Florent Malouda

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Posted by kaori 04/14/2009 @ 01:15

Tags : florent malouda, soccer players, soccer, sports

News headlines
Florent Malouda happy to work hard for Guus Hiddink - Times Online
Florent Malouda is happy to carry on working hard as Chelsea prepare for their final Premier League match of the season and the FA Cup final. The France winger, who has scored three times in the past four matches, has been one of the most consistent...
Premier League: Chelsea 2 - 0 Blackburn Rovers - OleOle
Official Chelsea FC Website: "Florent Malouda's sixth league goal of the season and Nicolas Anelka's 18th made it a good afternoon on the pitch as Stamford Bridge said farewell to Guus Hiddink." Walking down the Fulham Road to the café had a strange...
Mikel: I love it at Chelsea - The Sun
"The way the manager feels is that it is more comfortable for Frank for him to be able to move forward more and not think so much about defending. "And the same for Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka so us two, Michael Essien or Michael Ballack and me...
Malouda dashes exit talk - SkySports
By Chris Burton Last updated: 2nd May 2009 Speaking to skysports.com, Florent Malouda has rubbished reports suggesting he could be set for a summer move away from Chelsea. The French winger has taken time to settle in English football since his arrival...
Arsenal Win Can Inspire Chelsea To Finish Second - Florent Malouda - Goal.com
Chelsea's Florent Malouda has insisted his side can finish the season as Premier League runners-up after beating Arsenal 4-1 at the Emirates this afternoon. The Blues bounced back from their Champions League disappointment with a convincing win in...
Malouda: We'll do it for the fans - The Sun
FLORENT MALOUDA insists Chelsea are determined to finish the season on a high — to repay the club's fans. The Blues suffered more Champions League heartache last week when Andres Iniesta's late strike knocked them out of the competition....
Farewell to West Brom and Hiddink - Xinhua
Florent Malouda's header after just four minutes and a 58th- minute strike from Nicolas Anelka paid tribute to their interim manager, who finished undefeated at Stamford Bridge in his successful three-month reign. The final whistle ignited the carnival...
Malouda Wants Positive Chelsea Reaction Against Arsenal - Goal.com
Florent Malouda is certainly keeping a positive mindset despite Chelsea's controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona on Wednesday night. The Blues lost on away goals after the tie, which was inflamed by some questionable officiating,...
Premier League - Match facts: Sunderland v Chelsea - Yahoo! Eurosport
Anelka and Florent Malouda have each scored in Chelsea's last three league games. Chelsea have not won a final day game since 2003-04, when Claudio Ranieri was manager. Sunderland have never won on the final day of a Premier League season....

Florent Malouda

Florent Malouda.jpg

Florent Johan Malouda (born June 13, 1980 in Cayenne, French Guiana) is a French footballer. Malouda plays as a left winger for Chelsea in the Premier League and France national team. He is a left winger who can also play as a second striker or behind the front two.

Florent Malouda signed for Chelsea in July 2007 after beating off stiff competition from around Europe including Liverpool and Real Madrid. The French winger joined Chelsea from Lyon for an undisclosed fee said to be within the £13.5 million mark. He joined them on a four and a half years deal.

Malouda was then signed by top division side Guingamp following Châteauroux's inability to secure a Ligue 1 berth. It was in Guingamp where his talent was showcased in French top-flight football. Under the tutelage of coach Guy Lacombe, Malouda demonstrated his tremendous ability and formed a superb assister and finisher combination with then team-mate Didier Drogba.

In 92 appearances for Guingamp, Malouda scored 15 goals.

Malouda's performances at Guingamp began catching the attention of French giants Olympique Lyonnais who, after claiming their second consecutive title during the 2002–03 season, decided to sign Malouda. In an outstanding Lyon team containing Juninho Pernambucano, Michael Essien, Gregory Coupet, and Mahamadou Diarra, Malouda established himself on the left side of Lyon's attack, forming great link-ups with all of Lyon's strikers. His performances for Lyon finally earned him a much deserved call up to the French national football team.

The highlights of Malouda's career at Lyon were a man of the match display against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League and his 10 goals which led Lyon to their sixth consecutive Ligue 1 title, both during the 2006–07 season.

He also won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year that season, succeeding team-mate Juninho, Lille's Abdul Kader Keïta, Toulouse's Johan Elmander and Lens' Seydou Keïta to the accolade.

Malouda made public his wish to leave Lyon at the end of the 2006–07 season, with both Chelsea and Real Madrid showing interest in the winger. On June 29, 2007, Malouda told Lyon based newspaper Le Progres that he has his heart set on a move to Chelsea, confirming that Chelsea had lodged a €17m bid for him. Malouda later repeated this comment in an interview with the Daily Star. On July 5, 2007, Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon told Sky Sports News that Chelsea had been in discussions with Lyon regarding Malouda's transfer and were hoping to tie up the deal before Chelsea's pre-season tour in the USA.

On July 8, 2007, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas announced that Lyon had accepted an undisclosed bid, rumoured to be around €20,000,000/£13,500,000, from Chelsea for Malouda. Chelsea later officially revealed that Malouda would be travelling to London on July 9 for a medical and to discuss personal terms. Malouda had looked set to join Liverpool until the Premiership rivals Chelsea intervened, and the opportunity to play for Liverpool faded. At 7pm on the same day, Malouda officially signed a three-year contract with the club. He was handed the number 15 shirt. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho described Malouda as a mature and proven player who was up to the challenge of adapting to the fast pace of English football, and hinted that Malouda would be fielded in tandem with Dutch winger Arjen Robben.

In his first game for Chelsea, a pre-season friendly against Mexican side Club América, Malouda scored the equaliser and set up John Terry for the winning goal as Chelsea went on to win 2–1.

Malouda made his competitive debut for Chelsea against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Community Shield on August 5, 2007 in a 1-1 draw, despite Chelsea going on to lose on penalties, he scored in what was an impressive display.

Malouda started against Birmingham City on August 12 on the left wing, a position previously adopted by Arjen Robben and Joe Cole. Malouda scored Chelsea's second goal in a 3–2 victory, before being replaced by Steve Sidwell in the 83rd minute.

