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Of necessity, the World Cup is quite clannish.
Half the world will get behind the Spanish,
The other half will champion the Dutch,
For whom sweet victory will surely banish
The hurt of losing finals, inasmuch
As that peculiar pain can ever vanish.
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Total football had us all enamoured –
Fluency while all around them stammered.
We marvelled long at Neeskens, Cruyff and Krol.
Those who pitted wits against them clamoured
For extra packs of paracetamol,
Yet still wound up indubitably hammered.
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However, when it really, truly mattered,
Their wondrous total football merely flattered,
Losing two World finals on the trot.
The skilful players were targetted and clattered
And never given space to take a shot –
Thus was a nation’s optimism shattered.
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Despite that, I’ll be singing like a linnet
If Spain score in the ninety second minute
And get to hold that little trophy high.
It’s not because they are the best team in it
(My sympathies with Holland surely lie)
But because I’ve fifty quid on Spain to win it.