Monday, July 10, 2006

Any day you wake up with your head feeling like your brain’s been replaced by warm oatmeal and the first word out of your mouth is “f***!” is usually not going to be a good day. However, this day is different.

I stayed up to watch my beloved Azzurri win its first major trophy in many years and although I feel like begging for someone to put me out of my misery right now because my eyes are so tired and various parts of my body are arching, it was well worth it. It’s been 10 years since I first noticed Cannavaro in Euro ’96 and I’m so proud of how he has guided the Azzurri to their first major title since 1982 and so very happy that Buffon was awarded the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament.

My throat is incredibly sore right now after cheering so much while watching the game at the National Library yesterday. If you were there and you heard someone yell, “Stop f***ing diving, you French f***ers!” after Malouda dived to ‘earn’ a penalty for the French, that was me. I apologise. My closet ah beng comes out whenever I’m watching a game which involves a team I’m passionate about.

I screamed my lungs out when Materazzi scored the equaliser and held my breath whenever the French were on the attack (which means I didn’t get very much air during the second half). I cursed in disgust when Zizou headbutted Materazzi and pumped my fists in quiet vindication when he was sent off for that offence. I closed my eyes and prayed when it came to penalty kicks. I held my friend for comfort and support before every kick was taken. I cheered when Trezeguet missed his chance and screamed my lungs out and punched the air when Grosso scored the final penalty, making Italy the second team ever to have won the World Cup four times. I was so incredibly ecstatic that I almost kissed the friend I was watching the game with, but fortunately, and sensibly, I settled for giving him a big hug.

I would have loved to be in Berlin (didn't it look beautiful?) or Rome so that I could have soaked in the atmosphere (pre- and post-match) but instead, I spent it at a place I never thought I would ever watch a match (much less the World Cup Final) on a 100 inch HDTV screen with one of my best friends.

Indeed, today is one heck of a beautiful day. Forza Azzurri!

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