On August 19, Malouda won a dubious penalty decision from referee Rob Styles in a Premier League game against Liverpool. Replays of the incident indicated Malouda had backed into the Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, after trying to leave the ball for the unmarked Drogba. The penalty kick was given and Frank Lampard scored. Referee Rob Styles was dropped from the next weekend Premier League games as a result of this incident and some other contentious decisions during the game. He scored against Schalke 04 in his first Champions League game for Chelsea squeezing the ball through keeper Manuel Neuer's legs after turning his marker Rafinha. On January 23, Malouda set up Joe Cole with a long pass to score against Everton in the Carling Cup, Chelsea won 3-1 on aggregate. On May 5, 2008 Malouda scored his second Premier League goal in the penultimate game of the season against Newcastle United, cooly converting Frank Lampard's through ball. Malouda ended his first season in English football with two goals and one assist in the league, a relatively poor return due to being second choice on the left wing to Salomon Kalou for the majority of the season and the shock arrival of Avram Grant as Chelsea manager.

Malouda scored his first two goals in the Scolari era against French team Bordeaux in the Champions League group stages on September 16, 2008 and in the Carling Cup third round tie against Portsmouth. Both games went on to be 4-0 victories for Chelsea. His first league goal of the season was against Middlesbrough in a 5-0 win. The Frenchman scored the crucial second goal in a 2-0 win against Newcastle United, scoring from Frank Lampard's pass in what was almost a carbon copy of he goal he scored at Saint James' Park the previous season. Malouda then played one of his best games for Chelsea in a 3-1 win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League, supplying crosses for Branislav Ivanovic and Didier Drogba to score.

Malouda made his debut for France on November 17, 2004 in a match against Poland. He then became a regular for his country, scoring his first goal for his country on May 31, 2005 against Hungary.

After playing almost throughout France's qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, earning a call up to the final squad. Malouda continued to play regularly in the tournament, where the French eventually lost on penalties to Italy in the final. He won a penalty for France in that game which was converted by Zinédine Zidane. To date, Malouda has scored three goals in 42 appearances for the French national team.

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France national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest

The France national football team represents the nation of France in international football. It is fielded by the French Football Federation and competes as a member of UEFA.

France was one of the four European teams that participated at the inaugural World Cup in 1930. In the 1980s, led by midfielder and captain Michel Platini, the team reached semi-finals at both the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, and won the 1984 European Championship.

France then reached an even higher status in international football by being especially successful at the end of the 1990s and in the 2000s; they won the World Cup as the host nation in 1998, and the European Football Championship two years later, while also placing second at the 2006 World Cup tournament. Midfielder Zinédine Zidane was particularly instrumental in achieving those honours.

France and Argentina are the only national teams which have won the three most important men's titles organized by FIFA: the World Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Olympic Tournament.

France's first ever game was a 3-3 draw against Belgium in 1904.

They played in all three of the pre-World War II World Cups. Lucien Laurent scored the first ever World cup goal in 1930, in a 4-1 win over Mexico. They reached the quarterfinals in 1938 when they hosted the World Cup.

France came third in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, defeating Germany 6-3 for the bronze. France was beaten by Brazil in semi-finals, after central defender Robert Jonquet's injury and Pelé hat-trick. Striker Just Fontaine scored a record 13 goals in the tournament, doing so in just six matches. The team used mainly players and former players from Stade de Reims, such as Raymond Kopa, Robert Jonquet,Roger Marche or Just Fontaine, who was at the time one of the best teams in European football.

During the captaincy of Michel Platini France's World Cup performance markedly improved, finishing fourth in Spain '82, and third in Mexico '86. In both tournaments, they lost in the semi-finals to West Germany. The 1982 semi-final is unfortunately remembered by many for West German keeper Harald Schumacher's elbowing of France's Patrick Battiston in the face as the latter made a shot on goal. Despite severely injuring Battiston, Schumacher was not penalized. This was the turning point of the match: after leading 3-1, les bleus were eliminated in the penalty-kicks, after FC Nantes' defender Maxime Bossis saw his shot stopped by Schumacher. France were also knocked out in the semi-final 1986, again by West Germany. However, with Platini as skipper, France, as host nation, won Euro '84, as well as capturing Olympic gold in Los Angeles the same year.

France's most successful years were the late 1990s, the generation of Zinédine Zidane . This team started off well by reaching the semi-finals of Euro 96. After Euro 96, coach Aimé Jacquet adopted a very defensive strategy and made fans anxious because his team never seemed to develop a definitive offensive tactic. The press began to attack the team manager, calling his methods "Paleolithic" and claiming that the team had no hope for the upcoming World Cup which would be hosted in their home country. In June 1997 at the Tournoi de France, cries of "Resign!" could be heard from the stadium as the French team came in under Brazil, England and Italy. The media's distrust of Jacquet reached fever pitch in May 1998 when, instead of a list of 22 players meant to play in the World Cup, Jacquet gave a list of 28 players, causing the sports daily L'Équipe to write an editoral arguing that Jacquet was not the right man to lead the French team to victory.

Jacquet stepped down after France's World Cup triumph and was succeeded by assistant Roger Lemerre who guided them through Euro 2000. Zidane cemented his FIFA World Player of the Year form, scoring a direct free kick in the quarter-final against Spain and a golden goal penalty in the semi-final against Portugal.

In the finals, France defeated Italy 2-1 in a come from behind victory. David Trézéguet scored the golden goal in extra time after an equalizing goal from Wiltord in the 5th minute of stoppage time. This gave them the distinction of being the first national team to hold both the World Cup and Euro titles since West Germany did so in 1974, and it was also the first time that a reigning World Cup winner went on to capture the Euro. France held the top position in the FIFA World Rankings system from 2001-2002.

France failed to maintain that pace in subsequent tournaments. They suffered a stunning goaless first round elimination in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, possibly due in part to an injury to key playmaker Zidane. One of the greatest shocks in World Cup history condemned France to a 0-1 defeat to debutante Senegal in the opening game of the tournament. After France finished bottom of the group - only securing one point, in a 0-0 draw against Uruguay, conceding three goals and without scoring any - Lemerre was dismissed.

A full strength team started out strongly in Euro 2004, with Zidane scoring a free kick and a penalty to overcome a 0-1 deficit and defeat England in the group stage, but they were upset in the quarter-finals by the eventual winners, Greece. Jacques Santini resigned as coach and Raymond Domenech was picked as his replacement.

France struggled in the qualifiers for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, managing only 0-0 draws with Israel, Ireland, and Switzerland. This prompted Domenech to persuade "golden generation" members Claude Makélélé, Lilian Thuram and Zinédine Zidane out of international retirement to help the national team qualify. This was France's first successful World Cup qualification since 1986 (France received automatic berths in 1998 and 2002, as hosts and defending champions, respectively).

