Brother Brother

19 06 2010

During the last week the Jet Set has noticed a couple of interesting details.

Firstly, there are brothers in this world cup, the Boatengs. Wait a minute, I hear you say,  brothers playing  at the world cup is nothing new; the Charltons, the Nevilles, the van der Kerkhofs, the Koemans and the Toures  are only a few examples. 

What makes the Boatengs interesting is that they play for different countries. Kevin-Prince plays for Ghana and Jerome plays for Germany. It becomes even more interesting when you find that the half-brothers don’t get on any more. It started with a cup final incident and finished with the line;

“Kevin said: ‘Each one of us has his own family – you have yours, I have mine’. That was too much for me. Now I don’t care what he does. It really doesn’t interest me any more.”

Rather interestingly Germany play Ghana next week. The Jet Set wonders if the Boatengs have ever been characters in Eastenders.

 

Secondly, a player with a connection to the Jet Set, Winston Reid, did something remarkable.

Winston first came to our attention when Bangor City played FC Midtjylland in the UEFA two years ago. After forming a bond with FCM’s fans we became FCM fans in the next round. We cheered from the stands when Winston and the rest of FCM boys beat Man City, we commiserated when City finally went through in the luckiest of manners.

At the time incongruous Winston hinted at an interesting back story. After a little research we found out that he was born to Maori parents in New Zealand, Winston and his family then emigrated to Denmark when Winston was ten. The presumption was correct.  He hadn’t played for anybody in an “A” international by this time so he was free to play for his new home. Winston eventually played for Denmark at u19 and u21 levels. Then New Zealand qualified for the world cup,  the call came (via facebook and a TV station). Now all bets were off.

So how is Winston doing? He only went and  scored a 93rd minute equaliser, a goal that earned New Zealand their first point in world cup history!!!! The moment in question:

As you can imagine this moment made a lot of people very happy, “Winston for Public Office!!”. Other people, the patronising Daily Mirror for example, have a different take on it; “Bloody hell, they’ve only gone and turned up!”

“NEW STARS

Mark Paston: First played as pro at 26 for Wellington Phoenix.

Tony Lochhead: Top beach volleyball player from student days in Santa Barbara, California.

Winston Reid: Was on brink of Denmark call-up but decided to play for country of birth.

Ivan Vicelich: Most-capped NZ international on 66 games.

Ryan Nelsen: Gave up cricket to attend Stanford University.

Simon Elliott: Currently with no club. Former MVP for LA Galaxy and ex-Fulham.

Shane Smeltz: Played 61 times for AFC Wimbledon.

Chris Killen: Postponed honeymoon to play in World Cup.

Leo Bertos: Born in to Greek and Maori parents in Wellington.

Rory Fallon: Son of 1982 Kiwi coach Kevin.

Tommy Smith: Macclesfield born, Ipswich academy player.”

For frig sake, New Zealand are an international football team not a non-league club about to be hammered at White Hart Lane. They seem to have it in for Winston too;

“Hero Winston Reid only decided he wanted to play for New Zealand three months ago – but yesterday his injury time equaliser earned a place in Kiwi sporting history.

Defender Reid was set to become a full Danish international after working his way up through to their Under-21 team, but he converted to the country of his birth, which he left aged 10, in March so he could play in the World Cup.”

So basically a player is picked to play for the country they were born in, hold the back pages!!!. “Converted to the country of his birth”, How does one do this? It’s a good job England will  never stoop so low, They’ll never pick players who have already played for another country at an age-group level. 

The ever-sharp Mirror, as with all tabloids, has three world cup settings; Hyperbolic, Scathing and Patronising. Forget journalistic effort, forget research, forget that New Zealand nearly beat Italy last year, remember that New Zealand play rugby and wear white instead.

By the way, you can tell when  a TV station hasn’t bought the requisite broadcast rights;

Quite charming really.

Fortunately Denmark and New Zealand won’t be playing each other

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