I really want France to win. As a native of a country divided in two, by superpowers, I feel a kinship with a people divided in thirds.
2006-07-05 16:36:29
4.   Greg Brock
On behalf of every person who had to read "Commentaries on the Gallic Wars" in college, thanks for bringing it back up. Not nice.
2006-07-05 16:51:53
5.   Linkmeister
4 Hey, I aim to please. I only took the first of three required Humanities courses at U of Az (I transferred to a different school), and we didn't get into that text, so all I remember is the "three parts" bit.
2006-07-05 16:56:49
6.   Kayaker7 an engineer, I didn't have to mess with this stuff. So, is the "crossing the Rubicon" in there somewhere?
2006-07-05 17:08:02
7.   Linkmeister
6 Wikipedia is (occasionally) your friend:

"The river is notable as Roman law forbade any general from crossing it with a standing army. The river was considered to mark the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and Italy proper to the south; the law thus protected the republic from internal military threat.

When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, supposedly on January 10 of the Roman calendar to make his way to Rome he broke that law and made armed conflict inevitable. According to Suetonius he uttered the famous phrase alea iacta est ("the die is cast").1 Suetonius also described how Caesar was apparently still undecided as he approached the river, and the author gave credit for the actual moment of crossing to a supernatural apparition.

The phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has survived to refer to any person committing himself irrevocably to a risky course of action, another way of saying passing the point of no return. It is also in limited usage as to its original meaning of using military power in the homeland."

So, not apparently in the "Commentaries." Different campaign.

2006-07-05 17:16:38
8.   Greg Brock
For all your Roman related inquiries, I highly suggest Livy's Ab Urbe condita. Good stuff.
2006-07-05 18:18:06
9.   Bob Timmermann
I suggest watching the HBO miniseries "Rome." It's easier to wade through!
2006-07-06 03:18:31
10.   Greg Brock
9 I never figured you for a Cliff's Notes kind of guy.
2006-07-06 12:53:51
11.   Linkmeister
Have you heard the English fight song "Vindaloo?"

Nice discussion here: with links to video and backstory included.

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