The team was greeted with modest expectations as it entered the World Cup tournament, with many arguing that despite the return of the three stars, its squad was too old to be competitive. They had a slow start in the group stage and were in danger of being eliminated after managing only 0-0 and 1-1 draws against Switzerland and South Korea, respectively. Though Zidane was forced to sit out because of accumulated bookings, France found their form and won their final group match, beating Togo 2-0 to advance to the knockout round. There, Zidane would score or assist in every game of the playoffs and his team upset heavily favoured Spain 3-1 in a come-from-behind victory to advance to the quarter-finals.

France eliminated defending champions Brazil 1-0 to advance into the cup semi-finals. Despite the score, France had thoroughly outplayed Brazil in the match, only facing one shot on goal, while Zidane created numerous scoring chances with his dribbles past Brazilian defenders and his free-kick to Thierry Henry resulting in the winning goal. The game made France the first team to have shut out the five-time champions in consecutive matches; Fabien Barthez was the keeper in both matches. Les Bleus now have a 2-1-1 all-time record against Brazil in World Cup finals play, having shut the Seleção out in the last three meetings (the 1986 match was decided 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw).

France emerged from the semi-finals winning 1-0 over Portugal. Henry was tripped inside the box and a penalty was awarded, which Zidane scored and it stood as the winning goal, as defender Lilian Thuram neutralized offensive threats from Portuguese stars Pauleta and Cristiano Ronaldo. At home, when news came of France's victory, there were mass celebrations at the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

France took on Italy in the final, in which the teams were level at 1-1 at the end of normal time. With extra-time failing to produce a victor, penalty kicks were required to settle the match. Italy won the shoot-out 5-3 to be crowned 2006 World Champions. The tournament's Golden Ball Winner Zinédine Zidane (playing his last professional match) scored the opening goal of the final (becoming only the fourth player to score in two World Cup final games), but his accomplishments in the finals were marred by his sending off (becoming only the fourth player to be sent off in a world cup final) for violent conduct when he headbutted Marco Materazzi with only ten minutes until extra-time.

France started its qualifying round for Euro 2008 on September 2, 2006 by beating Georgia in Tbilisi 3-0.The goal scorers for this match were Malouda, Louis Saha and Malkhaz Asatiani (own goal). They then took on world champions Italy 3-1 in Paris on September 6, 2006 with Sidney Govou striking twice along with Henry, but suffered an upset when beaten 1-0 by Scotland on October 7, 2006, their first European Championship qualifying defeat since they lost 3-2 to Russia on June 5, 1999. On October 11, 2006, France defeated Faroe Islands by 5-0. All the French strikers that played in the match scored. Goals came from Louis Saha, Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and 2 goals from the Juventus striker David Trézéguet. France beat Lithuania 1-0 on March 24, 2007 with Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka rescuing an injury hit French side by shooting a wonderful long range effort.The injuries suffered by France were Louis Saha, Thierry Henry, Franck Ribéry, Patrick Vieira and David Trézéguet. France took on Ukraine on June 2, 2007 in Paris. Both teams were hit by injuries with France missing Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry while Ukraine missed their world-class striker Andriy Shevchenko. The game ended in a 2-0 victory for France with second-half strikes from Franck Ribéry and Nicolas Anelka, who scored his third goal in three matches. Then on June 6, 2007 France defeated Georgia in Auxerre by 1-0, with Samir Nasri scoring his first senior international goal. On September 8, 2007, in a much-anticipated rematch, France and Italy played to a 0-0 draw at the San Siro in Milan. Once again though, on September 12, 2007, France fell to Scotland and were defeated 1-0 after Landreau was caught off guard with a strike from Scotland's James McFadden adding another loss, but this time at the Parc des Princes in Paris. On October 12, 2007, their match with the Faroe Islands, was threatened with postponement after bad weather kept their plane from landing in the Faroe Islands; they had to spend the night in Norway. The next day, however, on 13 October 2007, the match went ahead as planned, albeit around 30 minutes after scheduled kick-off time with France taking just 8 minutes to open up a 2-0 lead; the match eventually finished 6-0 with strikes from Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, and 2 goals from Karim Benzema just before half time. In the second half Jérôme Rothen and Hatem Ben Arfa completed the rout. With Italy's victory over Scotland on November 17, 2007, France only just, by 2 points over Scotland, qualified for Euro 2008.

Despite high expectations from followers of Les Bleus, the squad made a stuttering start to the 2008 European Championships, drawing 0-0 to Romania in Zurich and then finishing on the receiving end of a 4-1 mauling at the hands of the Netherlands in Berne. For the final group game, Domenech dropped Thuram and replaced him with Abidal. This proved to be a bad decision as Abidal looked out of his depth in the centre of defence and subsequently was sent off for a rash challenge on Luca Toni. France continued to play poorly and when they lost 2-0 to Italy, they came last of their group and failed to get to the quarterfinals.

France's performance at Euro 2008 effectively marked the end of its golden era stemming back to the team's World Cup win on home soil in 1998, which was followed by their triumph at Euro 2000 two years later in the Netherlands and Belgium. Only three players from those successful teams were selected in the final squad for Euro 2008 by French coach Raymond Domenech, with only Thierry Henry and Lilian Thuram earning game time, though their effectiveness and performances were soundly criticised by French football media. The third remaining player, Patrick Vieira, was initially named the team captain but was unable to take the field in any of France's Euro matches due to a thigh injury. The team's early exit from the tournament signalled the international retirements of Lilian Thuram, and Claude Makélélé; Willy Sagnol also announced that he would take time to contemplate his international future.

France's efforts were comparable to their disastrous 2002 World Cup campaign where they were also eliminated in the first round without winning a game. France bettered their efforts from 2002 by scoring a solitary goal in this tournament compared to their goalless campaign six years prior.

In the aftermath of the tournament, calls were made for the sacking of Raymond Domenech, and Didier Deschamps, captain of the 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euro championship teams, was sounded out as a suitable replacement. However, on July 3, at a French Football Federation high level meeting in Paris, it was announced that Domenech would be retained as manager.

France's campaign for 2010 World Cup qualification got off to a disappointing start with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Austria in Vienna on September 6, 2008. Speculation followed regarding the future of Raymond Domenech as team coach prior to the subsequent match, against Serbia four days later. There, with goals from Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka, France gained a 2-1 home victory. On October 11, France drew 2-2 with Romania after came back from 2-0 down. In 2009, France resumed their qualification with a back to back 1-0 win over Lithuania, thanks to Franck Ribéry as he scored the only goal in both games on March 28 and April 1.

