World Cup Preview

Last updated : 29 May 2002 By SM


What they will say - There'll be a carnival in Rio, Samba Superstars etc.

What they won't say - That Edmundo's a nice, sensible lad.

Strengths - Large breasted female supporters.

Weaknesses - Large breasted male supporters.

Chances - Scheidt.

Tabloid Hell - Ronaldo Shares A Dentist With My Hamster.

What they will say - And here comes the stretcher.

What they won't say - And the FIFA Fair Play award goes to.

Strengths - Being red blooded.

Weaknesses - Getting red carded.

Chances - Recoba-d.

Tabloid Hell - Paolo Montero Crippled My Hamster.


What they will say - They once had a flukey, jammy one nil victory over the mighty England in 1950.

What they won't say - England were lucky to get nil.

Strengths - Claudio Reyna has no fear.

Weaknesses - Claudio Reyna has no neck.

Chances - Cram it up yo ass.

Tabloid Hell - Dan Quayle Mis-Spelt 'My Hamster'.


What they will say - It's a dog eat dog competition.

What they won't say - It's a man eat dog restaurant.

Strengths - Home advantage.

Weaknesses - Having a worse record in the World Cup than Scotland.

Chances - Poor wee Seouls.

Tabloid Hell - Delicious Meal Included My Hamster.


What they will say - Football goes in cycles.

What they won't say - Fans travel on cycles.

Strengths - The ability to construct a defensive wall that's visible from space.

Weaknesses - Once you've seen them play, you want to watch them again 30 minutes later.

Chances - Beijings, crivvens and help ma boab.

Tabloid Hell - Chairman Mao Oppressed My Hamster.


What they will say - Is that Henry Rollins in goal?

What they won't say - Paolo Maldini obviously got his good looks from his father.

Strengths - Defense.

Weaknesses - Everything else.

Chances - Arce.

Tabloid Hell - Cesare Maldini Bears A Striking Resemblance To My Hamster.


What they will say - We beat Scotland in the World Cup.

What they won't say - Everyone beats Scotland in the World Cup.

Strengths - Coffee beans.

Weaknesses - Has-beens.

Chances - Costa Reeking.

Tabloid Hell - Paolo Wanchope Gangled My Hamster.


What they will say - There's a great ball from the Arsenal player to the Chelsea player.

What they won't say - There's a great performance from the Man Utd goalie.

Strengths - The early starts won't interrupt French fans in the shower.

Weaknesses - In a recent friendly they only managed to beat Scotland 5-0.

Chances - Tres formidable.

Tabloid Hell - Jean-Marie Le Pen Received A Vote From My Hamster.


What they will say - Can we check your passport, Mr Couto?

What they won't say - Can you recommend a good barber, Mr Xavier?

Strengths - Talented individuals.

Weaknesses - Talented individuals.

Chances - Wouldn't Beto on it

Tabloid Hell - Abel Xavier Bleached My Hamster


What they will say - They make Scotland look like overachievers.

What they won't say - Hey Manuel, clear a place on the mantelpiece for the trophy.

Strengths - Getting there.

Weaknesses - Staying there.

Chances - Nada.

Tabloid Hell - Basque Terrorists Blew Up My Hamster


What they will say - Danish pasting.

What they won't say - If only Jan Bartram was still playing.

Strengths - Inspire tabloid sub-editors to a million 'Great Danes' headlines.

Weaknesses - Pundit appearances by a red-nosed Peter Schmeichel may affect your vertical hold.

Chances - To Helveg and back.

Tabloid Hell - Michael Laudrup Dribbled Round My Hamster.


What they will say - How do you pronounce that?

What they won't say - Swierczewski, Kryszalowicz, Krzynowek.

Strengths - All the players provide an excellent score in Scrabble.

Weaknesses - Losing to England in qualifying matches.

Chances - We came, Warsaw, were conquered.

Tabloid Hell - German Troops Invaded My Hamster.


What they will say - Quinton Fortune plays for Man Utd.

What they won't say - Tinkler? Sounds a bit pish.

Strengths - They represent The Rainbow Nation.

Weaknesses - There's no pot of gold at the end of it.

Chances - Issa no good.

Tabloid Hell - Nelson Mandela Incarcerated With My Hamster.


What they will say - Flares on the trousers.

What they won't say - Flair on the pitch.

Strengths - You'll never forget your first time.

Weaknesses - Vast capacity for vodka.

Chances - They put the 'Sloven' in 'Slovenly'.

Tabloid Hell - Soviet Forces Invaded My Hamster.


What they will say - Have you seen Midnight Express?

What they won't say - Turkey have seen midday success.

Strengths - The name 'Tugay' is a source of unlimited hilarity.

Weaknesses - Souness will be on the telly as a pundit.

Chances - Load of Istanbul.

Tabloid Hell - Squalid Jail Cell For My Hamster.


What they will say - Fine and Diandy.

What they won't say - What a big Cisse.

Strengths - Unknown quantity.

Weaknesses - Unknown quantity.

Chances - Don't be Daf.

Tabloid Hell - Titi Camara Snapped My Hamster.


What they will say - 1966, 1966, 1966, 1966, 1966 ,1966, 1966, 1966.

