Biggest World Cup losers? Brazilian Garth Brooks fans . . .

Tears from country and western fans, Argentinians and Brazilians – it’s been emotional

Nigel de Jong was seen by Johnny Giles as the only plan to stop  Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters

Nigel de Jong was seen by Johnny Giles as the only plan to stop Argentina’s Lionel Messi. Photograph: Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters


The morning after the night before and as 18,766,512 people on the tweet machine said: “Imagine if you were a Brazilian Garth Brooks fan with tickets for Croke Park?”

That’s the thing, no matter the depth of your woes, there’s always someone worse off, and no one will ever be more miserably off than the Brazilian Garth Brooks fans with tickets for Croke Park who watched RTÉ’s adieu on Tuesday night, the station’s chosen tune, warbled by the man in the stetson, accompanied by images of all seven German goals, going like this: “And now, I’m glad I didn’t know, the way it all would end, the way it all would go...”

If Brazilian Garth Brooks fans with tickets for Croke Park picket Montrose forever, carrying placards saying ‘Down With This Sort Of Heartless Thing’, it’d be hard to blame them.

Meanwhile, over on ITV yesterday Adrian Chiles asked Fabio Cannavaro what Italy would have done if they’d lost 7-1 in the World Cup semi-finals and the stud (Fabio, not Adrian) nearly blew the top off his microphone with gusty terror.

“Maybe we can stay in the changing room for two weeks,” he said, and he wasn’t jesting, adding that he reckoned it was a bit disrespectful of the Germans to keep on scoring, his heart torn asunder by the Brazilians’ Last Dance. And Fabio’s Italian, let you forget. A footballing nation not largely known to say “ah bless”.

Lee Dixon intervened at this point to defend the Germans, possibly a first for Lee, noting that it was difficult for them because every time they got the ball in the top half of the field, “it was impossible not to score”.

Gelding True, that, and it can’t be easy, finding it hard not to score, Liam Brady likening Brazil to “a racehorse that heats up in the paddock and runs its race before the race has even started”.

Many, of course, would have argued that Brazil was a gelding – ie missing a vital component (no, not Neeeeeighmar) – but we won’t go in to that, let it go, move on, what’s done it done.

Would Argentina v Holland/Netherlands be as wacky?

Well, unlikely, but still, you expected a goal or eight, the standard had been set, so you felt enormously cheated when the net failed to be wrinkled as we approached the early hours of the morning.

Back on ITV Glenn Hoddle had forecast a Dutch triumph, not because of their attacking fabulousness, but because he was staying in the same hotel as the Hollerland lads and they all seemed really, really happy.

That, he told Adrian, was the reason he was tipping them to progress to the final, their smiley faces so smiley he sensed their team bonding, even at the hotel carvery, was so bondy there was no stopping them.

Martin O’Neill stared at his espadrilles, wondering (a) why these things were on his feet and (b) why was he working with the same channel that employed Glenn.

That, though, gave Glenn a distinct advantage over the RTÉ men, all of whom are as far away from the Dutch team hotel in Sao Paulo as the rest of us, but it didn’t stop them offering their non-carvery-familiar opinions.

The plan for Messi?

“De Jong,” Gilesie chuckled, a bit evily.

And that was the worry, that the fecker would chest-stud our man in to the middle of next week. De Jong, not Gilesie. Match time.

The ref? Cuneyt Cakir.

“You might remember him, he was the man who sent off Keith Andrews in Euro 2012,” said George Hamilton, and we nodded, like we knew.

To cut a very long story short: 0-0.

Eamon: “I think Holland will win the penalty shoot out convincingly. I don’t like the body language of the Argentinian players. They almost look demoralized. And the manager looks like he’s about to burst out crying.”

And with that Argentina won the penalty shoot-out, their manager bursting out crying with tears of considerable joy.

The Last Dance is his.

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