Since the 1990s, the team has been widely celebrated as an example of the modern multicultural French ideal. On the 2006 French national team, 17 of the 23 players were members of racial minorities, including many of the most prominent players. The team featured players born in France's overseas departments and others who were immigrants or the children of immigrants from former French colonies. Zinédine Zidane is the child of an immigrant couple from Algeria; of the current squad Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri are also of Algerian origin. Vikash Dhorasoo — the first French player of Indian origin - played in the 2006 World Cup. Meanwhile, several players are of African and West Indian origin. Patrick Vieira immigrated as a child from Senegal, Bafétimbi Gomis has dual French-Senegalese nationality, and Claude Makélélé did likewise from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lilian Thuram is from France's overseas department of Guadeloupe. Thierry Henry is the son of parents born in Guadeloupe and Martinique, while Louis Saha, Sylvain Wiltord, and Pascal Chimbonda all have parents who hail from Guadeloupe. Finally, Florent Malouda was born in French Guiana. Moreover, some of the european players are also descendants of immigrants, for instance Mexes, Squillaci, and Mathieu Valbuena are Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish respectively.

The French national football team has long reflected the ethnic diversity of the country. The first african player playing in the national team was Raoul Diagne in 1931, the son of the first African elected to the French National Assembly, Blaise Diagne. In the 1950s, the first French national team reaching international success with a semi-final at the World Cup 1958 already included many sons of immigrants such as Raymond Kopa, Roger Piantoni, Maryan Wisnieski and Bernard Chiarelli. This tradition continued through the 1980s, when such successful players as Michel Platini, Jean Tigana, Luis Fernández, Gérard Janvion, Manuel Amoros or Eric Cantona were all of either foreign-born or overseas-born ancestries.

The multiracial makeup of the team has at times provoked controversy. In recent years, critics on the far right of the French political spectrum have taken issue with the proportional underrepresentation of white Frenchmen on the team. National Front politician Jean-Marie Le Pen protested in 1998 that the Black, Blanc, Beur team that won the World Cup did not look sufficiently French. In 2002, led by Ghanaian-born Marcel Desailly, the French team unanimously publicly appealed to the French voting public to reject the presidential candidacy of Le Pen and instead return President Jacques Chirac to office in a landslide. In 2006, Le Pen also resumed his criticism, charging that coach Raymond Domenech had selected too many black players.

In 2005, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut caused a controversy by remarking to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that despite its earlier slogan, "the French national team is in fact black-black-black," adding "France is made fun of all around Europe because of that." He later excused himself for this comment, which he declared was not meant to be offensive.

The Zidane-Materazzi headbutt incident in the 2006 World Cup final and its aftermath served as a symbol for the larger issue of Europe's struggle to integrate its non-white immigrant population: even though both players denied it, international media speculated for days about the presence of a racist element in the exchange, observing that the Italian team contained no ethnic minorities.

The national team's overall impact on France's efforts to integrate its minorities and come to terms with its colonial past has been mixed, however. In 2001, France played a friendly match in the Stade de France, site of its 1998 World Cup triumph, against Algeria. It was France's first meeting with its former colony, with whom it had fought a war from 1954-62, and it proved controversial. France's national anthem, La Marseillaise, was booed by Algerian supporters before the game, and following a French goal that made the score 4-1 in the second half, spectators ran onto the field of play and caused the game to be suspended. It was never resumed.

Squad for FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Lithuania on March 28 and April 1, 2009.

Caps and goals as of April 1, 2009, subsequent to the FIFA World Cup qualification match against Lithuania.

Bold denotes players still playing or available for selection.

Bold denotes players still playing or available for selection.

Before 1955, players were selected by committee.

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2006 FIFA World Cup Final

The 2006 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 9 July 2006 at the Olympiastadion, Berlin to determine the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The match was contested between Italy and France.

The opening performance was by international superstars Shakira and Wyclef Jean, who performed a special version of "Hips Don't Lie" called The Bamboo Version. After the match ended 1–1, Italy won 5–3 on penalties. Zinedine Zidane was sent off in his last ever match, for an infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi.

The final started with each side scoring within the first 20 minutes. Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring by converting a controversial seventh-minute penalty kick, which glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. Marco Materazzi then levelled the scores in the 19th minute following an Andrea Pirlo corner. Both teams had chances to score the winning goal in normal time: Luca Toni hit the crossbar in the 35th minute for Italy, later having a header disallowed for offside, while France were not granted a possible second penalty in the 53rd minute when Florent Malouda went down in the box after a cover tackle from Gianluca Zambrotta. France appeared to be the side with better chances to win because of the higher number of shots on goal. They were unable to capitalise, however, and the score remained at one goal each.

At the end of the regulation 90 minutes, the score was still level at 1–1, and the match was forced into extra time. Italian keeper Gianluigi Buffon made a potentially game-saving save in extra time when he tipped a Zidane header over the crossbar. Further controversy ensued near the end of extra time, when Zidane headbutted Materazzi in the chest in an off-the-ball incident and was sent off. Extra time produced no further goals and a penalty shootout followed, which Italy won 5–3. France's David Trezeguet, the man who scored the dramatic Golden Goal against Italy in Euro 2000, was the only player not to score his penalty; his spot kick hit the crossbar.

It was the first all-European final since Italy won the 1982 FIFA World Cup, and the second final (1994 was the first, with Italy losing on that occasion) to be decided on penalties. It was also Italy's first world title in 24 years, and their fourth overall, putting them one ahead of Germany/West Germany and only one behind Brazil. The victory also led to Italy topping the FIFA Coca Cola Rankings in February 2007 for the first time since November 1993.

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Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa

Alex with PSV

Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa, better known as Alex, (born 17 June 1982 in Niterói) is a Brazilian professional football player. Alex plays as a centre back currently for Chelsea and the Brazil national football team.

Having been bought by the Premier League club Chelsea in 2004, Alex finally joined the Chelsea squad in the summer of 2007 after three years on loan to PSV in the Netherlands. Alex is famously known among PSV fans for his great strength, his imposing appearance and his cannonball-like freekicks which earned him the nickname "The Tank".

Alex began his career with Santos of Brazil, making his first team debut in 2002. He was signed by English club Chelsea in 2004 on the recommendation of famed PSV and Chelsea scout Piet de Visser, but because of potential problems in attaining a work permit, he was loaned out to Dutch club PSV.

