Brazil V France , 1 July 2006, Stadium Frankfurt: French Players Celebrate, Lucio Dejected

July 1, 2006 | By Stuart Franklin | Creative

Frankfurt is a place of high finance, high buildings, high expectations and high drama. It’s a place where the stakes are also high and where reputations can be made and lost in a single stroke.

We were treated to a match that, although not a classic, was certainly one of the best this World Cup has seen. We had passion, skill and strength in a game that was played fairly. In the end, the teams were separated by just one goal and one man – Zinedine Zidane – the man who is known in some parts as the ‘European Brazilian’. There were opportunities on both parts to make this a game of several goals but the defending by both teams was strong.

Ronaldinho, for all his hard working, wasn’t able to give the kind of performance that would turn the match to Brazil’s favour. Ronaldo had several shots but all the hard work ended in frustration. Even with substitutions and the abundant energy in Adriano and Robinho, the Brazilian team couldn’t find that killer strike. The French were simply too good on the night and they deserved their victory.

There can be little consolation for the Brazilians in not winning when the expectations were so great but all I can say is that it was great to see Ronaldo break the record and become the highest scoring player in World Cup history. I hope that it will be a record that will stand for many years and that people will look back and remember what a great player he is. I suspect that this will be his last World Cup and it’s a great shame that it couldn’t have ended with the final in Berlin…

Stuart Franklin Getty Images 9.jpg

Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images

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