Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Greatest?

"Let's gan and dee some bars!"


As the World Cup rolls around the same old debate rages in taprooms and tapas bars all around the world. Who is the greatest player ever to grace the World Cup?

There are the occasional oddballs who will argue the claims of Michel Platinis, Johann Cruyffs or Peter "Monkey Heed" Reids. However, most right-thinking folk recognise that the only decision to be made is a straight choice between Brazil's Pele and Diego Maradona of Argentina.

We all know them, we all love them, we've all seen their skills on show in World Cups, but what of the inner man behind the public facade? This exclusive peek into the private diaries of both men may help you choose between two very different legends of the game.


Diego Maradona

I awake at sunrise in bed with two of Bolivia's leading weathergirls. I snort an enormous bump of cocaine from each of their navels. Now I can face the day.

After a brief swim in my football-shaped pool, I share several tequila slammers with my brother Manolo and three of Ecuador's finest mail-order catalogue lingerie models. Time for breakfast.

I take one of my 4x4 trucks out onto the pampas in my back garden. We espy a wild boar. I alight the vehicle, wrestle the beast to the ground and finish it off by gnawing through the beast's windpipe. As I am doused in gushing arterial blood I feel the exhilarating rush that comes only from besting one of nature's ferocious gladiators. And Class A narcotics.

"Bring the carcass back to the villa, we shall feast well tonight!" I roar to my brother Claudio. I must rest.

After a refreshing dip in the hot tub with four of Argentina's most beautiful "lads mag" regulars, I adjourn to my chambers to smoke fine Afghan hashish in my silk kimono while chatting with my brother Pedro.

For the evening there is a lavish party organised. My guests sip onlythe finest champagne and snort only the best Colombian snow. Guests of honour are Misses Argentina 1985-94 and 96-03. ('95 was found to be a man, Diego Armando Maradona is not Strange like that).

My brother Jorge and I go up on the roof and fire off automatic weapons. We are naked as gods, our manhoods swaying proudly in the moonlight. The local Chief of Police shouts up to me, "Hey! Maradona! You are crazy man. You in big trouble!".

As he is himself naked and lying in my hot-tub being fellated by the female host of Chile's leading childrens show "Blue Pedro", I am thinking that perhaps he is not entirely serious.

After I hack the head off a live cow with a samurai sword, we have a barbecue. There is fine brandy and speedballs aplenty. I end the night having cocaine blown up my sphincter by Brazil's leading "tv house makeover" bit of skirt. I sleep the contented sleep of a well-fed bambino.


Pele

Another day, another country. On monday I am guest of honour of the Cote D'Ivoire FA, where I will attend the final of the Under-15's FA Cup final. I am so privileged to have visited as many places as I have in my role of FIFA Football Ambassador.

The various FA dignitaries discuss the initiatives theyhave introduced at grass roots level. We ruminate on the prospects of the national team in the forthcoming World Cup. They ask me if it true that I can't get it up. I brusquely refuse to discuss the matter.

Tuesday I jet off to check out the facilities at Senegal's newest stadium. It is all very impressive, although it is certainly a far cry from Mexico in 1970, when I won the third of my World Cup winners medals, an achievement I am too modest to ever mention.

Yes, football (or "the beautiful game" as I call it) has certainly been the love of my life. Certainly a more constant and faithful love than my ex-wife, who left me for another man, amid groundless and hurtful lies claiming I left her unsatisfied in the bedroom and that I preferred the company of teenage rough trade.

There is a disturbing incident in my Tunis hotel on Wednesday night, after a gala reception thrown by the Tunisian FA.

Two ladies of the night (one white, one black) have somehow found their way into my suite. Despite their claims that they are a gift from my Tunisian hosts, eager to garner support for another World Cup host nation campaign, I usher them from my room.

Imagine the scandal if one of soccer's leading figureheads and, dare I say it, legends, was to be embroiled in a sex scandal. The implications for the game as a whole would be unthinkable.

And if they say that I couldn't get it up despite necking three Viagra, they are filthy, lying whores.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

World Cup Memories

World Cup 2002: England v Sweden

However much we all may have thundered against the political correctness gone mad in a handcart that led to the World Cup being awarded to such footballing outposts like Japan and Korea, one good thing about it was the ridiculous kick-off times and the opportunity to drink heavily from half past seven in the morning.

The first England game against Sweden took place at half-ten on a Sunday morning and an enthusiastic crowd filled our local pub from nine o'clock, filled with nationalistic fervour and bacon sandwiches.

The game itself was a fairly forgettable affair, eventually finishing one all, but this did nothing to dim the spirits of our little group of thinkers who were just happy to be alive and off the leash for a day.

The game over, we were up for adventure. Naturally, the cry was "To the titty bar!"

The nearest to such an establishment in our area is a gaudy fun-pub/lager palace disco bar that used to have strippers on of a sunday lunchtime.

Usually, the only people that went in there on a sunday were a few raddled, mackintoshed-up old perves (or "the regulars" as the manager called us), however every chap in the tri-county area must have been thinking along similar lines to us and the place was chocker to blocker with sweaty, football shirt wearing scratters and pissheads.

