You’ve heard about the arroz-con-pollo-sin-pollo…today, we get to see a team that represents a country that no longer exists. Though the team qualified for the world cup as Serbia & Montenegro, the Montenegrins voted on a referendum to split the country in two last month – leaving us with Serbia-con-Montenegro-sin-Montenegro. I guess for the purposes of the World Cup, Montenegrin players will still play, but it’s probably an unprecedented situation.
Won’t matter much on the field – their two top players are both Serbs, both aging, both very good. Inter’s Dejan Stankovic is a World Class central midfielder, and one of the most popular players in the Italian Serie A. Osasuna’s Savo Milosevic (no relation) is a very talented goal scorer and could make problems for everyone. The rest of the team…well, don’t know about them.
Holland shouldn’t have a problem this afternoon. Robben and Van Nistelrooy are at the top of their game, Van Bronckhorst is still one of the best offense-minded defenders around, and Van der Sar is one of the greatest goalkeepers playing in Germany this year. Plus everyone says Van Basten has put an end to the prima-donnaish hissy-fits that have long hampered the Dutch national team. But then Sweden REALLY shouldn’t have had a problem yesterday and bombed disastrously. So who can tell? Holland 1, Serbia 0.
Iran-Mexico and Angola-Portugal I neither know enough nor care enough to comment on…