Friday 7 July 2006
Throughout the 2006 World Cup we'll be predicting each day's results - using Pro Evolution Soccer! We'll select the teams and let the game play out the action on its own, before posting a quick match report and the final, PES-predicted score.
2006 World Cup: The final
Italy vs France
The 2006 World Cup final starts off cautiously with both teams trying to get their passing rhythm going, but it's Italy who gets there first with Totti at the centre of every move.
France slowly comes into the game, starting to bypass the congested midfield with balls to their two wide men - Ribery and Malouda - and it's from the latter that the game's first clear-cut chance is created.
Spotting a diagonal run from Henry, the left midfielder chips a delightful ball behind the Italian defence. The flag stays down but the Arsenal striker, usually so deadly in one-on-one situations, can only put the ball over the bar.
France continue to find plenty of joy down the flanks as Italy's midfield play narrow, too concerned with Zidane. This costs them dearly as, when Ribery finds space down the right, his cross is headed past the Italian keeper by Materazzi to put France into the lead.
Above: Unlikely hero Silvestre wins the World Cup for France
With the second half underway Zidane forces Buffon into a magnificent save. Next, Pirlo presses up from his deep midfield position to slip the ball to Toni who manages to get on the wrong side of full back Abidal. As Barthez rushes from his goal, the lanky goal getter prods the ball over the balding flapper to score for Italy and take the game into extra time.
As the ageing French side begins to tire Italy start to dominate the game and seem the likeliest winner. But with time running out Ribery squirms past his marker on the right to deliver a pinpoint cross on to the head of Henry. Although Buffon does well to palm out Henry's initial effort, he can do nothing about substitute Silvestre hammering the rebound home with a diving header and winning the cup for France.
PES predicts: Italy 1, France 2