France Versus Italy: Euro 2008

Phrase of the Game From the Announcers

‘Just slide him in.’

That was Andy Gray’s phrase for just playing the ball wide to the overlapping player who’s wide open, instead of taking an ambitious shot; a French player had made a run wide and the player held the ball near the right side of the box missing out on a good chance when the score was 1-0. If he’d played the ball wide the player could have then played the ball across the goalmouth to an open Henry at the far post. Time and time again you see that, where players rush the shot or force things. The phrase is perfect though; it’s such an easy pass. You’re putting the ball up on a platter for the perfect cross.

Ribery Goes Down

Sadly, Franck Ribery went off hurt with what looked like a very bad knee injury after just 10 minutes. He was in a heap of pain and it was good to see all the other players come up to console him. Henry in particular stayed with Ribery until he was carted off with the for once actually useful cart. Let’s hope it’s not too serious. Ribery tried to win the ball from Zambrotta but fell awkwardly, his ankle and knee looking to bend in a bad way.

What must the owners and coaches at Bayern Munich be thinking when they see one of their star players in agony, their attacking midfielder who’s just had a superb season? On the other side, the Italian attacking midfielder Andrea Pirlo, was quite brilliant with his lofting ball to Luca Toni and smashing home the penalty kick.

Do You Take the Player Down?

Do you take down a player if they’re in clear and one on one with the keeper? Abidal brought Luca Toni down in the box and was sent off. A ball was sent over the top and Toni brilliantly controlled the ball with the top of his foot, Abidal clumsily stuck his foot between Toni’s legs to try and win the ball but brought the big man down like he was a newborn deer learning to walk—the keeper was rushing out and may have been able to win the ball. But do you need to take the player out? He still would have had a tough finish to convert. I don’t think it’s so essential to take players down or try to win the ball in the box. It’s well understood that said players is going to try to win a penalty.

Pirlo ripped the ball into the back of the net from the penalty spot.

Pin Ball in the Wall

With the game essentially wrapped after Henry flicked in the second goal I would have been fine with them just showing the beautiful brunette in the stands for the last twenty minutes that remained.

Poor Henry, he doesn’t lack in effort and probably really missed the services of Ribery who’d have supplied him with the ball and take Italian players on, but he’s got to do better when he’s in the wall – no need to half haphazardly swing at the ball.

Italy’s De Rossi thumped the ball but it looked like the keeper would have been able to block or save the shot. The deflection gave him no chance. For Henry, who’s had a tough year at Barcelona despite scoring a pile of goals, this is a tough way to go out and start your summer vacation. He had his buddies in the stands too, Roger Federer from the Gillette commercials and Tony Parker and the beautiful and portable Eva Longoria.

Back to the Gorgeous Girls

The cameras flashed to an absolutely beautiful French or Italian woman, my guess being Italian, but that was one time where I didn’t care if they went back to the game or not.

My idea for a soccer commercial, they show the game for a while, flash to groups watching the game in pubs and restaurants, with all the fans on the edge of their seats, hanging on every moment. An ad comes up for a minute blocking the game. The throngs of people watching in the bars then whistle and complain—yell at the TV screens. Again the camera goes away from the game to some fans cheering the stands. Again, the crowd jeers and complains at the pubs. They flash back to focusing on the game and a corner kick, a shot on goal, a few tackles and free kicks. Someone walks in front of the TV screen at the pub and everyone yells and screams in the bar.

Then the camera flashes to a gorgeous girl in the stands for a moment, just a quick shot and then back to the game. The pubs are dead silent, no jeering no whistling, maybe one or two subtle whistles at the girl like they’re construction workers watching a beautiful women pass by, but not a whistle in frustration rather one of admiration. Then the camera goes back to the game and the crowd yells and jeers. The camera goes back to the girl and the fans are quiet again. Then the players stop playing and look over.

This is all done in a subtle way, exemplifying the game more than anything, and the passion of the fans. But also extolling a beautiful women that makes everyone stop.

What product is this ad a promotion for? Maybe she picks up a bottle of beer or is wearing a certain brand on her shirt. That’s the easy part, figuring out what product to plug in.