FORGET the mercurial Lionel Messi, or the predatory Miroslav Klose, it’s septuagenarian Mick Jagger who will really settle this weekend’s World Cup final.
Just as Paul the Octopus did eight years ago in Germany, the Rolling Stones front man has been propelled as some kind of mystical soothsayer by the international media.
Ridiculous as it sounds, every team that old Mick has been seen or heard to endorse – be it with a baseball cap, or a Twitter prediction, have gone on to crash and burn.
It got so bad in the semi-finals that Brazilian fans brought cardboard cut-outs of him to their game dressed in German kit.
I’ll bet the whole daft story has given Mick great, ahem, Satisfaction. But the temptation to put out a good luck message before the final must be hard to resist.
Something along the lines of “can’t make my mind up who to back in this final, Argentina or Germany” would send footie fans hurtling towards a 19th nervous breakdown.
Whether Mick is in attendance or not, I hope the final exemplifies what an entertaining tournament it has been and doesn’t just fade away.
There have been good times and bad times and I know you can’t always get what you want, but what a shame it would be if the game turned out to be a repeat of last time.
Before someone calls the Rolling Stones pun police, I do genuinely hope the creative players like Messi, Angel di Maria and Mesut Ozil are given space to play, rather than stay shackled.
Holland did an impressive job on Messi in the semi-final but I can’t help feel they were preoccupied in their defensive duties and forgot to try to win.
Germany clearly coasted into the final but some are predicting that Phillip Lahm will be moved out of the back four to man-mark Messi – and that opens up their Achilles heel at the back, a real lack of pace.
Before the final we have the world’s most pointless game, the third-fourth place play-off.
I have already moaned in this tournament about England’s one dalliance with this daft, FIFA money-spinner, but at least Bobby Robson’s side had their pride in place when they met Italy in 1990.
Brazil’s players must wonder whether they will be pelted with rotten tomatoes – or Mick Jagger cut-outs – if they lose to the Dutch in a meaningless 90 minutes.
Mick has actually hit back at the claims he jinxed Brazil’s semi-final, quipping: “I’ll take responsibility for the first German goal, but not the other six.”
In a competition where the British invasion has fallen flat on its face, it’s good to see we’ve still kept our humour!
Ilesy’s TV heaven THANKS to the magic of the Danish rail system, I should be back in Copenhagen in plenty of time to watch the final after covering FC Vestjaelland v Wanderers. Bonus!
Ilesy’s TV hell Apparently there is a British-themed bar in Copenhagen boasting the full English experience: “Chiles, Townsend,Tyldesley and a pint.” Think I might give that one a miss, actually.