Les Bleus dismantled España behind the brilliant performance of 34-year old Zinedine Zidane and he and his mates are confident heads into their showdown in Frankfurt.
Once again these championships were marred by questionable officiating, although it must be difficult for these guys as the players are constantly diving to the field. In North America where we are use to watching punishing hits in football and hockey, it is sad to watch these great athletes, play the game with a fragile style.
With the scores tied at 1-1, after Frank Ribery had leveled David Villa's penalty, and the game heading towards extra-time, on 83 minutes Henry fell to the ground clutching his face after a challenge from Spain's Carles Puyol.
At no time did the Barcelona defender connect with Henry's face but referee Roberto Rosetti gave a free-kick from which Patrick Vieira headed home to put Les Bleus in front before Zidane supplied the finishing touch to the victory.
Just as in 2002, when Spain controversially went out to South Korea in the finals, they felt cheated.
While everyone has been drooling over Brazil in this tournament, the French have steadily gotten their game in gear and now we will see a rematch of the classic 1998 confrontation. That affair resulted in large quantities of Beaujolais’ being consumed for days after France’s victory.
The stage is now set as the eight teams that remain are Italy, Ukraine, England, Portugal, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and France.
Italy as we have seen are vulnerable and they could get upset by the underdog Ukraine’s. Germany has the home side, but Argentina has been playing with passion and this game could go to kicks. England is overrated and their day is up, as Portugal will move on.
Zidane leads the French to the semis with a shocker over Brazil!
Paul Simon Davenport