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MIT student blogger Mitra L. '07

World Cup Finals by Mitra L. '07

A story from a few years ago:

During the 1994 World Cup, I lived in Somerset County, New Jersey, where the Italian soccer team happened to be staying and practicing. I had an enormous crush on one of their star players, Roberto Baggio. (It was in no small part due to his braids, I’ll admit.) My family went to watch them run drills at a nearby soccer field one afternoon, I bought posters of him in Little Italy, NY, and even went to an opening-round game at Giants Stadium (I think) to cheer for the Azzurri.

Sadly, Baggio missed the final penalty kick in the World Cup final match against Brazil. I had a good cry about it and vowed that I would never support penalty kicks as a way of deciding a winner.

(Side note: Roberto Baggio actually (awesomely) continued playing soccer after that miss and had a great career)

Which is why I celebrated with a heavy heart yesterday. I watched the first 80 minutes of regulation play in my apartment, but couldn’t stand the intensity of the game so I went out to run errands. While walking along Polk Street in San Francisco, I could eventually tell how each team was doing based on where I was. For instance, if I passed a French bistro and heard patrons cheer, I knew France had possession of the ball. During PKs, I heard an Italian trattoria erupt and learned France had missed a PK. Crowds of people clustered around sports bars with large televisions that faced the sidewalk, and for the last 3 PKs I joined them.

And so the countdown to 2010 begins.

8 responses to “World Cup Finals”

  1. Jess says:

    There was an article on ESPN a couple days ago that proposed a pretty cool alternative to PKs – have another overtime, but every five minutes or so, the coaches have to take one player off the field, until someone scores or they get down to six-ish. Someone’s bound to score on that huge field with only six-person teams.

  2. Jess says:

    Also – I work at a German bakery on Clement!

  3. Mitra says:

    That alternative is super intriguing.

  4. Ayush Gupta says:

    I enjoyed the World Cup final as well. I am a France supporter through and through. It was sad to watch France lose. Even sadder to watch Zidane getting a red card. Although I enjoyed Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi in the chest. *cackles*

  5. Igna says:

    I’m from Argentina and in my country soccer is like having a different religion, personnally I didn’t enjoy the pk’s but that is just luck sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not, in 1990 we got through Yugoslavia, Brazil, and Italy more by luck than anything else and we made it to the final, I do not think that Italy was the most rightful champion because their path was not the hardest one and was given a “gift” against Australia but that is soccer and this is now history.

  6. RUS says:

    The penalty is a indefinition in a play of football, and the sudamericans is out of the cup.

    Here in Peru says ” the football don’t have logic”

  7. I had thought that Germany will win but itely become world cup winner


  8. francesco says:

    italy is the best!!!! god bless totti, buffon and company…only the best can win the World cup..italy is the one!!