The English have developed firm stereotypes for each of the many nations they’ve fought, and of course for themselves. Sadly for multiculturalists, the World Cup is confirming these simplistic views.
In US v Italy, the Italians team showed the stereotypical Latin combination of brutality, excitability and unreliability – one of them smashed his elbow into an opponent’s face and begged not be punished, then 10 of them chaotically tried to defend themselves against 9 Americans and were saved only by a German ref. The technically outclassed Americans showed consistent and intelligent aggression. Many Italians aren’t stereotypical Latins, but plenty are – try asking the Carabinieri for help. And not all Americans are intelligently aggressive, but plenty are – hence their demolition of al Qaeda.
The English team and its fans have shown their national mixture of incompetence, brilliance, and violence.
The Germans exhibited their traditional underestimation of the English:
The German hordes who stood outside David Beckham’s hotel chanting “You’re only here for the weekend” (in English) were…proved wrong by the England captain yesterday…
Lacking preconceptions of Portuguese character, I found this incident helpful in placing them firmly in the violent Latin category:
Portugal captain Luis Figo will be available to face England in next Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final in Gelsenkirchen after Fifa ruled out taking disciplinary action against him for his headbutt on Holland’s Mark van Bommel.
Going forward, the English expect the French team to surrender to the Ivory Coast, the Mexicans to play only 6 men (the others having attached themselves to the US team), the Argentinians to devalue goals scored against them by 70%, the Swiss to bill the Ukranians for their time spent playing them, the Australians to refuse to accept defeat, and the Brazilians to pinch the trophy.