EDitorial ± 3-Jul-2006

World Cup 2006, Day 25

Back at work after The Disappointment to be confronted by my original sweepstake entry -- how long ago was that? -- still securely Maniched to the Compaq monitor. Had fancied my chances of at least getting my money back, guaranteed for all semi-finalists, but was not to be. Easy come, Figo. Chap on my left was, I suspect, even more gutted: he'd been sitting pretty on Brazil. No cash prize for you!

Consonant please, Carol, consonant, another consonant, and a vowel please, Carol. For the final countdown -- they're all from Europe -- it's Lippi's Italics alone among France, Germany and Portugal.

You'd have to fancy the Frenchie fondants, since they've won it no fewer than five times (1958, 1960, 1962, 1969 and 1977), against Italy's brace (1964 and 1990) and Germany's singleton (1982). Portugal have been trying since 1964 without success: Lordi!