How exciting is this. By tomorrow night, the entire month of June (and hopefully the first part of July) will be laid out for every football-loving man and woman of English descent. And their partners. And their kids. And their pets. And their parents.
Forget weddings, christenings, bar mitzvahs, working and all that malarky. This is football. This is the World bloody Cup. Six weeks every four years when the supermarkets sell dirt-cheap lager and our entire happiness relies on the performance of 11 men in white shirts.
Me and the boys have been taking a good, hard look at the seedings, and we've come up with a potential route to the final that could make winning the World Cup a doddle.
Let's start with the group stages. If we get lucky, England could draw Honduras, Algeria and Slovakia and find themselves in Group B. The Group of eternal life. There's a group even Hull City could win. Maybe even Jimmy Bullard on his own. So we march forward and win it easily.
Next up England play the runners-up in Group A, where the top seeds will be South Africa. Now let's just say the other three teams are North Korea, Chile and Slovenia. Which is possible. England can beat any of those, surely.
In the quarters, England would then take on either the winner of Group C, or the runner-up in D. What we're banking on here is an upset. But let's just say that match is Argentina (who are rubbish) against the USA (who are pretty good). And the USA win.
England beat the American soccerballers, and suddenly we're in the semis.
More luck needed. Holland and Italy both win their groups, but lose to Australia and New Zealand in the second round. England then get the Aussies in the last four.
Meanwhile, all hell is breaking loose on the other half of the draw. Spain, Holland, Germany and France all go out, and we're left with Brazil v surprise package South Africa, who are riding a wave of partisan support.
Guess what.Brazil lose on penalties. It's England v South Africa in the World Cup final. Beckham scores a hat-trick and England lift the trophy.
ENGLAND'S EASY ROUTE TO WORLD CUP GLORY
Group Stage - England, Honduras, Algeria, Slovakia
Second round - North Korea
Quarter-finals - USA
Semi-finals - Australia
Final - South Africa
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