In Part III of the Euro Polkraine Preview we take a look at the teams in Groups C & D
GROUP C. Cigarettes, Italian suits, shifty bribes and one very sexy girl
Croatia: What’s the over/under on Croatian fans contracting chronic breathing difficulties as a direct result of second hand smoke emitting from the technical area? Considering Slaven Bilic puffs away like Don Draper on speed, the odds have got be evens right?
Italy: When questioned about the matching fixing scandal that has rocked Italy (not for the first time!) Coach Cesare Prandelli indicated he would have no problem if his side was barred from Polkraine. “To be perfectly honest I’d rather spend my summer on the Amalfi coast with George Clooney,” he said. “The fashion in Ukraine is so 80’s, the pasta tastes like cardboard, and Polish wine tastes like fermented potatoes. Polkraine sounds like a horrible, uncultured place.”
Rep. of Ireland: Giovanni Trapattoni has spent his time at the helm moulding the Irish in the image of Italian footballers past and present. John O’Shea wears silk boxers, Damien Duff sports a girlie headband, Robbie Keane was spotted driving an Alfa, and his striking partner Kevin Doyle is taking lessons from Pippo Inzaghi on the art of excessive and annoying over-celebrating. Meanwhile Trap has called Fabio Grosso into training camp for a high intensive simulation on the art of simulation. Finally Richard Dunne has been caught practising the dark art of slipping an envelope under the table. Trap is confident his team can buy a win...figuratively speaking of course.
Spain: Before 2008 football was fun, a more innocent time, when the talented Spaniards were perennial losers. Nothing was more enjoyable than watching ‘experts’ make the obvious prediction that ‘this will be Spain’s year’, only to watch them (predictably) fall short of the mark. Pre-2008 Spain was Andy Murray before Andy was Andy Murray. Now the footballing world is topsy-turvy as Spain gun for an (unprecedented) third consecutive major trophy. Beset by injuries to key players (Villa & Puyol), Spain will have to rely of the cunning and guile of Miss Nando Torres to defend their title.
TIP: Spain (always an obvious pick) to progress, along with my big upset Republic of Ireland...on the back of a 1-0 win and two nil all draws that puts the collective population of Polkraine to sleep but increases the global sale of Guinness exponentially.
GROUP D. John Terry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the French. Is this Euro 2012 or the Federation of Worldwide Wankers International Convention?
England: So many issues, so little time: the Rooney suspension; the Ferdinand omission; the Barry and Cahill injuries; Woy and the Liverpudlians; the hilarious comparisons to Greece 2004. Yet nothing looms larger than the spectre of racism that hangs over Polkraine. Sol Campbell has raised legitimate fears that ethnic minorities will be targeted with abuse during the tournament. Let’s just hope the FA and Roy Hodgson do the right thing and tell John Terry to keep his opinions to himself.
France: The French saunter into Polkraine riding the crest of an 18 game undefeated streak, making them the hottest team in Europe. Usually France is hounded by stories jealousy, greed, corruption, a major dummy spit and at least one unpaid prostitute...or was that last night’s episode of Revenge?
Sweden: Sweden’s hopes rest on the broad shoulders of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I love Zlatan. He’s the Steven Seagal of world football...big and burly with great skills and an attitude in serious need of adjustment. If Zlatan had his own aftershave it would smell just like Zlatan, the overwhelming scent of overconfidence. Unfortunately for Zlatan, as enjoyable as Seagal’s tippy, tappy, grabby, pissy little hand wrestle moves were, he could never match up against the likes of Arnie, Sly, Van Damme or Willis.
Ukraine: Welcome to Euro 2012, the unofficial Andriy Shevchenko testimonial, where all proceeds are donated to support the extravagant lifestyle of Sheva in retirement. And I thought Torres was the only multi-million dollar Chelsea bust who would feature in Polkraine. Seriously though, with the Czech Republic fielding Milan Baros, is it too late for Spain to call on Raul? If Italy recalls del Piero and England wheel out Teddy Sheringham (and his colostomy bag), we can field a geriatric team.
TIP: France’s fabulous form continues. England to raise the hopes of sunburned Brits worldwide by qualifying for the next round, before exiting on penalties.
We’re going into EXTRA TIME...Part IV of this III part preview coming soon!