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