The world cup often causes a rumpus in the Bret household, with myself supporting Italy--Portugal, if Italy are eliminated--and Mrs B supporting England, mindless of the fact that my chaps more often than not look like matinee idols, while the England team have often looked like York Street residents. The organisers always secretly hope for England to go out in the first round so that the hooligans for which we are infamous may go home. Not the players' fault, of course.
This time, I must confess, England have a chance--so long as Hodgson doesn't put Rooney in for the sake of it, and the expense of fitter blood. It's sad though that the opening match is with the Azzuri.
I first became an Azzuri fanatic in 1990 when 'Piaf' was published in Italy--though I moaned loudly about the unlucky green cover.
Not long afterwards, Roberto Baggio bought a whole box full, and soon after that I received support from the Italian boys after I published 'Gracie Fields'--one of them had a home on Capri. Since then, during trips to Italy I've managed to meet a few of them--on one occasion over lunch in Burger King, of all places!--and courtesy of Gigi Buffon I have a nice shirt which will see me eschewing my regular black for Sunday's match.
Let's hope I'll be wearing it all the way through the competition!