The joint contract of Chelsea and PSV loaned Alex to PSV for three years, with Chelsea having a €1 buy-out clause. Alex eventually played three years at PSV, donning the number 4 jersey for the Dutch club.

He formally joined PSV in the 2004–05 season, helping the club win a domestic double of both the Dutch Eredivisie championship and Dutch Cup that year. In the UEFA Champions League 2004-05, Alex played a key role in the PSV team that was eliminated in the semi-finals against Milan on away goals (PSV won their home game 3–1 but had previously lost 0–2 in San Siro). The team eliminated Monaco and Lyon on their way to the semis.

Alex won a second straight Dutch league championship in the 2005–06 season with PSV. Chelsea did not recall Alex, even though Abramovich adviser Piet de Visser and Chelsea head of scouting Frank Arnesen recommended that Alex be brought over from PSV to solve the club's defensive problems. Instead, Chelsea manager José Mourinho insisted on the signing of Khalid Boulahrouz instead. Therefore, Alex stayed a third season at PSV on loan in 2006–07. He won a third straight Eredivisie title with PSV, after a dramatic final-day finish to the season in which PSV sensationally trumped both Ajax and AZ. Alex scored in a UEFA Champions League first knockout round against Arsenal for both teams in the second half, turning in an own goal past his own goalkeeper Gomes, but compensating for it with a storming headed goal with eight minutes left to play to redeem himself and in the process ensure PSV a place in the quarter finals. However, he was later injured and played no part in PSV's UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Liverpool, which PSV lost 4–0 on aggregate.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Alex confirmed that Chelsea were in the process of getting him a work permit and that the possibilities of him joining Chelsea next season were very high. Alex later confirmed that Chelsea had almost completed the process of acquiring him a work permit and that he would start next season as a Chelsea player.

Alex was granted a work permit on 2 August 2007, and completed his transfer to Chelsea after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, signing a three year deal, and adding to Chelsea's options at centre-back, along with team captain John Terry, Portuguese international Ricardo Carvalho, and Israeli international Tal Ben Haim.

On 14 August 2007, Alex was presented to the English media, in a press conference with manager José Mourinho, and was given shirt number 33. He made his debut on 19 August 2007 when he came on as a substitute for Florent Malouda against Liverpool in the 85th minute, with the teams tied at 1–1. He also played in the 2–0 defeat away at Aston Villa and the 4–0 victory over Hull City in the Carling Cup.

Alex scored his first goal for Chelsea on 20 October 2007, bulging the net from a free kick 30 yards out against Middlesbrough. He scored another goal from a free kick on 28 November 2007 in a Champions League game against Rosenborg. He then scored in Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Aston Villa, scoring his first goal at Stamford Bridge from an Andriy Shevchenko pass, taking his tally for the season to 3.

Alex again wasn't a first team starter for the 2008/09 season, however he has been playing regularly at centreback due to frequent injuries to Ricardo Carvalho.

He scored Chelsea's 1000th Premier League goal against Sunderland on 1 November 2008. Alex has so far started every game for Chelsea after the arrival of Guus Hiddink, who managed Alex at PSV. He also scored in an FA Cup quarter-final against Coventry.

Alex made his debut for Brazil on 17 August 2003 against Mexico.

He was a member of the Brazil squad that won the Copa América 2007 with a 3–0 victory over arch-rivals Argentina in the final. Alex has become one of the first choice center backs along with Lucio.

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French Guiana national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest

The French Guiana national football team (French: sélection de Guyane de football) is the regional team of the French overseas department and region of French Guiana and is controlled by the Ligue de Football de Guyane, local branch of Federation Francaise de Football. As part of French Republic, French Guiana is not a member of FIFA, and is therefore not eligible to enter the World Cup, but they do compete in CONCACAF competitions.

Since it is a part of France, players who are good enough are eligible for selection to the French national football team. This happened in the cases of left-winger Florent Malouda and the former goalkeeper Bernard Lama.

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Deivid de Souza

Deivid de Souza (born October 22, 1979, also known as Deivid) is a Brazilian footballer who plays for Fenerbahçe SK. He stands at 180 centimetres and weighs 73 kilograms.

He was transferred from Santos, where he was paired with Robinho, at the beginning of the 2005/06 to Sporting Lisbon for a sum of €3.5 million. This was the second time that he tried his hand in Europe after a short spell in France ended roughly a year prior.

Deivid was transferred to Fenerbahçe SK in August 2006 for a sum of €4.5 million. He scored the 2nd goal in the 88th minute against Trabzonspor on 13 May 2007 and helped Fenerbahçe win the Turkish Super League Championship after the game finishing 2-2 crowned them champions. However, he hasn't satisfied the supporters of the club yet and only performed well in a couple of matches in the last year. Football circles were sure that his contract would be terminated by the club due to his poor performance.

Deivid proved them wrong by becoming the star of the preseason training camp and by scoring an important goal against Beşiktaş J.K in the Turkish Super Cup final and by scoring the decisive goal against Internazionale in the first match of the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League in the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium on 19 September 2007.

Deivid would score another important European goal for Fenerbahce on the 2nd Champions League match day, to help them record a 2-2 draw away at CSKA Moscow. In the 3rd Champions League match day he was sent off against PSV Eindhoven.

In the 2007-2008 Europe Champions League against Sevilla in Spain, Deivid also scored two goals which carried the match to extra time and then penalties. With his goals Fenerbahce eliminated Sevilla and made it to the quarter final of the tournament for the first time in their history. In the first leg of the quarter final match against Chelsea FC Deivid scored an own goal in the thirteenth minute, when an attempted Florent Malouda cross struck his foot and passed his own keeper. He atoned for this mistake when he scored an astonishing 35-yard shot 9 minutes from the finish to give Fenerbahce a 2-1 lead after Colin Kazim-Richards had equalised.

During the preparation for the 2008-2009 season he broke his left leg fibula and, shortly there-after, his mother died. He made his comeback from injury on October 25, 2008, when he joined the Turkish Super League game against Bursaspor at the 77th minute to substitute Semih Senturk. He scored a goal during stoppage time.

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2006 FIFA World Cup

2006 FIFA World Cup Wall Chart

The 2006 FIFA World Cup was the 18th instance of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 9 June to 9 July 2006 in Germany, which won the right to host the event in July 2000. Teams representing 198 national football associations from all six populated continents participated in the qualification process which began in September 2003. Thirty-one teams qualified from this process, along with the host nation, Germany, for the finals tournament.

