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Jul. 2nd, 2006

Another fine game, this time between Brazil and France. These two teams have combined to win the last three World Cups, Brazil in 1994 and 2002 and France in 1998 (against Brazil).

Many people will tell you that Brazil's Ronaldinho is the best player in the world. To them I ask, "What has he done in this Cup?" The answer is, "Nothing!" Ronaldinho has been all hype. No, ladies and gentlemen, instead Ronaldinho got a good look at the man who truly has made a strong case for being named best player in the world: France's Zenadine Zidane.

Zidane put on a clinic today. He was simply virtuosic. He teased Brazil with the ball, showing it to them, keeping it away from them, making perfect passes—such touch! He didn't score a goal today, but he dominated the game with his ball-handling skills, outplaying Brazil at their own game, and making the free kick that set Thierry Henry up for the winning goal.

Zidane actually retired from the international stage recently but was persuaded to return for France's World Cup run. He claims he had a mystical experience that convinced him he should return. Maybe there's something to that. Certainly, his performance today ranks up there with some of the best by Pele and Maradona.

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