Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Top-Class Pair Are Real Golden Boys

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Top-Class Pair Are Real Golden Boys

Article excerpt

Byline: By John Gibson

It was supposed to be the crowning of the Golden Generation.

Tea was already booked with the Queen at Buckers and the victory parade routed through a congested London.

We were awaiting the confirmation in status of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Rio Ferdinand, Ashley and Joe Cole.

However, Sven is now out of a job, Becks is out of a job, and the rest are either back home counting their money as consolation or lying on an exotic beach topping up a deep tan.

The golden generation indeed!

On Sunday in Berlin there will be no England. Instead, two other European nations will contest the World Cup final of 2006.

Italy, a country with the stench of corruption hanging over it, have somehow emerged from such humiliation to defiantly march to the gates of glory.

Having deservedly defeated their host Germany in an epic struggle, they now face France who wish to take the World Cup back to the land of its maker.

France were reputedly deadbeats ( a team of old men with Donald Pleasance in goal and ZZ propping up the alphabet of has beens.

After coming within half-an-hour of elimination at the group stage, such cruel assessment looked like being proved correct.

Well, all I can say is who wants to be amongst the pre-tournament favourites if that is the case.

Though perhaps only the English really believed in England.

Italy is a nation in crisis though you would hardly know it.

Four of their mightiest clubs ( Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio ( all face banishment from Serie A for match fixing, the verdict ironically due the day after Italy may have won the World Cup!

No fewer than 13 of the current squad chasing honour for their homeland are embroiled in the court case through their clubs, yet the match-rigging accusations have had an extraordinary galvanising effect on the Azzuri.

The biggest scandal to hit Italy since the Mafia first shook the world at the point of a gun, will see scouts queuing on the touchline in Berlin to pick up mighty warriors abandoning their corrupt paymasters if the court verdict goes according to plan. …

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