The tournament was won by Italy, who claimed their fourth World Cup title. They defeated France 5–3 in a penalty shootout in the final, after extra time had finished in a 1–1 draw. Germany defeated Portugal 3–1 to finish third.

The 2006 World Cup stands as one of the most watched events in television history, garnering an estimated 26.29 billion non-unique viewers, compiled over the course of the tournament. The final attracted an estimated audience of 715.1 million people. The 2006 World Cup ranks fourth in non-unique viewers, behind the 1994, the 2002, and the 1990 FIFA World Cups. As the winner, Italy will represent the World in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The vote to choose the hosts of the 2006 tournament was held in July 2000 in Zürich, Switzerland. It involved four bidding nations after Brazil had withdrawn three days earlier: Germany, South Africa, England and Morocco. Three rounds of voting were required, each round eliminating the nation with the least votes. The first two rounds were held on 6 July, and the final round was held on 7 July. Morocco was the first to be eliminated when it got only three votes out of a possible 24; England was eliminated in the second round with only two votes. Finally, Germany won the final round of voting 12–11 over South Africa, but the success of Germany's bid was marred by a hoax bribery affair which even led to calls for a re-vote. On the night before the vote, German satirical magazine Titanic sent letters to FIFA representatives, offering gifts in exchange for their vote for Germany. Oceania delegate Charles Dempsey, who had been instructed to support South Africa, abstained, citing "intolerable pressure" on the eve of the vote. Had Dempsey voted as originally instructed, the vote would have resulted with a 12–12 tie, and FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who favoured the South African bid, would have had to cast the deciding vote.

198 teams attempted to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Germany, the host nation, was granted automatic qualification, with the remaining 31 finals places divided among the continental confederations. This was the first World Cup for which the title holders were not granted automatic qualification. Thirteen places were contested by UEFA teams (Europe), five by CAF teams (Africa), four by CONMEBOL teams (South America), four by AFC teams (Asia), and three by CONCACAF teams (North and Central America and Caribbean). The remaining two places were decided by playoffs between AFC and CONCACAF and between CONMEBOL and OFC (Oceania).

Eight nations qualified for the finals for the first time: Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Ghana, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine and Serbia & Montenegro. Czech Republic and Ukraine were making their first appearance as independent nations, but had previously been represented as part of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union respectively; Serbia & Montenegro had competed as Yugoslavia in 1998, as well as making up part of Yugoslav teams from 1930 to 1990. For the first time since the 1982 World Cup, all six confederations were represented at the finals tournament.

Germany in 2006 had a plethora of football stadia which satisfied FIFA's minimum capacity of 40,000 for World Cup matches. The still-standing Olympiastadion in Munich (69,250) was not used even though FIFA's regulations allow one city to use two stadia; Düsseldorf's LTU Arena (51,500), Bremen's Weserstadion (43,000) and Mönchengladbach's Borussia-Park (46,249) were also unemployed during the tournament.

Twelve stadia were selected to host the World Cup matches. During the tournament, many of the stadia were known by different names, as FIFA prohibits sponsorship of stadia unless the stadium sponsors were also official FIFA sponsors. For example, the Allianz Arena in Munich was known during the competition as FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich (or in German: FIFA WM-Stadion München), and even the letters of the company Allianz were removed or covered. These new names are reflected in the table in the brackets. Some of the stadia also had a lower capacity for the World Cup, as FIFA regulations ban standing room; nonetheless, this was accommodated as several stadiums had an UEFA 5-star ranking.

Squads for the 2006 World Cup consisted of 23 players, same as the previous tournament in 2002. Each participating national association had to confirm its 23-player squad by 15 May 2006. Replacement of injured players was permitted until 24 hours before the team's first match.

The eight seeded teams for the 2006 tournament were announced on 6 December 2005. The seeds comprised Pot A in the draw. Pot B contained the unseeded qualifiers from South America, Africa and Oceania; Pot C contained eight of the nine remaining European teams, excluding Serbia and Montenegro. Pot D contained unseeded teams from the CONCACAF region and Asia. A special pot contained Serbia and Montenegro: this was done to ensure that no group contained three European teams. In the special pot, Serbia and Montenegro was drawn first, then their group was drawn from the three seeded non-European nations, Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.

It had been predetermined that, as the host, Germany would be placed in Group A, thus being assured of the venues of their group matches in advance of the draw. FIFA had also announced in advance that Brazil (the defending champion) would be allocated to Group F.

On 9 December 2005 the draw was held, and the group assignments and order of matches were determined. After the draw was completed, many football commentators remarked that Group C appeared to be the group of death. In actuality, however, Argentina and the Netherlands both qualified with a game to spare with comfortable wins over Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) and Serbia and Montenegro respectively.

The first round, or group stage, saw the thirty-two teams divided into eight groups of four teams. Each group was a round-robin of six games, where each team played one match against each of the other teams in the same group. Teams were awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat. The teams coming first and second in each group qualified for the Round of 16.

In the original version of the rules for the final tournament, the ranking criteria were in a different order, with head-to-head results taking precedence over total goal difference. The rules were changed to the above in advance of the tournament, but older versions were still available on the FIFA and UEFA websites, causing some confusion among those trying to identify the correct criteria.

In any event, the final tournament saw only two pairs of teams level on points: Argentina and the Netherlands at 7 points in Group C; Tunisia and Saudi Arabia at 1 point in Group H. Both of these ties were resolved on total goal difference. Also, in both cases the teams had tied their match, so the order of ranking criteria made no difference.

The finals tournament of the 2006 World Cup began on 9 June. The 32 teams were divided into eight groups of four teams each, within which the teams competed in a round-robin tournament to determine which two of those four teams would advance to the sixteen-team knock-out stage, which started on 24 June. In total, 64 games were played.

Although Germany failed to win the Cup, the tournament was considered a great success for Germany in general. Germany also experienced a sudden increase in patriotic spirit with flag waving, traditionally frowned upon by German society since World War II, whenever the German team played.

Despite early success by Australia, Ecuador and Ghana, the tournament marked a return to dominance of the traditional football powers. Four years after a 2002 tournament in which teams from North America (United States), Africa (Senegal), and Asia (South Korea) made it deep into the knockout stages and Turkey finished third, all eight seeded teams progressed to the knockout stages, and none of the quarter-finalists were from outside Europe or South America. Six former champions took part in the quarter-final round, with Ukraine and Euro 2004 runners-up Portugal as the only relative outsiders. Argentina and Brazil were eliminated in the quarter-finals, leaving an all-European final four for only the fourth time (after the 1934, 1966 and 1982 tournaments).

