Thursday, 5 December 2013 "World Cup Nation" Australia


James Clark

A devout follower of everything football from the burgeoning A-League in my native Australia, to the super powers of the Champions League, Premier League, and La Liga. I’m mocked by friends for an Antipodean life governed by Greenwich Mean Time. My football DNA cannot be altered, and I proudly wear my “night-owl” status as a badge of honour.


1. What round will your country reach?
Mixed feelings divide the Aussie football fan landscape but the general consensus is the Socceroos will compete strongly in Brazil. However we’re more likely to enjoy a chartered Qantas flight back across the Pacific and be back Down Under after the completion of the first round group stage.

2. Who does your country most fear?
Brazil or France After being on the wrong side of two damaging 6-0 “friendly” defeats to Brazil and France, we’re hoping to avoid either of these two super powers.

3. Who does your country most hope to draw?
We’d like a group with fence-sitters Switzerland, the spicy South American side Chile and our arch sporting rivals (and a team we’re currently taking the Ashes back from) England.

4. Who is your country's biggest grudge match?
Japan. Australia has a recent sporting rivalry with the “Blue Samurai” that escalated at the 2006 World Cup. That year the south-western German city of Kaiserslautern became a household name here, which rolled off the tongue as easily as Steve Irwin or Vegemite. The 3-1 victory over Japan is forever etched in Australian hearts and minds as it helped to galvanise a sports-mad nation to get behind football. It was also the day when Guus Hiddink received immediate Aussie citizenship rights.

5. What round will England reach?
In Australia the sporting exploits of the “mother” country barely rate a mention, however we love to celebrate your failures, whether it’s singing from the rooftops or behind a light plane in large letters. Many believe that under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, England have the ability to progress to the quarters or possibly the semis with a little rare luck. But England’s run will ultimately end in tears again, and re-open that raw World Cup wound that dates back to 1990.

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