Friday, June 30, 2006

spinachdip's guide to the 2006 World Cup: England vs Portugal

Saturday, July 1

England vs Portugal
(11 am ET ABC/Univision)

David Beckham is Jessica Alba, Luis Figo is Jack Nicholson

Both Becks and Jessica are really pretty. But they aren't that pretty and they're not that good. Beckham is, at best, the fourth best midfielder for England and possibly the fifth most dangerous player on a team that hasn't looked exactly dangerous. And we all know Paul Walker was the star in Into the Blue (plus, I liked Alexis Bledel better in Sin City). Still, they managed to parlay their pretty faces and tight bodies into becoming the biggest people on the planet. You gotta admire that. That said, it's infuriating to watch England play - loaded with talent, yet they play this boring, unimaginative brand of football. They could be beating up on teams, yet they're content to beat Ecuador and Paraguay 1-0. Same with Jessica Alba - I wish she'd do something other than looking pretty and, I don't know, pose for Playboy or something.

Figo and Jack are the elder statesmen of their fields. They can pretty much get away with anything, be it head butting an opponent or playing the same character over the last 30 years. But hey, they both still have a little bit of that magic left and combine well with their younger counterparts, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Kathy Bates. Though the stakes are high for Figo - he won't have Deco, suspended for a red card against Holland, running things in midfield and Cristiano's giraffe-like body is less than 100% fit.

Not sure what to make of this match here. Wayne Rooney showed flashes of brilliance against Ecuador, but he's being wasted in England's "kick really hard" strategy and he doesn't have a decent strike partner. We'll see how Cristiano Ronaldo looks - both he and Figo can still terrorize the defense, though the English backline has looked adequate so far.

Fearless prediction: England 1 - 1 Portugal, England wins in penalties

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