Shakira, Domingo bring down curtains

Dubai: The talking point of last night's World Cup final was not just about Italy and France. The organisers ensured that the final was preceded by a 10-minute closing ceremony, featuring Colombian pop-star Shakira.

The closing ceremony was set on an area where the Olympic flame burned during the 1936 Games.

Italian tenor Placido Domingo also put in a half-time appearance.

The programmes were short as the focus of the people remained on the match.

But there were other areas of interest as well. Such as, going into the final with four shutouts in the tournament, French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez's career total moved to 10, a record shared by England's Peter Shilton.

Going into the final, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had not conceded a goal in 453 minutes, the fifth-longest span.

Argentinean referee Horacio Elizondo is also the first referee to be assigned both the opening game of the World Cup as well as the final.

He is the second referee, after Mexico's Benito Archundia, to officiate five games at a World Cup.

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