The exotic dancer turned up and headed off to the ladies toilets to get "dressed" for her performance.

The crowd were in high spirits by then and were well up for some bare lady action.

The next thing I noticed was a giant conga (thirty or forty blokes) led by one of my dreadful mates, all singing (to the tune of "Oops upside your head") "Tits! Bum! Fanny! the lot! We want tits, bum, fanny the lot". This went on for a good ten minutes.

Eventually, this lass came out into a bearpit atmosphere that made the locals at Galatasaray look like a county cricket match.

She did her stuff and we did, indeed, get TBF, TL.

At one point she was laid on the floor with her legs in the "ten to two" position so close to me that I could have lobbed a peanut into her bodily treasure had I been that way inclined.

At the conclusion the lady was cheered to the echo, the bravest woman I ever saw.

Our base urges sated, the crowd dispersed and went to our separate pubs. A short trip to the bookies later, we had a collection of free pens and cardboard World Cups to entertain ourselves with.

This wasn't enough for our Napoleon-like ringleader and chief radgey who, thinking on his feet as ever, produced a five pound note and sent one of our chaps to the supermarket with instructions to buy "as many toilet rolls as you can".

He returned with about forty-eight bog rolls which we immediately put to good use, chucking them around and re-creating a ticker-tape parade in the confines of the Sun Inn snug bar, quickly reducing the pub to a state of utter carnage.

My memory is a bit hazy after that, but I think we were asked to leave.

World Cups, eh? Marvellous, aren't they?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another message



"Hello! I am Boris "Boom Boom" Beckers, three-times Wimbledon Champion. When I am not engaging in zany banter on TV's "They Are Thinking It Is All Over" or having ill-advised oompus-boompus in cupboards with slatternly russian types I enjoy nothing better than learning about football and also the world at the blog of the Colonel. I am looking forward to the World Cup in my German homeland big style. I am hoping that my nation's team will "serve" up an "ace" performance. Laters, my potatoes!"

Monday, May 15, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group H



GROUP H

Teams - Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

Spain

  • Qualified by thrashing Slovakia in a play-off after surprisingly finishing behind Serbia in their group.
  • Perennial underachievers Spain have never amounted to a hill of beans in the World Cup even the one they hosted in 1982, unlike England who won 4-2 against Germany in the one tournament they have been allowed to host. In 1966, it was.
  • Spain is best known for large straw donkeys, sloping off from work for a kip in the afternoon, sangria and horrible cheap tabs.
  • Animal rights activists with nothing better to do are always trying to stop Spaniards from enjoying their traditional sport of bullfighting. Little do these do-gooders realise that all of the bulls involved are actually Peedoe bulls, who have been caught noncing up innocent young calves.
  • Spain is the number one holiday destination for British tourists, particularly thick-set young ladies from the north-west of England, keen to experience the laidback mediterranean lifestyle. And get fucked off a Spanish waiter.
  • Player to watch - Raul. The very embodiment of the spanish national side. Good-looking, stylish, talented, always bottling it on the big stage.

Ukraine

  • Qualified at the head of a strong group which contained Greece, Denmark and Turkey.
  • First ever appearance as Ukraine, although many Ukrainians have played in the USSR teams of the past, as have many Russians, the same nationality as the linesman who correctly adjudged that Geoff Hurst's crucial strike in the 1966 final had crossed the line.
  • Ukraine is best known for the Chernobyl meltdown, poisoned politicians, gas shortages, collective farming and stern-faced, big-cheekbone-having citizens.
  • Ukrainian cuisine is a rather spartan affair, consisting mainly of potatoes, cabbage, beetroot and, in the Chernobyl region, chicken with two arses.
  • Ukraine famously won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 with a song by Ruslana, a feisty type dressed up like Xena:Warrior Princess. She celebrated her victory by performing her song "Wild Dances" with her fanny hanging out. And that's a true fact, Jack. Go on, google it.
  • Player to watch - Andriy Shevchenko. Lean, mean goal machine. Like a tinker's dog, all dick and bone.

Tunisia

  • Qualified in fine style, knocking out local rivals Morocco in a tense African group.
  • They have never progressed past the first round, much like Scotland, who still go on about the time they fluked a win against World Champions England in 1967. Imagine still going on about a victory from that far back, eh?
  • Tunisia has historically played host to the might of the Carthaginian army and the battles between Rommel and the Allied forces in World War II. Yet they still allowed themselves to be colonised by France. Odd that.
  • Tunisia is best known for camel racing, fezzes, hubbly-bubbly pipes and couscous.
  • Tunisia's best-loved TV show is a version of the short-lived Channel 5 Tim Vine vehicle "Whittle", presented by top Tunisian funnyman Abdou Ben "Mind me bunions" Al Tartouri.
  • Player to watch - Rahdi Jaidi. Cool as cucumbers Bolton centre-back. Looks like John Shaft. Right on!

