A lot of strange things happened in this World Cup: terrible referee decisions, fat Brazilians not trying very hard, Julie Foudy's eyebrow, and Mexico choking like dogs again (ok, that last one wasn’t very strange). Normally, you'd chalk that up to the nature of soccer, not a conspiracy to make sure one team wins.
But when three French players with direct ties and/or substantial paychecks coming from Juventus of Turin – the scandalized Italian club team implicated in Black Sox-level cheating domestically – just happen to go out of their way to help their team lose the final of the World Cup, to Italy no less, it makes you wonder.
- Juventus midfielder Patrick Viera, one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, allows himself to get beat by total stiff Marco Materazzi on the tying goal, then later limps off the field with a hamstring injury that no one saw happen.
- Juventus forward David Trezeguet misses the only penalty for either team in the shoot-out.
- Former Juve midfielder Zinedine Zidane tries to miss a PK in regulation but gets lucky, hits the likely winner in OT right at the goalie, then head-buts an opponent so blatantly that a red card was the only option for the ref.
Normally, I'd be outraged by this, but since it’s the French taking it in the pooper, I'm more inclined to laugh. Get the hell out of my country, you Croissant-Baking Surrender Monkeys! And take Marcelo Balboa with you!