It's only now that it's really starting to sink in. As British TV clogs up with pompous football-themed ads about 'destiny' and 'belief' (but strangely not penalty shoot-outs) and the fitness of West Ham defenders makes headlines, we have to sit here in the Thierry Henry-created vacuum. No official World Cup songs, not even a 'Packie saves with Irish Permanent' banner. So, if you want to follow the World Cup passionately rather than passively and get the bunting out, you've got to adopt someone. Here are a few suggestions.


Permanently in the shadow of imperialist neighbours and have also lost generations to emigration. Have finally overcome a few decades of disappointment to get a ticket for the big dance. Play functional but not exactly fantasy football. Hmmm, there was a team like this in Italia '90.


Argentina has more Irish links than almost anyone else in the tournament. Indeed, it's the home of the fifth-largest Irish community in the world, with over 500,000 Argentines claiming to have some green in their otherwise sky-blue and white blood. Famous Irish-Argentines of the past include Che [Shay?] Guevara and Guillermo Brown, the creator of the Argentine navy. Apart from all that, it'd be fun following a team containing the genius of Leo Messi and insanity of Diego Maradona.

Mexico/South Africa/ Uruguay

They're all playing Thierry Henry. Not that we're suggesting you're bitter or anything.

North Korea

We know virtually nothing about them. They bring an all too literal meaning to the term 'Group of Death'. In short, they're severe underdogs.


Half of Galway can claim kinship with them and, well, they're good aren't they?