I have happy balls!Well, our initial short-list of potential under-achieving teams to support through the World Cup has proved somewhat too accurate: site favourite Holland weren’t in such Ruud health; personal pick Spain went down the drain like rain on the plain; and the poor old Mexicans wave goodbye to their cup hopes for another four years.

Of the initial shortlist, only Portugal remain. And of the other quarter-finalists who meet any of our criteria (under-achievers, exciting players, erratic form), you can’t consider the Ukraine, who are really too boring by half, as are one-time winner England, who might have come away with our sympathy vote if it wasn’t for the fact they’re playing such dour football.

Italy, Brazil, Argentina and Germany are all multiple winners, so that rules them out, leaving the other one-time winner France as our outside pick. They might be the go, actually, as on closer analysis, they certainly meet the criteria: only the one Cup championship in 1998, but then had the form-reversal of the tournament’s history when they couldn’t even score a goal in defending their title at the 2002 tournament. And plenty of flash players: Henry, Zizou, Saha, Vieira…

So, who’s it to be? Portugal, France…?