Shamik Das


Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 ... adieu Zizou, tschüss Schumi, laters Warney

The year just gone by has seen three of the world's greatest ever sportsmen retire. There can hardly have been a time in history when three of the best exponents of their craft have all quit at the same time, bowing out at the top.

Here are the facts, the simple facts which underline the brilliance of this terrific trio:

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

Allez les Bleus!

• Winner, 1998 World Cup - scores first two goals in 3-0 win over Brazil - France's first ever World Cup triumph, on home soil to boot.

• Winner, 2000 European Championships - scores crucial goals in quarter-final and semi-final wins en route to the 2-1 extra-time victory over Italy.

• Winner, 2002 Champions League - scores winner in 2-1 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen - a sublime left-foot volley, one of the finest goals ever to grace a European Cup final.

• Runner-up, 2006 World Cup - comes out of international retirement to inspire France all the way to the final, nonchalantly scoring a penalty in 1-1 draw before being undone by the gamesmanship and deceitfulness of the malicious Marco Materazzi, getting sent off as France lose 5-3 on penalties to Italy.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles

• 7 world championships (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) - more than any other driver in Formula 1 history.

• 91 race wins (from 250 grand prix starts) - more wins than any other driver in Formula 1 history.

• 68 pole positions - more poles than any other driver in Formula 1 history.

• World championship runner-up twice - 1998 and 2006.

SHANE WARNE

Shane Warne chills out in training    Warney and Brett Lee celebrate Australia's 1999 World Cup triumph

• Winner, 1999 World Cup - bowls Australia to 8 wicket win over Pakistan in final at Lord's - takes 4-33 to earn man-of-the-match award.

• Runner-up, 1996 World Cup - picks up 12 wickets to guide Australia to final, going on to lose to Sri Lanka by 7 wickets.

• 706 Test wickets - more than any other bowler in history.

• 3,083 Test runs - greatest number of runs without scoring a century.

Warney, Schumi, Zizou, thanks for the memories! The world of sport will be all the poorer for your retiring.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Trotsky

31 December, 2006 16:23

 
Anonymous Death2ManU said...

Hello my name is Carley

Shame when a lot of people think of Zidane they'll remember THAT world cup incident. But hey, he's a great player. My second favourite French player.

Happy New Year Sham!

31 December, 2006 17:56

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, those that remember Zidane for THAT incident obviously don't follow the game too closely.

01 January, 2007 05:30

 
Blogger Sham said...

Happy new year everybody!

Hmmmmm, I wonder who Carley's first choice would be? Remi Garde, perhaps!?! ;)

01 January, 2007 15:58

 
Blogger stonysleep said...

Warney doesn't retire until 2007 after the Sydney Test
After that match McGrath and Langer will retire
Australia will be a different team without them

01 January, 2007 22:29

 
Blogger Sham said...

Martyn's also gone. I won't be surprised if Gilchrist calls it a day after the World Cup, and Matty Hayden's quite old as well. The Ashes 2009 team will probably be unrecognisable!

01 January, 2007 23:45

 

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