Saudi Arabia

  • Qualified at the head of a decent Asian group ahead of South Korea.
  • This will be Saudi Arabia's fourth World Cup, with their best achievement a second-round berth in 1994. A piddling achievement alongside South American and European powerhouses such as Brazil, Italy, Germany and England, who won the greatest World Cup final ever, 4-2 against West Germany. Hurst (3) and Peters supplying the goals.
  • Saudi Arabia is famous across the globe for obscene oil riches, bankrolling the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001, repression of women, inhuman criminal punishments and chaps who wear dresses.
  • The Saudi Arabian flag is officially the most difficult one to draw.
  • Among the many offences punishable by death in Saudi Arabia are stealing, being gay, apostasy, being jewish, showing a bit of leg (women), organising wet t-shirt contests, faffing about, not having a moustache (men), listening to speed garage, having the crazy frog ringtone, hockling on the pavement. This list is not exhaustive.
  • Player to watch - Sami Al Jaber. Almost made it at Wolverhampton. He must be good, then.

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets

Spain: Dark horses

Ukraine: Plough horses

Tunisia: Camels

Saudi Arabia: Dogfood

Prediction: Spain and Ukraine at a canter, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia heading for the knackers yard.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group G

GROUP G

Teams - France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo

France

  • Qualified top of a group that contained Switzerland and Republic of Ireland.
  • Won the title in 1998 when hosting the tournament, similar to the exploits of England, who won the 1966 tournament in their own back yard.
  • France is home to the greatest art galleries, finest wines and best food in the world. And the americans don't like them. Good on you, France.
  • The urbane, sophisticated French like nothing better than settling down to enjoy the clever humour of Jacques Tatis, Jerry Lewis or Benny Hills.
  • Unlike Britain, France has no royal family, having taken the eminently sensible decision to cut all their heads off.
  • The French language usually involves giving up half way through a word and not pronouncing the last syllable, ensuring you have to convey your message by means of shrugs and eye-rolling.
  • Player to watch - Djibril Cisses. Prolific Liverpool striker, made himself an instant favourite on Merseyside with his stylish personal grooming and deadly finishing.

Switzerland

  • Finished behind France in qualifying (can't you read or something) then knocked out Turkey in a play-off that ended in a big fight where everybody was kung-fu fighting. Those cats were fast as lightning.
  • They have reached the last eight three times, although all three occasions were at least fifty years ago.
  • Switzerland is famous for its cuckoo clocks, neutrality in wartime, unpleasant triangular chocolate and willingness to store Nazi gold stolen from the jews.
  • The Swiss have the highest number of firearms per person in the world, even more than America even! It is thought that in the event of a military conflict they would attempt to sell their guns to the invading forces, or offer to guard any treasure they had looted on their travels.
  • In Switzerland the people speak three languages, German, French and Italian, yet ironically are so dull you wouldn't ever want to speak to one of them.
  • Player to watch - Phillippe Senderos. Shaven-headed Arsenal stopper. By Swiss standards, this kid is Pele, George Best and Maradona rolled into one. By anyone else's, a solid enough young centre-back.

South Korea

  • Qualified behind Saudi Arabia in another titanic Asian group.
  • Finished fourth in the last World Cup when co-hosting, an excellent performance that compares with England's super show in 1966, when they ran out 4-2 winners in the final against the Hun.
  • South Korea has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, thousands of years of civilisation, incredible architecture and excellent infrastructure following successful hosting of the Olympics and the World Cup.
  • Yet the first thing anyone says when Korea is mentioned is "they eat dogs, don't they?" Yes they do, they eat dogs and you know what? It tastes delicious.
  • Cats as well.
  • Player to watch - Park Ji-Sungs. Manchester United midfield terrier. Has shown dogged persistence and plenty of bite when tackling opponents.

Togo

  • Qualified from a decent African group that contained Senegal and Mali.
  • This is their first World Cup. Togo only gained independence in 1960, a mere six years before Bobby Moore led his boys to victory at Wembley, 4-2 after extra time.
  • As well as coffee and cocoa, Togo manufactures a massive amount of Phosphate. If you check the packet of phosphate in your kitchen cupboard it's probably from Togo!
  • Based on their showing at the recent African Nations Cup, Togo may well be the worst team to ever qualify for the World Cup. The Sweet Baby Jesus alone knows how they qualified.
  • Togolese cuisine makes extensive use of maize, okra, cassava and yams. I'd rather stick with the dogs and cats, to be honest.
  • Player to watch - Emmanuel Adebayors. Large-haired, pacy Arsenal striker who is somehow keeping wunderkind Theo Walcotts out of the Gunners squad.

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets


France: Ageing

Switzerland: Shite

South Korea: Tenacious

Togo: Really Shite


Prediction: France do just enough to get by and South Korea dump Switzerland out of the competition.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group F

Teams - Brazil, Croatia, Australia, Japan

Brazil

  • Qualified as the best team in South America. First reigning champions to have to qualify for the next tournament.
  • They have won the title a record five times, including three out of four between 1958 and 1970, a magnificent run only interrupted by a superb English victory in 1966.
  • If your wife asks what you think of the Brazilian style, don't go into a discussion of overlapping full-backs, two defensive midfielders covering for a front five or any of that type of thing. She's thinking of getting her fanny shaved.
  • Brazil is famous for barefooted footballers in slums, coffee, samba music and convincing transexuals.
  • Brazil also hosts massive open-air music concerts by the likes of The Rolling Stones and Tina Turners. However, the record was set when eight million punters turned out to see It Bites in Sao Paulo.
  • Player to watch - Ronaldinho. His recent form for Barcelona suggests that there is more to him than his pin-up good looks. A promising young talent.