What they won't say - 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998.

Strengths - Foreign manager.

Weaknesses - Penalty shoot-outs.

Chances - Truly Dyer.

Tabloid Hell - Ulrika Jonsson Shagged My Hamster.


What they will say - Dark horses.

What they won't say - Dark hair.

Strengths - Getting busty supporters on camera.

Weaknesses - So much of a one man band they may as well strap cymbals
to their knees.

Chances - Smorgasbord-ering on the ridiculous.

Tabloid Hell - Tomas Brolin Ate Four Fish Suppers, Twelve Beefburgers,
A Vat Of Lard And My Hamster.


What they will say - Hold still...and chee-eese! Hey, nice picture!

What they won't say - The Japanese players are head and shoulders
above the opposition.

Strengths - Playing the tournament during the rainy season may negate
the need to use water cannons on unruly England fans.

Weaknesses - Basically it's Hidetoshi Nakata and ten others.

Chances - More chance of winning on Banzai TV.

Tabloid Hell - Japanese Tourists Photographed My Hamster.


What they will say - Emerged from the rubble of war-torn Yugoslavia.

What they won't say - Hey Boksic, fancy playing Lurch in a remake of The Addams Family?

Strengths - Shirt can be used as a makeshift chequers board.

Weaknesses - Couldn't beat Scotland in the qualifiers.

Chances - Load of Balkans

Tabloid Hell - Robert Prosinecki Smoked My Hamster.


What they will say - Another early exit.

What they won't say - Look at these colourful, madcap supporters.

Strengths - Bureaucracy.

Weaknesses - Tedium.

Chances - Sonck without a trace.

Tabloid Hell - Plastic Bertrand Duetted With My Hamster.


What they will say - Pack your bags, boys - we're off to the World Cup.

What they won't say - 14 pairs of socks should be enough.

Strengths - Four of the squad play in Italy for Genoa.

Weaknesses - Genoa are rubbish.

Chances - It'll go from Badra to worse.

Tabloid Hell - A Camel Took A Shine To My Hamster.


What they will say - Teutonic efficiency, For you Fritz ze World Cup is over, Panzer divisions etc.

What they won't say - They'll be popular winners.

Strengths - 5% vol.

Weaknesses - Michael Owen.

Chances - Load of number zwei.

Tabloid Hell - Tony Schumacher Collided With My Hamster.


What they will say - Why haven't they picked Gianfranco Zola?

What they won't say - Why haven't they picked Lorenzo Amoruso?

Strengths - Defensive play.

Weaknesses - Defending their defensive play.

Chances - Vieri good.

Tabloid Hell - My Mother Is Hairier Than My Hamster.

Saudi Arabia

What they will say - They've had more coaches than Citylink.

What they won't say - The drinks are on me.

Strengths - Sobriety.

Weaknesses - A preponderance of moustaches makes them likely to be mistaken for the Italian players' mothers.

Chances - No great Sheiks.

Tabloid Hell - Saudi Authorities Beheaded My Hamster.


What they will say - Psst, want to buy some weapons grade uranium?

What they won't say - Bring us back some duty free vodka.

Strengths - Nikiforov, Karpin, Alenichev.

Weaknesses - Kanchelskis.

Chances - Are you taking the Yuran?

Tabloid Hell - Boris Yeltsin Drank My Hamster.


What they will say - Luck of the Irish, blarney stone, if only for

What they won't say - Shay Given does his bit for the Irish peace
process by decommissioning his arms from making any saves.

Strengths - Having the support of the fans, the pundits and the Board
of Directors at Celtic Park.

Weaknesses - A worrying lack of potato-based meals in the Far East.

Chances - Duff.

Tabloid Hell - Liam Brady Managed My Hamster.


What they will say - African Champions, Olympic Champions.

What they won't say - Let's roll our sleeves up lads.

Strengths - Their coach is German.

Weaknesses - Their defence is Jerry-built.

Chances - Likely to Mboma out.

Tabloid Hell - Roger Milla Did A Merry Jig Around My Hamster.


What they will say - Kanu.

What they won't say - Nwankwu.

Strengths - Julius Aghahowa's Olga Korbett impression.

Weaknesses - Tragically, Nwankwo Kanu has the smallest head in world

Chances - You Kanu be serious.

Tabloid Hell - Taribo West Broke My Hamster.


What they will say - Gotcha.

What they won't say - Beatcha.

Strengths - Goal scoring.

Weaknesses - Goring, Scholes, Beckham et al.

Chances - Muy Bien.

Tabloid Hell - Claudio Caniggia Snorted My Hamster.


What they will say - The flight of the condors.

What they won't say - Quito while you're ahead.

Strengths -Many of their squad play abroad.

Weaknesses - Unfortunately De La Cruz plays for Hibs.

Chances - This is going to Hurtado.

Tabloid Hell - Altitude Sickness Affected My Hamster.


What they will say - Vamos a Texas.

What they won't say - Welcome to Texas.

Strengths - 40% vol tequila.

Weaknesses - Montezuma's revenge.

Chances - Distinctly chili.

Tabloid Hell - Cuauhtemoc Blanco Did Bunny Jumps Using My Hamster.