Despite the early goals that flooded the group stages, the knock-out phase had a much lower goals per match ratio. A prime example of the dearth of goals was Portugal, which only scored in the 23rd minute of the Round of 16, and did not score again until the 88th minute of the third place play-off. Italy, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and France were the only teams to score more than one goal in a knockout match. Germany was one of the exceptions to the rule, tending to play an attacking style of football throughout the knock-out stage, which was reflected by their being the team that scored the most goals (14).

Germany's Miroslav Klose scored 5 goals to claim the Golden Boot, the lowest total to win the prize since 1962. No other player scored more than three goals. No player from the winning Italian squad scored more than two goals, though ten different players had scored for the team, tying the record for the most goalscorers from any one team.

For the first time ever in the FIFA World Cup, the first and last goals of the tournament were scored by defenders. Philipp Lahm, the German wingback, scored the opener against Costa Rica after only 5 minutes of the opening match. In the final, Marco Materazzi, the Italian centre back, out-jumped Patrick Vieira and headed in the last goal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In comparison to earlier World Cups, the tournament was notable for the number of yellow and red cards given out, breaking the record set by the 1998 World Cup. Players received a record-breaking 345 yellow cards and 28 red cards, with Russian referee Valentin Ivanov handing out 16 yellow and 4 red cards in the round of 16 match between Portugal and the Netherlands (see the Battle of Nuremberg). Portugal had two players suspended for each of the quarter-final and semi-final matches, respectively. FIFA President Sepp Blatter hinted that he may allow some rule changes for future tournaments so that earlier accumulated bookings will not force players to miss the final, should their teams make it that far. The tournament also saw English referee Graham Poll mistakenly hand out three yellow cards to Croatia's Josip Šimunić in their match against Australia.

The high number of yellow and red cards shown also prompted discussion about the referees. FIFA Officials and President Sepp Blatter received criticism for allegedly making rules too rigid and taking discretion away from referees.

All times are Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).

The teams placed first and second (shaded in green) qualified to the round of 16.

In the opening match of the tournament, Germany and Costa Rica played an entertaining game which ended 4–2 for the host in the highest scoring opening match in the tournament's history. Germany went on to win the Group A after edging Poland and breezing past Ecuador 3–0. Despite the defeat, Ecuador had already joined the host in the Round of 16 having beaten Poland and Costa Rica 2–0 and 3–0, respectively.

In Group B, England and Sweden managed to push Paraguay into third place after narrow victories over the South Americans. Trinidad and Tobago earned some international respect after a tie with Sweden in their opening game and managing to hold England scoreless for 83 minutes, until goals from Liverpool's Peter Crouch and Steven Gerrard sealed a 2–0 win for the Three Lions. Sweden qualified for the knockout rounds after drawing 2–2 with England to maintain their 38-year unbeaten record against their opponents.

Both Argentina and Netherlands qualified from Group C with a game remaining, with the two-time world champion topping the group on goal difference having hammered Serbia and Montenegro 6–0 and beating Ivory Coast 2–1. The Dutch picked up 1–0 and 2–1 victories over Serbia and Montenegro and Ivory Coast, respectively. Les Éléphants defeated Serbia and Montenegro 3–2 in their final game, in Serbia & Montenegro's last ever international before the break-up of the country.

Portugal coasted through in Group D, picking up the maximum number of points, with Mexico qualifying in second. Iran rued missed chances against Mexico in their opening 1–3 defeat and were eliminated in their match against Portugal. They fought hard against the Portuguese, but went down 2–0. Their last game against Angola ended in 1–1 draw. The Africans had a respectable first World Cup tournament after earning draws with Mexico (0–0) and Iran.

In Group E, Italy went through to the Round of 16 conceding just one goal (an own goal) in the group phase against the United States. The Americans bowed out of the tournament after disappointing results against the Czech Republic and Ghana, 0–3 and 1–2, respectively, despite a hugely encouraging 1–1 draw (with 9 vs 10 men) against the Azzurri. Tournament debutant Ghana caused one of the surprises of the tournament, as they joined Italy in the Round of 16, following victories over the Czech Republic and the United States. Daniele De Rossi was suspended for 4 games following his sending-off against the Americans.

Group F included the World Champions Brazil, Croatia, Japan, and Australia. Playing in their first World Cup for 32 years, the Socceroos came from behind to defeat Japan 3–1, and, despite losing 0–2 to Brazil, a 2–2 draw with Croatia was enough to give the Australians a place in the Round of 16 in a remarkable game where two players were sent-off for second bookings and one for a third booking by English referee Graham Poll. Australia became the first ever Oceanian team to reach the knockout stages. The Brazilians won all three contests to quality first in the group, although their 1-0 win against Croatia was underwhelming, a goal late in the first-half by Kaká securing the win . Croatia and Japan went out of the tournament without a single win.

France started slowly in Group G, only managing a scoreless draw against Switzerland and a 1–1 draw against South Korea. However, with captain Zinedine Zidane suspended, their 2–0 win against Togo was enough for them to advance to the knockout round. Les Bleus were joined by the group winners, Switzerland, who defeated South Korea 2–0, and did not concede a goal in the tournament. Four points were not enough to see the Koreans through to the Round of 16 (the only team for which this was the case), while debutants Togo, after several rows about money and the general dislike amongst the camp of their star player, Emmanuel Adebayor of Arsenal, exited without a point.

Spain dominated Group H, picking up the maximum number of points, scoring 8 goals, and conceding only 1. Ukraine, despite being beaten 4–0 by Spain in their first World Cup game, took advantage of the weaker opponents to beat Saudi Arabia 4–0 and scrape past Tunisia 1–0 thanks to a 70th minute penalty by Andriy Shevchenko, to reach the Round of 16. Saudi Arabia and Tunisia went out of the tournament having 1 point each, thanks to a 2–2 draw against each other.

The knockout stage was a single-elimination tournament involving the sixteen teams that qualified from the group stage of the tournament. There were four rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round. The successive rounds were: Round of 16, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals, Final. There was also a play-off to decide third/fourth place. For each game in the knockout stage, a draw was followed by thirty minutes of extra time (two fifteen minute halves); if scores were still level there would be a penalty shootout (at least five penalties each, and more if necessary) to determine who progressed to the next round. Scores after extra time are indicated by (a.e.t.), and penalty shoot outs are indicated by (pen.).