Croatia

  • Qualified by topping a group that also contained finalists Sweden.
  • In their only previous World Cup, delighted fans around the world by thumping Germany 3-0, the biggest hiding the squareheads had received since a certain afternoon in 1966.
  • The most popular ever film in Croatia's history is the musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". This popularity explains the national team's predilection for gingham tops.
  • Because of their moon-man language which utilises few vowels, it is not considered rude to accidentally hockle on somebody when you are talking to them.
  • The Croatian superstar and AC Milan legend Boban adopted his nickname after the English darts player Bob Anderson.
  • Player to watch - Dado Prso. Porrage-countenanced, pony-tailed Rangers forward. Looks like a session musician for Texas or Anastacia.

Australia

  • Qualified by beating Uruguay on penalties after a two-legged playoff. Uruguay had previously sweated through eighteen games against the best in South America, while Australia reached the play-offs by beating the cast of "The Love Boat" and "Magnum P.I."
  • Australia only ever qualifies for World Cups staged in Germany. In 1974 they didn't score a single goal. That World Cup was won by Germany, making up in part for their crushing 4-2 defeat to England eight years earlier.
  • Australia is not a major footballing power, concentrating instead on cricket, rugby and aussie rules football.
  • Unfortunately, they lost the cricket Ashes to England, the rugby World Cup to England and nobody else plays aussie rules because it's shite.
  • Australia has the lowest population density in the world. This is because most of them are working in bars in London, complaining about the weather and talking racist tommyrot about "the flamin' abboes" and their supposed abuse of the Welfare system.
  • Player to watch - Mark Viduka. Courageous and fair tackling Middlesbrough striker. Fast food addict and possessor of the most massive heed outside of Easter Island.

Japan

  • Qualified ahead of fellow finalists Iran by squeezing past the might of Bahrain and North Korea.
  • Reaching the second round in 2002, when they co-hosted the tournament, is their best performance. Among the host nations who have won the tournament are such luminaries as England, who edged West Germany 4-2 in a thrilling final in 1966.
  • Japan has a rich cultural heritage that includes violent cartoons, vending machines that sell soiled schoolgirl knickers, ritual suicide and obese men in nappies shoving each other.
  • The Japanese also invented karaoke, which in japanese literally means "pissed lass singing "I will Survive"".
  • Although the japanese eat raw fish, dolphin penis, eels and bean curd, they don't eat doner kebabs. So who is the real sick man?
  • Player to watch - Shinji Ono. The son of Yoko Ono, the unpredictable midfielder missed several qualifiers when he refused to get out of bed.

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets

Brazil: Joyful

Croatia: Perfunctory

Australia: Unsophisticated

Japan: Animated


Prediction: Brazil to thrash everyone else. Croatia to scrape home as best of the rest.

Friday, May 12, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group E



Group E

Teams - Italy, Ghana, USA, Czech Republic

Italy

  • Qualified easily from one of the weaker UEFA groups, lacking, as it did, the might of Bahrain or Chad.
  • Three-time winners Italy are one of the World Cup's heavy hitters, although they did slip up against North Korea in the 1966 tournament, which was won by hosts England.
  • Italy's cuisine is world famous, boasting a fabulous range of delicious pastas, chicken dishes, pizzas, risottos and pastry based desserts. However, their chips are rotten.
  • Italy once led the world at organised crime, which it invented, but now lags well behind the USA, Russia, Nigeria and Switzerland.
  • Italy is a devout Catholic nation, which is a religion that it is fairly safe to mock. The catholic idiots with their "No blobs thank you, I'll just empty me bins on her tummy" birth control techniques.
  • Player to watch - Gennaro Gattusos. Pint-sized ex-Rangers midfield dynamo, looks like Juninho might if he drank some "Jekyll and Hyde" potion.

Ghana

  • Qualified ahead of South Africa in a competitive African section.
  • This is Ghana's first ever World Cup, exactly forty years to the year after England's red-shirted lions scooped the jackpot against West Germany.
  • An environmental crisis is brewing in Ghana where an area of rainforest the size of Wales has been felled to make way for a life-size, full-scale replica model of Wales.
  • The Ghanaian language, Fante, has no word for "the feeling of shame experienced by one who realizes he has just spent a hot summer day indoors with the curtains closed, pouring a series of decreasingly satisfactory hand shandies".
  • As a teenager, Ghana was excluded from high school for flushing Zimbabwe's head down the toilet.
  • Player to watch - Michael Essiens. The Master of Horror-tackles. A leg-biting, bone-snapping combative midfielder in the Hannibal Lecter mould.

