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Wily Scolari Stalks “France”

Phil Scolari, coach of Portugal, doesn’t look particularly formidable, even when his portly figure is projected in near-life size proportions on the 60-inchers, but he casts a long shadow over the games he supervises, plotting what has seemed at times like an inexorable march toward a first world championship for the Portuguese (and a second one for himself).

Portugal is the only side to have won all its games so far, and the prospect of a Scolari – Lippi confrontation is admittedly mouthwatering. But it’s also worth noting that it was an African team, Angola, that proved Scolari’s biggest headache in the group stages (the Angolans went down to just a single goal), and, if certain ju-ju masters from Cape Town to Cairo have their way, our continent will turn Angola’s test into Africa’s triumph tonight! Vicariously! Through France! Which is, we all admit, faintly depressing!

Allez les bleus vieux!