One day to go to the big match with Croatia, and we are both worried! Today we saw our World Cup final opponents Holland knocked out without getting a single point, and yesterday one of our favourites Russia were eliminated, even though they started the day at the top of their group! Even Germany were just a goal away from going home before they finally beat Denmark, and if they are were in danger then nobody is safe! Here in Gdansk everyone is hoping for a 2-2 draw which would ensure both Spain and Croatia a place in the quarter finals, especially my good friend Goran Arsic, who as you all know is half Spanish, half Croatian and half cut most of the time! But that is very dangerous, and even if it works out like that and the game is coming to an end, a sudden gust of wind or a slip by the goalkeeper and its whoops goodbye, tudalu, adeu siyau, we’ll see you again we don’t know when and it’s off to the travel agency with a phrase book to try and find a cheap flight home! Oh no, much better to go for the win, but until referee Wolfgang Stark blows the final whistle our fingers, legs and other parts of our bodies which shall remain nameless will be well and truly crossed! (Nothing to do with anything I know, but in my spare time here I am reading about the Starks from Winterfell in Game of Thrones. You don’t suppose… nah, couldn’t be!).
Anyway, having Goran here has been a great help getting to make friends with some of the Croatians, who don’t speak much of anything other than their own language. We have been very lucky with the teams we have played against, which is more than can be said for the lousy weather, although now we are set to leave it is getting better! First the Italians, then the Irish, and now the Croatians are all very friendly (as are our hosts in Poland), and the last week has flown by. OK, some of the food here you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, and one of our new friends Lukasz Werjuputmiski, a ten foot Pole himself, said he wouldn’t touch some of it either! But like the Irish, the Croatians love their beer, and we have found many watering holes to while away the long hours between games.
Tomorrow though the group stage is over, and if we do get through its on to Ukraine. Finishing top of our group would be best, as that way we avoid Germany, but before that anyway we would have to play the second from group D, which could be England, Ukraine or even France. Not easy. That would also mean we would play the next two games in Donetsk, which we have been told is a mining town to the East of the country, some 1,500 kilometres from where we are now (how on Earth do we get there?). Kiev would surely be nicer, but let’s not cross our bridges before they hatch. First we have to survive tomorrow night. If you don’t hear from us in 48 hours you know the worst has happened.