USA

  • Qualified from the ludicrously uncompetitive CONCACAF section. Fuckers.
  • Twice Quarter-finalists, including once at the expense of England in 1950. Where were they in 1966 though, when England were dancing around the Wembley turf with the World Cup? Stuck at home watching Bilko, that's where.
  • American has no real cuisine to speak of, instead choosing to serve food from other nations in ludicrously large portions. With a yarking big steak on top.
  • Americans speak a version of English, but with the spellings altered to reflect the way a div kid just learning to read and write would spell them.
  • Football, or soccerball, as they call it, is the forty-eighth most popular sport on that side of the pond, behind such olympian pursuits as NASCAR, foxy boxing, canine freestyle and whooping.
  • Player to watch - Kasey Kellers. Shot-stopper with a penchant for colourful knitwear and late-night television chart rundowns.

Czech Republic

  • Qualified by beating Norway in a play-off after finishing second to Holland in a tough UEFA group.
  • Twice runners-up, maintaining a 100% losing record in World Cup finals, the polar opposite to that of England, who humped the Jerries 4-2 in their only final appearance. In 1966.
  • Czechs are the big-hearted, big-livered boozehounds of Europe. Every man, woman and teenager in the Czech Republic knocks back 2,500 litres of premium strength lager every year. Enough to fill four thousand olympic-sized swimming pools the height of a double-deckers bus. Twice over.
  • An Oxfam survey in 1999 reported that the Czech Republic was still plagued with virulent outbreaks of mullets. One area was so devastated by the eighties hairstyle that experts predict it will be the year 2034 before Czech hairdressing enters the 1990s.
  • Czech women, on the other hand, giddy up, eh? Oof!
  • Player to watch - Pavel Nedved. Ageing Rick Parfitt lookeylikey, the wizard of the dribble and a rocket shot in both boots. Marvellous.

Official World Cup Epithets

Italy: Tactical

Ghana: Robust

USA: Overachieving

Czech Republic: Longhairs

Prediction: Italy and USA qualify amid Mobster allegations. Red cards aplenty.

A message



"Hey there, sportsfans. I'm Duffy Waldorf from the USPGA. You probably remember my triumph in the 1999 Buick Classic. I'm just here to say good luck to Team USA in the forthcoming Worlds Cup of Soccer. I'll be kicking back with a cool sasparilly and some corndogs while the boys are kicking goals and making plays out in Germany. I'm sure that they'll "putt" on a great show for the folks back home!

USA! USA! Wooh! Yeah! Wooh! Yeah!"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group D

Teams - Mexico, Iran, Angola, Portugal

Mexico

  • Qualified from the ever-arduous CONCACAF section, second behind USA.
  • Mexico have played in twelve World Cups, twice getting as far as the Quarter-finals when hosting the tournament. A paltry achievement compared to England's record of Hosted 1, Won 1 (1966)
  • Mexico is notable as the birthplace of the sombrero, mariachi music, tequila with worms in and criss-cross gunbelts.
  • Mexico's coach, Ricardo la Volpe, is the only manager in the World Cup without the required FIFA Pro coaching badge. A Mexican FA spokesman said "Badges? We don't need no steenkin' badges!" before firing his pistols into the air and laughing like a madman.
  • In the official FIFA rankings, Mexico are number six in the world. Six? In a chimp's cock, more like! Fucking six.
  • Player to watch - Jared Borgettis. Can the Bolton benchwarmer strike Aztec gold this summer? Doubtful.

Iran

  • Qualified behind Japan in a none-too-onerous Asian group that also contained Bahrain and North Korea.
  • Iran have never got beyond the first round of the World Cup, much like Scotland, who didn't even qualify for the 1966 tournament, which was won by their friends and rivals in England.
  • Iran is a devout Muslim country, which I think is a Good Thing. Islam is an excellent religion.
  • Iran has gone by many names over the years. Persia, Ceylon, Vichy, Erehwon, Atlantis, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Iraq are just some of the former titles of this Howard Marks-style nation. New Amsterdam, that was another one.
  • Player to watch - Ali Daeis. Must be pushing fifty. "The Arab Ian Rush" as nobody calls him. Very straight moustache.

Angola

  • Qualified by knocking out the much-vaunted Nigeria side, hopefully sparing a grateful British TV audience the witless inanities of John "Fash the bash" Fashanus.
  • This is their first World Cup. In 1966, while still under the yoke of Portuguese imperialist rule, the Angolans cheered on a Bobby Charltons-inspired England team to a 2-0 Semi-final victory over their hated colonial overlord. Just nine years later they achieved independence. Mere coincidence?
  • Angola is one of a very few countries to have a right-angle as part of its' borders. It's in the south-east corner, next to Zambia. Mad.
  • The word "Angola" comes from one of them African languages and literally means "really soft, fluffy wool".
  • Angola play their home fixtures in the middle of a Game Reserve. Opponents have struggled to adapt to the conditions, particularly the large patches of zebra shit in the far goalmouth.
  • Player to watch - Who am I, some specky twat from "When Saturday Comes"?

