FOR the budding World Cup geeks out there, here is part two of my guide to the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
All the teams that have qualified for the finals have been linked to their science fiction counterparts – click here for part one of my World Cup 2010 guide.
Burst onto the scene 20-odd years ago when they turned the World Cup in Italy on its head. Since then have done nothing to match that.
Very exciting going forward, but prone to mistakes at the back, making them unpredictable.
Cameroon are … The Greatest American Hero
Hard working and consistent, Denmark have had better teams than this one, but will compensate for a lack of stars with hard work.Have I mentioned they are hard working?
However, their lack of class may tell in the end.
Denmark are … Stargate Atlantis
The great unknowables of this and any World Cup. Fantastically talented and open to experimental tactics, with a questioning and thoughtful nature.
That questioning nature also makes them vulnerable to dissent in the camp and tempremental outbursts, which can be self-destructive.
Holland are … Starbuck from new BSG
Willing and well drilled, but basically cannon fodder.
Japan are … Star Trek security
Despite their aging squad, Italy are the defending champions and go into the tournament as a team that must not be underestimated.
The question is whether they can cope and match their previous glories.
Italy are … Obi Wan Kenobi
Did well to qualify, but have a World Cup legacy of getting their arse kicked – even by Scotland.
That won’t change this time around. More cannon fodder.
New Zealand are … Rebel soldiers
Considerting they are up against South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina in qualifying, they are great overachievers in World Cup terms and will be trying to get out of the group stage.
They will be helped by a refusal to acknowledge their limited playing resources and an entertaining and attacking playing style.
Paraguay are … Red Dwarf
World Cup newcomers who may do well, the Slovakian coach has bravely pledged to attack New Zealand in their opening game.
Slovakia are … Chuck
Supercool footballing superheroes from another world, Brazil are used to winning with swagger, arrogance and panache.
Known for trying things which seem crazy to their opponents, but which they can get away with due to their brilliance.
Brazil are … Han Solo
Underdogs in the group, but have considerable individual talent to call upon.
However the squad is filled with tempremental membersand will need strong leadership to stay in line. Their manager is Sven Goran Eriksson, who is to hard line leadership what the Emperor is to holding hands and writing poems.
The Ivory Coast are … Blake’s Seven
Mindless, faceless drones of a despotic regime.
North Korea are … Imperial Stormtroopers
Led by an outstanding, but egotistical and preening superstar who would step over his team-mates’ still twitching corpses for a new bottle of fake tan, Portugal are a match for anyone when their mind is on the job.
Questions continue to be asked over how much of a team they are and how good they an be because of that.
Portugal are … Zap Brannigan and his crew from Futurama
Dangerous underdogs with a massive advantage given their familiarity of playing at altitude.
Chile should be easy meat, but have an unconventional attacking system which could catch out bigger opponents.
Chile are … Mal and crew of Serenity
More harmless cannon fodder, but may spring a shock if teams switch off against them.
Honduras are … the Ewoks
Always phenomenally talented, but always absent from the tournament when the business end comes around owing to a failure to convert that ability into results.
Over the last few years tough, a golden generation of talent has seem them really come good, winning the European Championships and a host of admirers due to their skill and ability.
Spain are … The Doctor
Utterly unremarkable in every aspect. I’m almost falling asleep as I write this.