There was a lot of great soccer in the final match between Italy and France, with Italy looking stronger and attacking more in the first half and France dominating the second half and overtime. So it’s disappointing to see the match decided by penalty kicks, which are a poor measure of the quality of the team and the quality of play. Doubly disappointing to see Zidane inexcusably lose control and cast an ugly pall over the final. The 1-1 score is indicative of what I believe is a fundamental problem with soccer. Look for more on that later.

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