It's name game in Round of 16
I confess I was a late arrival for the Brazil vs Chile opening game in the Round of 16 on Saturday after my trip to Sainsbury's ran into extra-time.
Sorry, I'll have to stop there. Round of 16? It's the last 16, always was, always will be. I know you have other issues to deal with, but sort it out Sepp or I'll blatter you.
Anyway I was slightly confused as I'm sure Gary Lineker said Guy Martin was in the commentary box, and had a vision of him sitting with the sweat dripping off his sideburns and things getting very clammy in his leathers.
It turns out it was Guy Mowbray and Martin Keown with both keen to show how much they knew about the players' names.
Mowbray started with how it was a revelation that Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is known as King Arthur and would be 'vital to Chile's hopes of putting the hosts to the sword.' His team-mates were, no doubt, the knights of the round of 16 table.
More was to come with Gary Medel, as Keown revealed that 'they call him the pit bull.' You can only imagine what you've been called over the years.
Vidal popped up again, with another nickname and still not 'Wash and Go', but this time the 'warrior' with Mowbray stunning us all by breaking into a bit of foreign lingo with 'Il Guerriero'.
There were a few more, with Bravo, Diaz, Isla and Mena in their team or Juliet, Cameron, St Clair and Billy to their chums.
Despite all this at no time were we told the nicknames of Brazil stars Fred, Jo, Bernard or Hulk and there was no reference to the fact that Neymar got his name because he has no mother.
As Alexis Carrington-Colby Sanchez levelled matters up, Mowbray expressed his wish to 'hear Alan 'Mmm Bop' Hansen's take on that Brazilian defending.'
King Arturo obviously had extracted the sword from the stone and so at half-time it was over to the gruff granite-like Scottish warrior, Hansen, to boom out 'I've got to say, Guy, I don't really have the words.' Not so much William Wallace as Mavis Riley.
But spare a thought for Mowbray, who thought all his dreams had come true when Hulk popped up to score the winner for Brazil, prompting a voice-trembling 'Hulk ... incredible' only for the small matter that it had been disallowed meaning he'll never get the chance to use it ever again.
In the shoot-out he reappeared, Keown wondering if 'he's going to be the Fall Guy' clearly getting his cult TV shows mixed up, but Hulk is a good old boy and never meant any harm with that handball earlier.
Cool Chiles is glad all over
A bit of World Cup history arrived in the blistering heat on Saturday with the first ever ‘Cooling Break’.
And it didn’t come a moment too soon for Adrian Chiles, whose tell-tale darkened auxtas in his ill-chosen khaki polo shirt on Copacabana Beach showed that things are certainly hotting up in the knock-out stage.
The temperatures were even higher in Fortaleza where the Dutch were red-hot and the Mexicans warmer than a big plate of chilli, thus necessitating the referee bringing play to a halt by signalling a ‘T’ with his hands.
My mum also used to tell me that tea would cool me down a lot quicker too.
I thought it was going to be the same as Chiles asked Martin O’Neill who’ll be Gladys, and I had an image of a wee Brazilian woman pushing a trolley out wearing only a green and yellow tabard, but it turns out he asked who would be gladdest.
- ITV’s Matt Smith smirkingly talking about the |‘stereotypeopolous’ of Greek players. Indeed, it’s |a bit like saying all Englishmen are called Smith...