Portugal

  • Qualified from a UEFA group, with proper teams like Russia in it.
  • Best ever performance in a World Cup was in 1966, where they reached the Semi-finals, going on to beat USSR 2-1 in a play-off to finish third.
  • Portugal's manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was offered the job of managing England after this tournament but turned it down because his nickname "Big Phil" fell short of his preferred choice "Luiz the Magnificent".
  • Portugal is internationally renowned for sardines, fortified wines, beautiful beaches and ladies with unsightly facial hair.
  • It is traditional for the Portuguese team to have some of the classiest, most creative, skilful footballers in their midfield who will inevitably be let down by some floppy-haired twat up front who keeps falling over.
  • Player to watch - Pauleta. Unusually, a striker with a short haircut. Is he the man to bag the goals for Portugal?

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets


Mexico: Technical

Iran: Spirited

Angola: Naive

Portugal: Pretty


Prediction: Portugal and Mexico go through. Elsewhere, political shenanigans and old-fashioned clogging should make this an eventful group.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group C

Group C - The Official "Group of Death"

Teams - Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro, Holland

Argentina

  • Qualified behind Brazil in the gruelling South American group.
  • Argentina have twice raised the big pot, in 1978 and 1986. However, they are best known for their disgraceful conduct in the 1966 Quarter-final, where captain Rattins was sent off against eventual winners England.
  • Argentina's major cultural exports are corned beef, hyperinflation, cheating and tubbyboohooing when their boats get sunk in a war that they started.
  • In Argentina, long, lank hair is traditionally regarded as a sign of courage and masculinity, unlike the rest of the world where it is a mark of the twat.
  • Such is the reverence towards football legend Diego Maradonas, that during a papal visit, the stumpy genius was allowed to have a spin in the Popemobile, where he pulled handbrake turns in a multi-storey car park.
  • Player to watch - Juan Riquelmes. Another sawn-off Maradona clone who will no doubt flatter to impress, then spit his dummy and get sent off.

Ivory Coast

  • Qualified by knocking out The Cameroun and Egypt in the toughest African group.
  • This is their first World Cup. The country didn't even exist in 1966, when Roger Hunt decided not to knock that rebound in.
  • The Ivory Coast sometimes call themselves Cote D'Ivoire to try to confuse opponents.
  • In recent years the nation has been torn by Civil War. This carried over into the team with the forwards and defenders belonging to different factions, resulting in Kofi Annan having to occupy the holding midfield role throughout the 2003 African Nations Cup.
  • In 1986, Radio DJ Andy Kershaws had his picture taken with each and every citizen of the Ivory Coast, while pretending to like their rotten indigenous music.
  • Player to watch - Didier Drogbas. Chelsea's goat-like striker has won plaudits everywhere for his charming brand of never-say-die, hard but fair style of play.

Serbia & Montenegro

  • Qualified ahead of Spain in a tough UEFA qualifying group.
  • First World Cup for this incarnation of the band although they regularly competed in the eighties as Yugoslavia, before an acrimonious split.
  • Serbia & Montenegro is best known for ethnic cleansing, Eurovision Song Contest collusion and high-scoring Scrabble matches.
  • The official team song is a version of Spandau Ballet's "Through the Barricades" by Serbia's top punk band U.K. Serbs. It is shit.
  • Serbia's greatest ever player is "footballing-Bernard-Manning" Sinisa Mihajlovic, the spitting, racist, fascist Lazio free-kick specialist.
  • Player to watch - Mateja Kezman. Chelsea misfit but looks like one of the Gorillaz.

Holland

  • Qualified from the UEFA "Group of Death" that contained Czech Republic and Romania.
  • Holland have never won the tournament, twice bottling it against inferior opposition in the final, unlike England who won their only final appearance, 4-2 against Germany in 1966.
  • Holland's top tourist attraction is the Red Light district of Amsterdam, where it's €50 for a "half and half", no kissing, fifteen minutes tops. Erm, according to Wikipedia.
  • Dutch people are famously relaxed, tolerant and laid back. The clog-wearing hippies.
  • Like all hippies, the Dutch squad always fall out due to back-biting, petty arguments and prissy individualists "needing to get their shit together, maan"
  • Player to watch - Rafael van der Vaart. The SV Hamburg schemer has been a hit with the folks back home, with his blonde curls, brassy theme tune and crimefighting abilities.

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets

Argentina: Devious

Ivory Coast: Silky

Serbia & Montenegro: Stolid

Holland: Feuding

Prediction: Argentina and surprise packages Ivory Coast progress as Holland fall victim to the FIFA Grim Reaper.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

World Cup 2006: Group B

Teams - England, Paraguay, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago

England

  • Qualified by winning a group containing Poland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • England have won the World Cup once, in 1966. This triumph has been largely forgotten and is rarely talked about.
  • England is famous for happy slapping, chavs, football hooliganism, reality television, morris dancing and xenophobia.
  • If one were able to harness the static electricity generated by the horrid nylon replica shirts worn by sweating, overweight, shaven-headed supporters swilling Stella Artois and watching the football in pubs during the tournament, it would be enough to power a city the size of Wales for a week.
  • England have a long tradition of releasing dreadful pop records prior to major tournaments. This will continue in 2006 following the recruitment of lank-haired Yorkshire miserabilists The Embraces.
  • At least they aren't Del AfuckingMitri.
  • Player to watch - Owen Hargreave. The golden boy of English soccer, Hargreave is more a media phonemenon than a footballer. His advertising deals alone are reputed to bring in more than £70 million a year.

