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Futbol World

France 98


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Spain came to France as a contender for the title. With a line-up filled with immense talent, the Spaniards were considered by many to have the best team in Europe and truly a shot at the title. A shock 3-2 upset by Nigeria in the debut was like a shot in the back for the Spanish fans. Veteran keeper "Zubi" made a fatal error that would hand the victory to the inspired Africans. A tie against a 10-man-defense Paraguay team made things boil down to the last game of the 1st round. Despite crushing Bulgaria 6-1, a Paraguay victory left the stunned Spaniards out of the tournament, thus depriving the Cup of one of the world's best teams.


History has taught us that the Germans are eternal favorites to go far in the World Cup. In 1998 the aging team of veterans featured many of the same stars from 1990 and 1994, including 37-year old record breaker Lothar Matthaus. This time history betrayed them in the quarterfinals, when they lost to dark horses Croatia in an astonishing 3-0 upset. The Germans went home early, and immediately sought reform of the youth system of the Bundesliga.

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Many a player was billed before the tournament as a sure star of the tournament. Many of the players we expected to make history withered out when they were needed. Perhaps the best would not be too look negatively on these players and see them as machines of production. Instead we were shown that these men are human and have their limits. Or perhaps we just learned not to put all our eggs into one basket.



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