In the second round, conceding two early goals in the first 12 minutes to Germany effectively ended the Swedes' hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals. Argentina struggled to get past Mexico until a Maxi Rodríguez goal in extra time put the Albiceleste in the quarterfinals. In a highly controversial match, Australia's journey ended when Italians were awarded a controversial penalty deep into the remaining seconds of the match. The Italians had spent much of the game with only ten men on the field, following an equally controversial red card shown to centre back Marco Materazzi. In a dull 0–0 match, Switzerland failed to convert any of their three penalties in the penalty shootout against Ukraine to see them exit the competition with an unwanted new record in becoming the first team to fail to convert any penalties in a shootout. Their elimination also meant that they became the first nation to be eliminated from the World Cup without conceding any goals (and, moreover, the only nation to participate in a World Cup finals tournament without conceding a goal).

England struggled past Ecuador thanks to a David Beckham free kick, and won 1–0. Brazil won 3–0 against Ghana, in a game which included Ronaldo's record 15th World Cup goal. Der Spiegel reported that the match was influenced by an Asian betting syndicate. Portugal defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in one of the ugliest games in World Cup history. The only goal came courtesy of a Maniche strike in an acrimonious match, which marked a new World Cup record with 16 yellow cards and 4 players being sent off for a second bookable offense. France came from behind to defeat the highly favored Spain 3–1 thanks to goals from Franck Ribéry, Patrick Vieira, and Zinedine Zidane.

Germany and Argentina played an entertaining, yet somewhat cautious match, which ended 1–1 after extra time; the hosts edged out the Argentinians 4–2 on penalties to go through to the semifinals. Another ugly and controversial match came in Gelsenkirchen, when England faced Portugal. In a match which saw Wayne Rooney being sent off, Portugal won the penalty shootout 3–1 after a 0–0 draw to reach their first World Cup semi-final since the days of Eusébio 40 years earlier, and ensure manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's third consecutive tournament quarter-final win over Sven-Goran Eriksson's England.

Italy comfortably defeated quarter-final debutants Ukraine 3–0. France eliminated Brazil 1–0 to advance into the semi-finals in a repeat of the 1998 final. Despite the score, Brazil only managed one shot on goal, while Zinedine Zidane's dribbling earned him Man of the Match and his free-kick to Thierry Henry resulted in the winning goal.

With Argentina and Brazil eliminated in the quarter-finals, an all-European semi-final line up was completed for only the fourth time (after the 1934, 1966 and 1982 tournaments).

The semifinal between Germany and Italy produced an entertaining extra time period that went scoreless until the 118th minute, when Italy scored twice through Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero, putting an end to Germany's undefeated record in Dortmund, and continued their dominace over Die Nationalelf.

In the second semifinal, Portugal lost to France 1–0 in Munich. The Portuguese faced a hostile crowd of English and French fans; as Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of unsportsmanlike behavior. In a repeat of the semi-finals of Euro 2000, Portugal was narrowly defeated by France, with the decisive goal being a penalty scored by France captain Zinedine Zidane.

The match began rather slowly, with each side cautiously trying to find each other's weak spots. The excitement began in the second half when the hosts got three goals in 20 minutes with the help of 21-year-old left midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. His first goal beat the Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo with pace over his head. Only 4 minutes later, Schweinsteiger's free kick 30 meters from the left of the penalty box, driven low across goal, was connected with Petit's knee to become an own goal for Portugal. The German did not stop, and netted his second goal, which swerved away to the keeper's left, on the 78th minute.

Portugal were strong in possession but lacked punch in attack; unable to convert 57% possession into goals. Pauleta had two clear chances from 15 meters, but both times hit tame shots that did not trouble keeper Oliver Kahn, who was playing in his last match for the German national team. Portugal, however, were to get a consolation goal with the help of substitute Luís Figo, who almost immediately provided the precise distribution needed to unlock the German defence. A cross from the right wing on 88 minutes found fellow substitute Nuno Gomes at the far post, who dived in for the goal. Portugal did not manage to score more in the remaining few minutes, and the game ended 3–1, a result which gave the tournament hosts the bronze medals and left Portugal in fourth place.

The final started with each side scoring within the first 20 minutes. Zinedine Zidane opened the scoring by converting a controversial seventh-minute penalty kick, which glanced off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. Marco Materazzi then levelled the scores in the 19th minute following an Andrea Pirlo corner. Both teams had chances to score the winning goal in normal time: Luca Toni hit the crossbar in the 35th minute for Italy (he later had a header disallowed for offside), while France were not awarded a possible second penalty in the 53rd minute when Florent Malouda went down in the box after a tackle from Gianluca Zambrotta. They were unable to capitalise, however, and the score remained at one goal each.

At the end of the regulation 90 minutes, the score was still level at 1–1, and the match was forced into extra time. Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a potentially game-saving save in extra time when he tipped a Zidane header over the crossbar. Further controversy ensued near the end of extra time, when Zidane head-butted Materazzi in the chest in an off-the-ball incident and was sent off. Extra time produced no further goals and a penalty shootout followed, which Italy won 5–3. France's David Trezeguet, the man who scored the Golden Goal against Italy in Euro 2000, was the only player not to score his penalty; his spot kick hit the crossbar, landed on the goal line and went out. It was the first all-European final since Italy's triumph over West Germany in the 1982 World Cup, and the second final, after 1994, to be decided on penalties. It was also Italy's first world title in 24 years, and their fourth overall, making them the second most successful World Cup team ever. The victory also helped Italy top the FIFA World Rankings in February 2007 for the first time since November 1993.

FIFA's Technical Study Group (TSG) also granted a Man of the Match award to one player in each match. Italy's Andrea Pirlo won the most Man of the Match awards, with three in total. Miroslav Klose, Agustin Delgado, Arjen Robben, Zé Roberto, Alexander Frei, Michael Ballack, and Patrick Vieira each received two awards.

The all star team is a squad consisting of the 23 most impressive players at the 2006 World Cup, as selected by FIFA's Technical Study Group. The team was chosen from a shortlist of over 50 players, and was selected based on performances from the second round onwards.

Miroslav Klose received the adidas Golden Shoe award for scoring five goals in the World Cup. This was the lowest number of goals scored by a tournament's top goalscorer since six players tied on four goals each in 1962. In total, 147 goals were scored (four of which were own goals).

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Source : Wikipedia