Teams - Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia & Montenegro, Holland
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Ivory Coast: Silky
Serbia & Montenegro: Stolid
Prediction: Argentina and surprise packages Ivory Coast progress as Holland fall victim to the FIFA Grim Reaper.