Being Argentine I am pretty sad by the fact that even though we were very even against Germany during the game (1-1), we lost by penalties. As I watched Argentina who played so well, lose out in penalties I wondered if penalties are actually a fair way to decide matches. When aiming talent is evenly distributed, penalties seem to favor taller goalies and stronger players, in this case the Germans.

But then to be honest, I know I would not be saying this if Argentina had won. Besides, the Germans also played very well. So congratulations to the winners!

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jeff on June 30, 2006  · 

that’s a very fair comment. don’t forget that the germans had an extra player during penalties : the stadium, a all country behind them. Germany is finally unifying and it makes them strong.

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Lance Knobel on June 30, 2006  · 

My sympathies, Martin.

Two comments. Why on earth did Pekerman take out Riquelme and Crespo, giving more than a whiff of defensiveness to the Germans. And he left Messi on the bench. He was playing for 1-0, and the team was doomed once it was taken to extra time.

Second, you probably aren’t familiar with the quote from former English player Gary Lineker. “Football is a simple game. You play for 120 minutes and then Germany wins on penalties.” It has happened all too often to England.

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Kasper Daniel Balslev on July 1, 2006  · 

I agree – but I thought Pekermans decision to substitute Riquelme and leave out Lionel Messi entirely was wrong, i.e. too defensive a strategy against a team like Germany. But then again, it’s easy to be wise in retrospective 🙂

All in all – I’m now really rooting for Brazil!

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Gallivanter on July 1, 2006  · 

It was a thrilling match to say the least. I do feel sorry for Argentina, but the fault has to be directed at Peckerman’s timid substitutions. He should’ve kept Riquelme on and brought on Messi for Crespo. The game was theirs to kill. In the end, a never-say-die Deutschland prevailed.

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Karl-Friedrich Lenz on July 1, 2006  · 

Thanks for the congratulations.

Penalty shoot-out is far from perfect, but you need to find a winner one way or other.

However, I thought a long way ago that at the very least the order should be reversed. Do the shoot-out before the match, one hour before kick-off. Then the team who lost it will know that they need to win at least until the end of the additional time, and can adjust their game accordingly. And any player who missed a penalty will get a chance to compensate for that mistake.

That would necessarily mean that a situation both teams can live with is impossible. One team will always be behind, from kickoff to minute 120.That team will need to attack aggressively, leading to a more attractive game.

And if you do the shoot-out before, you could have all players participate, including every substitute player, or you could even have some players over 40 and/or under 15 in the mix.

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till on July 1, 2006  · 

Yeah, I think penalties are a good way to end the struggle. It took them 120 minutes and they played really well.

And even though your team lost, what an outburst and outcry of joy that match sparked – amazing. 🙂

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Martín Varsavsky on July 2, 2006  · 


I felt the same way and so did MANY people in Europe. Surprisingly, I did not see a lot of that type of commentary in Argentine web sites.


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Martín Varsavsky on July 2, 2006  · 


Personally I love this idea. I find it VERY creative.

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charlie on July 3, 2006  · 

karl, wild idea.

martin, i now join you in losing interest in the world cup now that our national teams are out. at least the argentines playes well every game and i think outplayed the germans.

brasil on the other hand kept a lazy level of play the whole cup and didn’t really show up to the france game. france deserved to win, they played so much better. indeed, france has been improving game by game, so it will be interesting to see how they face up to the protugas (who have been amazing, if bellicose).

little trivia: in all the cups help in europe, only one non-european team has won – brasil, and only once. in all the cups held outside of europe, a south american team has won (that means mostly, to you and i, argentina and brasil). and, notice, only european teams are left, so that stat holds true. (i’m torn as to who i’d like to see in the final – certainly not italy, though)

eh, now put the tv away again (it comes out every four years, specifically for the cup).

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Martín Varsavsky on July 4, 2006  · 

Same with me. I am mostly a world cup fan. I will still go to the final in Berlin, but i will miss Argentina! My wife is french though, so i hope somebody gets lucky in the family!


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Lance Knobel on July 6, 2006  · 

And someone has gotten lucky in your family. Enjoy the final.

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Martín Varsavsky on July 6, 2006  · 

Indeed! My wife was out of control last night!


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