Footy In A Week


Computer Simulation of Zidane’s headbutt
July 22, 2006, 1:46 am
Filed under: Misc., Video, World Cup 2006

I’ve been contacted by NaturalMotion, an Oxford based technology company. They have an AI software called endorphin, which as I can understand from, simulates body movements accurately. They used it to create a rather entertaining simulation of Zidane/Materazzi headbutt.

They suggested I take a look at it and share it with you.

I guess what I could tell from the video is that, Zidane’s headbutt was a painful one!

My thanks go to Scotti McGowan, who represents NaturalMotion, for contacting Footy In A Week.



Zidane’s headbutt (Nintendo version)
July 13, 2006, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Video, World Cup 2006


Zidane’s interview video
July 13, 2006, 4:46 pm
Filed under: Video, World Cup 2006

Here’s the Zidane interview on Canal plus with subtitles.



Zidane speaks
July 13, 2006, 1:33 am
Filed under: World Cup 2006

Zidane spoke today on French channel Canal Plus. Here’s what he said, translated to English.

Interviewer: You know the Italian players well because you played in Italy for five years. Did you have any problem with any of them beforehand?

Zinedine Zidane: Not at all. You always have friction with certain players…that is the game, it has always been like that. But I never had any clashes with anyone.

Interviewer: Nor Materazzi?

Zinedine Zidane: No, never. There was nothing beforehand and nothing in the match until he started pulling my jersey.

He grabbed my shirt and I told him to stop. I told him if he wanted I’d swap it with him at the end of the match.

That is when he said some very hard words, which were harder than gestures. He repeated them several times. It all happened very quickly and he spoke about things which hurt me deep down.

Interviewer: Everyone wants to know exactly what he said…

Zinedine Zidane: They were very serious things, very personal things.

Interviewer: About your mother and your sister?

Zinedine Zidane: Yes. They were very hard words. You hear them once and you try to move away.

But then you hear them twice, and then a third time… I am a man and some words are harder to hear than actions. I would rather have taken a blow to the face than hear that.

Interviewer: He said these things about your mother and sister two or three times?

Zinedine Zidane: Yes. I reacted and of course it is not a gesture you should do. I must say that strongly.

It was seen by two or three billion people watching on television and millions and millions of children.

It was an inexcusable gesture and to them, and the people in education whose job it is to show children what they should and shouldn’t do, I want to apologise.

Interviewer: You apologise to them but do you really regret having done it?

Zinedine Zidane: I can’t regret it because if I do it would be like admitting that he was right to say all that. And above all, it was not right.

We always talk about the reaction, and inevitably it must be punished. But if there is no provocation, there is no reaction.

First of all you have to say there is provocation, and the guilty one is the one who does the provoking. The response is to always punish the reaction, but if I react, something has happened.

Do you imagine that in a World Cup final like that, with just 10 minutes to go to the end of my career, I am going to do something like that because it gives me pleasure?

Interviewer: No of course not. But at the moment you exploded…

Zinedine Zidane: There was provocation, and it was very serious, that is all. My action was inexcusable but you have to punish the real culprit, and the real culprit is the one who provoked it. Voila.



FIFA release new world rankings
July 12, 2006, 2:53 pm
Filed under: International, Local Football, World Cup 2006

Champions Italy have moved to second place, moving 11 places , right behind Brazil who are still on top. On the other hand, previous 2nd place holder Czech dropped 8 places into 10th.

Hosts Germany moved 10 places up and are 9th.

Argentina are third, moving 6 places up, while France(+4) and England(+5) are fourth and fifth.

Other top teams who dropped places are Spain(-2), Portugal(-1), the Netherlands(-3) and the USA(-11).

One of the biggest movers are Ukraine, who moved 30 places up to 15th.

While the worst losers are Saudi Arabia who lost 47 places and are 81st.

Top 10

1-Brazil

2-Italy

3-Argentina

4-France

5-England

6-Holland

7-Spain

8-Portugal

9-Germany

10-Czech Republic

Top 10 Arab teams

1-Egypt (29th, -12)

2-Tunisia (31st, -11)

3-Morocco (40th, -4)

4-Qatar (76th, +2)

5-Libya (79th, +7)

6-Saudi Arabia (81st, -47)

7-Oman (86th, -4)

8-Iraq (88th, -36)

9-UAE (90th, -19)

10-Algeria (93rd, -6)

Note: Bahrain are 94th and lost 40 places, while Kuwait are 100th losing 26 places.

Full list



Zidane may lose golden ball, Italy the world cup?
July 12, 2006, 2:26 pm
Filed under: World Cup 2006

After launching an investigation into the events surrounding Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hinted at the possibility that Zidane might be stripped of the Golden Ball.

I’ve also just found out that voting for the Golden Ball was open before the match and FIFA could not confirm how many of those votes were cast before Zidane’s red card.

The French headbutter is set to speak tonight on French TV station Canal Plus.

Al-Qabas today also wrote that Italy might be stripped off the World Cup title. The news was on their first page, but the article itself did not include how, why or any details what so ever about Italy losing the title. The title itself was quoted from Der Spiegel, a German magazine. A visit to their International and German websites showed there was no such news item.



Lippi, Klinsmann resign
July 12, 2006, 2:03 pm
Filed under: World Cup 2006

World Cup winning coach Marcelo Lippi has left the Italian squad and resigned.

At the end of an extraordinary professional and human experience at the head of an exceptional group of players, and with the collaboration of a first-rate staff, I believe I have come to the end of my role as coach of the Italian national team,” Said the 58-year old coach.

Lippi took over Italy in 2004, after Euro 2004, and has lost only twice during his helm.

He was also recently linked with Manchester United as a replacement for Alex Ferguson. While there was no mention on who’s going to take over the Azzuri.

Klinsmann has also left his post as German coach, after days of consideration on his future. Assistant Joachim Loew would take his place.

“This was not an easy decision. I would like to thank everybody for two exciting, two wonderful years,” the 41-year-old said.

All 23 players in Germany’s squad, 93 percent of the public, according to opinion polls, and even some of Klinsmann’s harshest critics had said they wanted him to continue.