The Incomplete Panini Album World Cup Preview

The 2014 World Cup is advancing menacingly, like a drunken tramp approaching to bellow songs into a traffic cone in exchange for money. There is only one place that can deliver the sort of preview that can justify the hype, and you’re looking right at it, mister. If you thought you were already excited about the mere prospect of Brazil, then think again. Only after reading this will you be correctly prepared for what’s to come, you absolute moron.

"There are three names in this envelope…"

“There are three names in this envelope…”

Ruud Gullit Sitting On A Shed prides itself on the depth and quality of its research. With that in mind, our groundbreaking preview of the forthcoming World Cup has been compiled using the finest factual resource available to man – a half-complete Panini sticker album. Gasp in sickening wonder as we look at the dramatis personae that look set to make this summer one of the World Cuppiest of the modern age.

photo 1

Here is just some of the high-flying action we can expect to see in Rio. In this scintillating picture, we can see the legendary Panini Man failing to make contact with a rudimentary overhead kick. This lack of accuracy is why he currently finds himself without a club.

IMG_2468

Best get a move on, lads.

When journalists began to circulate rumours that some of the World Cup stadia were only half-finished, they weren’t joking. Panini have not produced the left-sided stickers for these two grounds as they will not be built in time for the tournament. As it became apparent to FIFA that construction workers would not have enough time to build complete stadia, they were instructed to build only one half, in order for Panini to circulate at least half of the stadium stickers. Numbers 8 and 12 simply do not exist, as the Estadio Mineirao and Arena Pantanal have only had their right-sides built. FIFA plans on keeping up the ruse throughout the tournament with a combination of green-screen technology and having players swap the partings in their hair to the opposite side for the second-half of matches, to create the illusion that the teams have swapped ends when they haven’t, because their is only one end. Sure to cause discussion in the pubs this summer!

BRAZIL

Old bastards,

Old bastards

Host nation Brazil has a lot to live up to, as they look to overcome the handicap of having several players named after very old men. This follows an earlier controversy when fans angrily protested the inclusion of Oscar, Bernard and Fred in the squad, at the expense of erstwhile seleção favourites such as Compo, Clegg and Nora Batty.

CROATIA

"AAAAGGGGHHHH!!"

“AAAAGGGGHHHH!!”

OGNJEN VUKOJEVIC HAS ARRIVED TO EAT YOUR FAMILY WHOLE. Possible dark horses?

CAMEROON

Not seeing eye-to-eye.

Not seeing eye-to-eye.

No World Cup is complete without one team falling apart because they’re all twats and can’t get a long for a few weeks. That team is likely to be Cameroon. Observe how Joel Matip looks with barely-concealed scorn at the crazed hair of Benoit Assou-Ekotto. A certain sign that trouble is a-brewin’.

SPAIN

GBOL

GBOL

By contrast, Spain’s team spirit is at an all-time high, touching each other’s knees in their team photograph. Every relationship needs its moments of tenderness in order to thrive. Expect Spain to do well, if not by winning the tournament, then perhaps by getting matching tattoos or buying each other eternity rings.

HOLLAND

The Dutch will be at a notable handicap, after harsh sanctions handed down from FIFA. Oranje hardman Nigel De Jong has been told quite specifically that he is not allowed to boot people in the chest like an angry bailiff kicking in some slag’s door. Elsewhere in the squad, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is a major injury doubt, as the lower half of his face continues to taper off dangerously. It is expected that his entire mouth may disappear prior to Holland’s opening game against Spain.

Tiny gob.

Tiny gob.

URUGUAY

For Uruguay, much depends on the happiness of mercurial gobshite Luis Suarez. Here we can see that he is deeply unhappy at being told by the Panini photographer that his ears somehow look even more stupid for being pinned back. A dark omen perhaps?

IMG_2473

U R GAY

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica’s preparations have been hit by the unwelcome drama surrounding key player Roy Miller, who was recently told by FIFA that he needs to return his name to the name shop, as it “doesn’t sound Costa Rican enough”. Here we see the beleaguered chap just moments before being nabbed by the authorities.

IMG_2474

Lookin’ tense

ENGLAND

There have been concerns that England’s pasty-white players will wilt in the Brazilian heat, and it would appear these fears, much like your nan’s dead face at her funeral, are not without foundation. Frank Lampard’s sticker depicts the Chelsea semi-orphan melting like a crap ice cream. A Mini-Milk or some such.

IMG_2475

Picture of a pile of Lampard-shaped goop.

ECUADOR

The team affectionately known as ‘The Norwich City of South America’ will struggle, after the squad staged a training camp walk-out in protest after Panini announced they had run out of glue, and couldn’t be bothered ordering any more in to print off any more Ecuadorian stickers. The five stickers pictured are the only ones in circulation – the rest do not exist.

IMG_2476

HONDURAS

The Honduran Football Association caused a stir at the official unveiling of the team’s new kit, where it was announced that they would compete in the World Cup playing by the rules of baseball. All other teams in their group will observe the rules of football. In each match, the winner will be the team to score the most home runs.

IMG_2477

NIGERIA

Will this finally prove to be Shola Ameobi’s World Cup? No.

IMG_2478

Of course not.

GHANA

Ghana will expect to struggle in a tough group containing Germany, Portugal, USA and a truck full of bombs being driven by a man with no legs. However, they’re widely expected to have the Happiest Player award sewn up, thanks to Christian Atsu, whose face is absolutely delighted. What a lovely guy.

"Just really happy to be here, lads."

“Just really happy to be here, lads.”

 

USA

YOO-ESS-AY. YOO-ESS-AY, YOO-ESS-AY.

YOO-ESS-AY. YOO-ESS-AY, YOO-ESS-AY.

Team America’s hopes rest on goalkeeper Tim Howard’s attempts to confuse opposition strikers by wearing the same shirt as his outfield team-mates. Known as the ‘Anti-Campos’, this pioneering technique has already been derided by many of the game’s top pundits as total jobbies.

PREDICTIONS, EXPECTATIONS, DEMANDS

  • There will be a selection of light and dark horses.
  • World Cup history video montages must include the following footage: Marco Tardelli’s gaping maw, Gazza’s tears and that much-loved clip of Jurgen Klinsmann doing a jobby on a glass table while Lothar Matthaus lies beneath, pounding his parson.
  • Everyone will have a really good time.
  • Diana Ross to slam home a redemption penalty in the opening ceremony, with the Ex-Supreme’s celebration to be choreographed by Stuart Pearce.
  • Grown men crying.
  • England’s Raheem Sterling will be one of the stars of the tournament: one year from now he will join the Army.
  • ITV anchorgit Adrian Chiles will horrify a nation by buttering his guts prior to ad breaks.
  • FOOTBALL! (I will not budge on this)

RGSOAS GOLD

For further adventures in Panini, check out the Euro 2012 Ruud Gullit Drinking Game.

Expecting England to fail? Why not play England Bingo with your mates or parole officer? Or cheer yourself up with Baddiel and Skinner.

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