2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

9 June - 9 July

2006 FIFA World Cup™

'I'd like to see Germany-Brazil in the final'

Spike Lee, movie director, actor

Shelton Jackson Lee (born in 1957 in Atlanta, USA), better known as Spike Lee, is a recognized director, producer, writer, and actor since his first film She's Gotta Have It in 1985. A huge Arsenal fan and personal friend of team captain Thierry Henry, he is often known to wear Arsenal jerseys while on set. He will be directing the CBS legal drama Shark in the autumn of 2006.

What did you think about the game?

I thought that Ghana weren't scared of Brazil. I am sorry that Michael Essien didn't play for Ghana today. When you play a great team like Brazil, you have to capitalise upon the very few opportunities that you get, but they just couldn't put the ball into the goal. They didn't take advantage. The great teams, when you give them the opportunity, they're going to make you pay. That's what Brazil did today.

What about Ronaldo?

Like everyone else, I'm not as hard on him as I was after that first game. (His improvement) should be expected. You can't just get on a treadmill and run. You have to gain condition, and you do that by playing. With every game, he seems to get fitter. He's on an upward scale.
It was a great move for that first goal. He did a little hip-shake, faked the goalie right out of his goal - it was almost like a basketball move. It was like (in basketball) when you've got a guy up front and you shake him and they just fall to the ground, and you go in for the lay-up. I mean, in football you're just supposed to put the ball in the back of the net.

Ronaldo, I think, is getting better every game. Brazil, though, haven't really been tested. The next match will be their first really big one. They won't be able to play half-speed. They've been playing on cruise control so far.

I want to see a monster; I want them to let it go. The coach has to press that button now. I know they won 3-0, but it's just been spurts, flashes - it hasn't been for a whole game.

Did you watch the other games?

That Portugal-Netherlands game; that was like a hockey game, what with all the fighting. You know, I like all sports. I mean, the games are very similar.

Its funny, one time I went, it was after the game, it was at Arsenal, and Thierry Henry took me into the locker room and Arsene Wenger was asking me stuff about basketball. It's all about passion but also, like you know, these days if you got a guy like Michael Jordan, or somebody like that, you've got to put a man on him. I guess that's what they call: mark a player.

What do you expect to see in the semi-finals? And in the Final?

My son Jackson said to me, "Brazil better win daddy or we not gonna have nothing to wear at the semi-final in Munich!" I would like to see Germany and Brazil in the final. That would be, for football fans, the dream final. A classic.

Would you like to add something?

When Gyan Asamoah got that second yellow card, that was just stupid. I mean, even on television, it seems like every minute there's a whistle blown in the games. So, if a whistle is blown in the stand, it's very easy for me to understand that he (Gyan) thought that it was the referees whistle. Then to get another, the second yellow card was turned to red because he hit the ball early - that's like kindergarten.

These teams, these players, have busted their asses for four years to get to this tournament, and everybody wants to see the best players. Even though Michael Jordan used to kill the (New York) Knicks, I still wanted to see him. I don't want him to be put out the game or get hurt - you want to see the best players perform, even if there is a chance that it might hurt your team.

I might sound like an imperialistic American, but they've got to bring in instant replays. You also need a scoreboard in the stadium that has the official time instead of players running around and having to guess how much time is left. That doesn't make any sense to me.

I mean, what harm is it going to do if the players, the fans, everybody could just look up at the scoreboard and see how much time is left instead of just trying to guess what it says on the referee's watch?

Also, the field is too big, the game is too fast, and the play is too fast. Twenty years ago, one man could referee a game. Now it's too fast. You need more than one referee on the field and you need instant replays.

This is nothing to do with me being American or trying to Americanise the game. I just think you would find people the world over who think that you need to move the game forward.

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