Tuesday, 1 June 2010

World Cup Guide - Group 2


Form: With Hugo Galtieri in charge, it was hoped that an Argentine team full of such talents as Lionel Ricci, Xavier Mashpotato and Claudio Burnsneck would finally gel as a world force. However, the usual clash of egos has meant that this team has had all the consistency of David Laws tenancy agreements.

Tactics – Invade at night on the pretence of trading in scrap metal. Hope no one notices.

Manager – Hugo Galtieri (pictured). The most controversial figure in world football. Ever since knocking England out of the 86 World Cup with the controversial Ball Up The Jumper goal, Galtieri has courted controversy in much the same way as Jeremy Clarkson courts being called a twat. But he’s got them to the World Cup and given up heroin in the same spell. “Football is the only drug” I need, he now says, in between nine day weekends spent staring at a Magic Eye poster in his bedroom.

Star Player – Lionel Ricci. Possibly the greatest footballer ever seen, Ricci can shoot, tackle, pass, dribble in a manner rarely seen outside a computer game. But can he pull a beautiful blind sculptor to make a model of his head for a ridiculous pop video. Who knows?

Trivia: Second choice goalkeeper Glorious Esteban spends his entire spare time watching his DVD of the Jodie Foster film Contact.

Odds 8-1


Form: Moist. The Super Bandits have enjoyed the usual trouble-free passage to the finals. Apart from training camps being filled with people under the impression they have been invited by email to play for Nigeria, the Bandits have also been dogged by controversy over accusations that some of their players aren’t as young as their birth certificates would claim. Strasbourg Colostomy striker Woodwork Mputago (pictured) has been forced to deny accusations that he is a lot older than the 76 years he admits to, whilst Hammersmith Apollo’s Brian Showadiwadi had to pull out of the squad after heat exhaustion blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

Tactics: The senior citizens of the tournament rely on politeness from younger teams, often having the goal held open for them, the ball wrapped in a hot water bottle and the rules explained to them in a slow, patronising manner by that nice referee.

: The veteran firefighter of football, Franz Pfister, now in his eightieth year and with his fifteenth national role. Pfister, fresh from his surprise success with Cameroon at the Eurovision Song Contest, is one of the great innovators of the game. “Before I entered football, one merely bribed referees with money. I was the first to kidnap their fucking kids and threaten them.” Such business nous sees Pfister combine football management with a seat on the board of Shell.

Star Player: Fireworks Bando. Bando is the tallest player at the tournament. Married to Nigerian weathergirl, Miriam Steakhousegrills, Bando is revered as a god by many back home and his goal celebration of urinating on the corner flag is sure to wow the worldwide audience.

Trivia: Nigeria’s first coach was seventies sitcom star Deryck Guyler, in between filming series of Please Sir.

Odds: 66-1

South Korea

Form: I don’t fucking know, do I? They’re from Asia. I could look it up on Wikipedia but what’s the point. They qualified, right. So they did ok.

: Hoping that Nigeria and Greece are worse than they are. The 2002 hosts were the beneficiaries of some astonishing refereeing decisions eight years ago, not least the decision to abandon the game against Italy shortly after taking the lead, with the referee’s excuse of “wanting to improve everybody’s work/life balance” ratified by FIFA after a three day break in Tenby.

Manager: Burt Kwouk. A leftfield appointment to say the least, The former star of the Clouseau films team talks usually begin with leaping out of a cupboard and attacking his star players with a household mop.

Star Player: Hung Chi-Chi. Just signed for German side Frankfurt Dyspraxia, the dimunitive Korean is nicknamed Penny Farthing on account of having a barely descended right testicle.

Trivia: South Korea’s World Cup song for this tournament is a rewrite of Pavement’s Cut Your Hair featuring the line “Korea, Korea” instead of “Career, Career”. To be honest I don’t think they rewrote or re-recorded it to be honest. Nice one, Californian angular indie men.

Odds 200-1


Form: The last team to qualify from Europe thanks to some clever use of Socratic dialogue in the match against Lithuania who were convinced of the ethical importance of conceding a late Greek winner.

Tactics: Inventors of the 1-2-3-4 formation, the Greeks are masters of the counter-attack, often sneaking one in at the death. Prone to own goals apparently, if the rumours about sticking it in the wrong end are anything to go by.

Manager: Harry Hercules. The most corrupt manager in Greek football and believed to be personally responsible for much of the country’s debt, Hercules insists that being paid in cash personally for football transfers is “just the way my family have always done business.” Rumours that the Elgin Marbles are in fact a down payment on the Hercules outstanding gambling debts persist to this day.

Star Player
: Aristotle Snuffalofocus. The HIV Corfu centre-half has been the captain of Greece for the last five years. Wealth has brought him a string of women normally unavailable to people with a face like a sunburnt Jimmy Nail – “If I’d been born handsome, you’d never have heard of George Best”, he says.

Trivia: The motto of the Greek Football Federation translates as “Do You Want Salad With That?”

Odds: 80-1

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