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June 14, 2006

No go for my Togo

Well, it nearly went alright for Togo - they even held the lead for a while, causing me to explode with joy, and then laughter at their somewhat bizarre goal celebrations - but in the end South Korea got the win everyone expected them to. What nobody expected, well I didn't anyway, was the sight of English referee Graham Poll sporting a cheeky Tintin-esque quiff. I quite fancy one myself. I missed the opening couple of minutes of this one, as I was running late back from town. I can pretty much guarantee I was the only person on Crete rushing home to watch Togo kick off.

I would have quite happily missed a considerable amount of the France - Switzerland snorefest, which stretched France's run of World Cup Finals matches without a goal to 360 minutes plus the last few seconds of the 1998 final. And, well, that was about all there was to say about it.

Then it was time to enter Brazil, and enter the Berlin Olympic Stadium, which made me relive the great time we had there in January this year, when Berlin was the first stop on our tour of Europe. Which also actually took in Croatia, Brazil's opponents last night.

Martin in the Berlin Olympic Stadium

One thankful side effect of living in Greece is that I don't have to listen to BBC & ITV pundits waxing lyrical over how simply wonderful the Brazilians are. I've never bought this whole Brazil as your second team nonsense. Someone in the Guardian suggested hoping Brazil do well in the World Cup is like supporting the USA in the Olympics medal table - demographics are going to do the business for them regardless. Great goal at the death of the first half from Kaka, mind you, just when Croatia looked like they had seen off the first 45 minutes. Respect was due to the Croatian fans who, even in defeat, made a fearsome noise in what is a mighty big arena.


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