Paraguay

  • Qualified by coming fourth in the South American group.
  • In six attempts, they have never got past the second round, whereas England have gone on to win the tournament on one occasion, in 1966 where Nobby Stiles danced a jig of joy after shitting up the krauts good and proper.
  • Paraguay's national dish is grilled hamster in a red cabbage couli.
  • Paraguayans speak two languages, spanish and guarani. However, guarani is a weird moonman language.
  • Germany 2006 will be a nostalgic venue for many of Paraguay's large community of exiled Nazi war criminals.
  • Player to watch - Diego Gavilans. The dainty midfielder won the hearts of Newcastle United supporters with a string of uncommitted, airy-fairy, lightweight performances in the black and white stripes before scurrying off home with a truckful of cash.

Sweden

  • Qualified as one of the best second placed teams, finishing behind Croatia in their qualifying group.
  • Their best performance was reaching the final in 1958, but they lost to Brazil. A less impressive showing than that of the England team in 1966 which actually won the final 4-2 against Germany.
  • The game against England will be a wallet versus country clash for Sven Goran Erikssons. It will also be a tedious 1-1 draw.
  • Sweden will be the blondest team at this year's World Cup
  • Sweden is famed across the globe for its' safe but boring automobiles, smart looking lasses, farmyard pornography, expensive bar prices and high suicide rate.
  • Player to watch - Zlatan Ibrahimovics. Big headed lanky bignose. Capable of scoring wonder goals.

Trinidad & Tobago

  • Qualified by virtue of being the fourth best team in the CONCACAF qualifying group. Dear God.
  • T & T will be popular with journalists the world over as they can simply rehash the patronising shite they wrote about Jamaica at the last World Cup, replacing the word "reggae" with "soca".
  • Scientists have calculated that star striker Dwight Yorkes has shagged more lasses than Darren Days and Peter Stringfellows put together but still trails Rod "the mod" Stewarts by a good way.
  • The Trinidad and Tobago FA have asked the German authorities for permission to import fifty kilos of marijuana for the players to smoke from comedy giant spliffs, while they laze around the hotel pool drinking Lilt, eating Bounty bars and saying "Yes, mon!" in a loud voice.
  • If the team do well there are plans for a rubbish comedy film based on the squad's story. That fat bloke out of "The Full Monty" will play Leo Beenhakker.
  • Player to watch - Shaka Hislop. West Ham netminder Hislop is not just a pretty face, he's a qualified rocket scientist. Although, to be honest, rocket science is hardly brain surgery, is it?

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets

England: Worldbeaters

Paraguay: Flashy

Sweden: Organised

Trinidad & Tobago: Partying

Prediction: England and Sweden, the former all guns blazing with an avalanche of goals from Peter Crouches, the latter sneaking through by gaining a precious point against a weakened England team.

Monday, May 08, 2006

World Cup Fever!




Hey hey, kids, it's almost time for the World Cup and your Colonel has officially come down with World Cup Fever!

Today saw the announcement of the England squad. Sven Goran Erikssons took time out from his busy schedule of chasing his secretary around the office and getting pissed up with fake sheikhs to read out the twenty three (plus four) that Steve "Mike Baldwin" McLarens had selected.

With a squad containing such notable world-beaters as That Lanky Cunt, The Sissyboy Who Didn't Like Newcastle, The One Who Puts His Phone In His Arse and Gary Nevilles, it is clear that England will start as favourites to win the title. However, the question that people are stopping me on the street and asking is "What about the other teams? What the dillio there, Colonel?" Well feast your mince and onion pies (eyes) on the indispensable "Colonel Knowledge's Guide to The World Cup In Germany 2006".

A new regular feature of this 'blog, this guide will introduce you to the participants in this year's tournament. In the shell of a nut, there are thirty-two nations in the World Cup, they have been divided into eight groups in an above-board, not fixed at all draw ceremony, where traditionally Brazil and Germany will be given the easiest groups.

Today, we will take a look at Group A.

Teams - Germany, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Poland.

Germany
  • Qualified as hosts.
  • Have won the trophy three times
  • Lost in the final in 1966 when Geoff Hurst bagged a hat-trick and Pele scored with an overhead kick despite having his arm in a sling
  • Germans are known for their relaxed attitude to life, famous sense of humour and dropping bombs on Liverpool chip shops.
  • And pornographic films featuring "watersports"
  • Player to watch - Michael Ballacks. A worthy successor to such unpleasant looking arrogant shitehawks as Andreas Moller, Rudi Voeller and Karl Heinz Rummenigge.
  • How will they do? Quarter-finalists.

