Germany 2006 Day 21(ii)

Well, Brazil are out. Which makes this morning's result all the harder to swallow. Had we gone through, it would have been up against France instead.

I've calmed down and I've realised two things:

First, that there are plenty of reasons to be happy with England's performance this World Cup:

There are 208 teams eligible to compete in the FIFA World Cup. England ended up in the top 8. That's 200 teams who did worse.

England went out at the same stage as Brazil, current World Champions, the team that has won the World Cup more than anyone else, and the only team to have qualified for every World Cup since the first one.

England didn't score, but neither did Ronaldinho, the so-called "greatest player in the world".

Despite being a man down and with our captain out injured, England held Portugal, a team ranked 3 places higher in FIFA world ratings, to a goal-less regular and extra time.

The quarter-finals is our third best performance of all time, with only '90 (fourth place) and '66 (champions) better.

Not only that, but three times since we've been entering, we've failed to even qualify, so we did good.

Second, that all that doesn't matter. I'm still pissed.

Penalties. Why is it always bloody penalties? Euro '04 against Portugal. Euro 2000 against Germany. France '98 against Argentina. We suck at penalties.

Well, South Africa 2010 is a mere four years away. We'll have a new coach, probably a new captain. And we'll probably end up going out on a penalty shootout there, too.

2014 is provisionally scheduled to be held in Brazil.

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