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29 June 2012 ~

After David Beckham was left out of the GB Olympic football squad, what are they going to do with these?

ukraineBadge of the week ~ Ukraine
Little is known of the Ku Klux Klan's space programme apart from that it was started in the 1960s in Alabama and the project was hampered by colour segregation inside the lunar module. The Ukraine federation obviously wanted to make a controversial statement with their logo for purposes of impact. The four design ideas rejected before the winning space design was chosen were: a woodcutter attacking an off-licence; Pavel Grabinsky, the Ukrainian James Bond, figure skating; chess grandmaster Vsevolod Rauzer playing Nf6 as part of the Sicilian defence; the Virgin Mary in flip-flops. It is a pity the Ukraine team didn't make such an impact in this year's Euros. The team could have done with someone with a bit of artistic chutzpah. Cameron Carter

Spanish journalist Tomas Roncero attempts to sum up Spain's performance in Wednesday's semi-final against Portugal. Some of his English counterparts will have reacted in a similar way when Jordan Henderson came on as a substitute against Italy.

from Dan Eyres 
"Over on quiet, neglected BBC3, Manish Bhasin rounded off the coverage of Italy v Ireland with 'Thanks, Alan and… Stan', as if hesitant about having the right to address Steve Staunton by his football mates' nickname. Staunton's tight smile in response suggested that, no, lily-livered pen-pusher Manish did not have the right to call him by his football mates' nickname."

Will having such a friendly, unthreatening logo on their shirts enhance the Watford players' performances next season? Not sure.





Phil Brown thinks Andrea Pirlo is "homophobic" for not wanting to leave Italy for England. Does he think it means somebody with an irrational fear of leaving their home?

from Wes Palmer

"Theo Walcott was upset after England's exit, of course he was. But not so upset that he was caught in his post-match interview with his headphones around his neck. Not too upset to listen to his music apparently."


Getting shirty Notable kits of yesteryear

portugal04Portugal, Euro 2004

This shirt rings a lot of bells for the Portuguese. They had won the right to stage Euro 2004 ahead of eternal rivals Spain and Austria/Hungary (though what looked like a godsend at the time would later come back to haunt the country in the shape of several unnecessary, underused, cash-sucking stadiums).

National coach Luiz Felipe Scolari ordered everyone to put a flag in their windows, and they obeyed. The land was awash with national pride and optimism – well placed as the Seleção made its way to the final, benefiting along the way from a slapstick penalty slip by David Beckham and a gloveless penalty save by goalkeeper Ricardo in the quarter-final against England. Sadly for the Portuguese, a dogged Greece would spoil the party in the final.

All the shirts for the tournament sported the circled number on the front, bringing to mind a pool ball and distracting somewhat from the overall look. The bright red of the Portugal shirt was a break from the maroon of the three previous models and more in keeping with the shade used in the national flag. The competition was the international swansong for golden generation stalwarts Rui Costa and Fernando Couto, but the last remaining golden boy, Luís Figo, would continue to wear the No 7 shirt until handing it over to his super-stellar successor after the 2006 World Cup. Phil Town

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