Originally Posted by M2
Big difference in the way they play that defense though. France's players run at you and take the ball. Italy runs 10 men backwards, forcing the other team to negotiate a maze. It's effective because it prevents a team from getting good looks at the net no matter how creative and skilled it might be, but it isn't worth much in the way of praise.
Both teams played a 4-5-1.
Both coaches referred to their similiar styles of play.
In fact, the Italian wing defenders moved upfield far more frequently (Zumbrotta and Perrotta) and effectively than their French counterparts.
If you don't like Italian soccer, that's fine. But your criticism leaves no room for the things that Italian soccer does very well, and that is what the world cup is about...
No-one has mentioned is the high fitness rate of the Italian team and their high level of technical ability. These are qualities that all countries, and all players work on and this Italian team had more players on their squad with those qualities than the countries they played. The Italians had no-one as skilled as Zidane and Henry, but those two couldn't "carry" the rest of their team, which was sad (in some ways) yet totally predictable.