Not this time, Germany. Not. This. Time. I’m still absolutely reeling from what just happened in Dortmund.
As the precious face of this saddened German child can attest, Germany stops here. Honestly, I never expected it myself. As fiercely excited as I am to see Italy win their games win skill instead of sweat-enducing dramatics, nothing could have prepared me for two glorious last minute goals, with literally just seconds away from facing Germany in shoot-outs (an eventuality in which they would have been seriously mismatched by fate, if history has shown us anything.)
Yes, Klose, as the tournament’s leading scorer, was unable to strike his powerhouse team past Buffon today in Germany. But what a match.
You don’t understand what it’s like to be an Italian fan; the perverse ballet between love and hate, retching and rejoicing. Hatred from all sides; no one who is not of Italian original would ever offer a kind word. Being proudly Italian is a curse, especially when infused with newfound pride after a trip to the homeland like I had been. Finally, oh, God, finally, these last few games we can begin to see them at their full potential, as a powerhouse themselves.
I don’t know what will happen on Sunday against either Portugal or France, but I know I’ll be there (well, not there, but there in spirit). I’ll be there hoping to God that, now that they’re closer than they’ve been in twelve years to the cup, they won’t get a Roma Tomato stuck in their collective tailpipe.
Thank you FIFA, for showing a poor, sports-hating boy like me, (don’t even mention american footbal, baseball, or hockey to me, I DON’T CARE) what a wonderful place the world can be.