Costa Rica

  • Qualified by coming third out of six in the CONCACAF final group. Yeah, look impressed.
  • They have never won the World Cup, unlike England who won in 1966 at Wembley, bashing the bosch 4-2.
  • Costa Rica's first World Cup appearance was in Italy in 1990, where they suffered the embarrassment of only beating minnows Scotland 1-0.
  • The Costa Rican unit of currency is the Colon, which sounds like a bum
  • Costa Rica is famous for its' production of coffee, cocaine and swingers holiday resorts
  • Player to watch - Paulo Wanchopes. Former Manchester City and West Ham striker who was equally likely to score a wonder goal or miss a sitter. Gangly.

Ecuador

  • Qualified from the laborious South American group mainly by virtue of playing games at altitude where their opponents couldn't breathe.
  • Only one previous finals appearance, in 2002 where they finished bottom of their group.
  • This means that they have never won the World Cup, which Sir Alf Ramsey's lads did in 1966.
  • Ecuador literally means "Equator" because the equator runs through the middle of Ecuador.
  • Ecuador is the only country to have had a song written about it by German technohead DJ Sash!
  • Ecuador has massive oil reserves and everyone in the country has an oil well in their back garden and they all wear big stetsons like JR Ewings
  • Player to watch - Agustin Delgado. Lazy-arsed Carlos Kickaball type who made big bucks at Southampton and was injured all the time.

Poland

  • Qualified by coming second in the group won by England
  • Best ever World Cup placing was third in 1974 and 1982, a less impressive record than England, who won the 1966 tournament on the back of magnificent performances from balding geordie Bobby Charltons.
  • A sentimental return to Germany for Poland who were once part of Germany before asking Britain to stick up for them so they could go out with Russia instead.
  • The traditional Polish diet of potatoes, cabbage and vodka is a contributor to the Polish people having the lowest life expectancy in the western world, after Scotland
  • Poland's major industries are distilling vodka, unnerving animations, trudging through snow in leaking boots and being invaded.
  • Player to watch - Jerzy Dudek. Liverpool third choice custodian, best known for single-handedly winning the Champions League final and traditional comedy bungling in games against Manchester United.

Official World Cup 2006 Epithets

Germany: Unspectacular

Costa Rica: Unpredictable

Ecuador: Swarthy

Poland: Dull

Prediction: Germany and Costa Rica to qualify from the least interesting group in the tournament.

Zut Alors!

The last day of the english football season is typically an excellent day for heavy drinking, ill behaviour and shouting on. Naturally, I was having a piece of that action so we headed to a public house of ill repute to watch the Newcastle v Chelsea clash on a dodgy Al-Jazeera feed.

Basically, for any non football fans, Newcastle beat the reigning champions Chelsea, which means they take over the mantle of champions, much like the system operated in boxing. Also, they qualified for the prestigious Intertoto Cup, where the best teams in Europe play. As such, the entire pub full of scratters and radgies were in high spirits. And Bench sportswear.

As we headed to a more refined, cultured watering hole we bumped into some chaps heading into Newcastle to see chirpy Liverpudlian tunesmiths The Zutons. Of course I jumped at the chance of a bit of gig going like a Mexican jumping bean playing on a trampoline while "Jump Around" by House of Pain plays in the background.

Pre-gigs pints were taken in Newcastle's fashionable Central Station area, all the pubs chocker to blocker with celebrating toon fans, giddy with excitement at the thought of Intertoto Cup football next year. Surveying the throng of football shirt wearing geordies, one of the chaps asked "Do you think they're all going to see The Zutons?"

A bright lad,that one.

A trip to the touts later and twenty-five quid lighter (rob dogs!) , we trousered our tickets and repaired to the Clayton Street chippy for some "good n tasty" battered sausage and chips. As ever the fine work done at this establishment was a credit to the fat-frying fraternity.

You always get some strange tramps hanging round that part of town. The time I went to see Belle and The Sebastians there were a couple of odd fellows, high on life, arguing with one another and asking passers-by to take their side. Last night was a rather persistent glaswegian cove who seemed anxious to relieve us of the strain of carrying around excess loose change.

"Hey boys, ye got any spare change, eh?"
"In a chimps cock!"

A distressing scene.

The gig was a good one, all killer no filler, uptempo no-nonsense singalong tunes. The band giving it the full feller and a capital time was had by all.

Imagine my surprise to see corkscrew-haired frontman Dave McCabes in the nearby Forth pub shortly after the gig, pressing his suit with an attractive blonde lass.

Now of course there is nothing that slightly famous types like better than to chat with the little peole, the ordinary joes, the hoi and the polloi. Especially fat chaps who have been drinking all day, that's their favourite thing ever. So I tap him on the shoulder and ask "Are you one of the Zutons?" "Er, yes" he replies. "Ah've just been to see youse, you were good".

They love all that, the celebrities.

He left with the tidy blonde some time later, perhaps his savoir faire had been ruffled by the "club singer" versions of his songs coming from the far end of the bar.

I don't really remember getting home. Sifting the evidence and analysing the available data, there was Spar sandwich and Roysters purchasing going on, but any further details remain sketchy.

Toon army!