End of a Golden Age.. I said the same thing when Great Zidane quit. But after watching Ribery last world cup I somehow felt that there is still some firepower in the French arsenal. But watching them being butchered by the Dutch I felt the same.. again this time. Wish I could bring Zizou back from retirement. The french team has still not come out of his hangover. Even in the last world cup, it was Zizou that brought them to the finals. They were pathetic even then but for Zizou. Ribery is only the saving grace. Henry plays only for his club , not and never for his country. Thurram is ageing and so is Sagnol and Gallas. Feel sad for Thurram. He is old and vulnerable in the defence. And rightly so.. this is fifth international tournament. I am seeing him since I was a kid. 12 years is a verrrrrry long time Thurram. Get some young blood and you already have a few on your bench... Samir nasri, Benzema.
They desparately need some fresh legs like the Spanish. Ramos, Villa, Silva, Torres, Fabregas.. all in the right side of 25 and boy what game they had against the swedes. Mind boggling performance by the yound spades. However, the same cannot be said about the Italians. Most of the team members are on the wrong side of 30.. even older than the French squad but high on morale. They lost the cup when they lost Cannavaro.... the pliar of Italian defence. Zambrotta and Del Piero should quit now. Villa is the man to watch out for and Spain, the team. Sheer class.
That said, I am impressed by the quality of matches as well. This tournament has been better than Euro'04 and even the World Cup to some extent. Some terrific performances by Russia, Romania, Spain, Netherlands. Spain is my favorite. But history says that Spain have always fared poorly in the knock out stages.
Keeping my fingers crossed.