Welcome to Four Five Two’s third-world class coverage of Euro 2012. We are taking an in-depth look at the 16 teams who kick off play Friday
afternoon. If we feel ambitious we may even have some other articles up. As always we will also provide predictions so you can make fun of us for being completely wrong.Don’t believe Keith’s lies. We still have one group left. We ACTUALLY conclude our previews with Group X, or the Secret Group of Danger, Disease, and Death.
“The group of death is sooooo hard,” wail soccer pundits across the world, including our own Ben Lorber. “Look at all those good teams! I can’t tell who’s going to advance?!” I’ll tell you what the Group of Death is: it’s adorable. It is positively cute and cuddly compared to Group X, the European Championship’s most dangerous group.
Held for the nations deemed too sinister for the standard qualification process, Group X qualifying is held in the darkest, most dank locations of all of Europe: the ruins of Chernobyl, active war zones in the Balkans, and Euro Disney are just a few of the qualification locations where matches are played in secret to determine who plays in Group X. This mysterious group is so dangerous, it is not merely a Group of Death, it is spoken of in hushed tones as the Group of MegaDeath. Let’s meet the 2012 European Championship’s most deadly teams…
Latveria, “The Inevitable Victors”–
This secretive Balkan nation is mostly known for its Iron Fisted Dictator, Doctor Victor Von Doom. For years, Latveria was banned from international competition by FIFA not for its ruler’s massive human rights abuses or Dr. Doom’s multiple attempts at world domination, but for the team’s longstanding ban on players named “Richards.” Thanks to Dr. Doom’s hatred of Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic, people have long wondered how the Latverian team would fare against the best of Europe with the regime’s innovative uses of cybernetics, eugenics, and torture to motivate its population.
Late last year, Dr. Doom begrudgingly lifted his sanctions on players named Richards and Latveria was allowed in the tournament. Fielding a team made up almost entirely of Doombots, the Inevitable Victors, as Latveria’s national team is known, tore through their qualification group. No, they literally tore through their group, leaving their opponents in decaying split husks on the pitch. Considering that the team has no need for susitenance or rest, many pundits expect Latveria to take this group, but as anyone who follows Roy Hodgson knows, robots can only take you so far. Of concern to many pundits is the newfound enthusiasm for the tournament by Latveria’s ruler. “I cannot wait for the leaders of the world to see my team in action. Soon,” he promised, “They will all bow before Doom! ALL OF THEM!” It is perhaps a misfortune for us all that the Fantastic Four are ineligible to enter this tournament.
Roman Abramovich’s Yacht XI, “Roman’s Toys”–
It is well known that Roman Abramovich owns a big yacht. What is less known is that this yacht is in fact larger than several European nations, including Croatia, England, and Germany. Docked somewhere in the Baltic, Roman Abramovich has grown bored with club football after Chelsea has finally won the Champions League and has now turned his sights to international football. After
purchasing petitioning for nation state status from the EU, London’s favorite oligarch has assembled a collection of footballers through underhanded means that would make the Qataris blush. Some, like Carlos Tevez, had their nationality secured by monetary means. Others, such as world super star Lionel Messi, play to ensure that their relatives never find out what the inside of a Chechyan dog fighting ring is like. Still others are mercenaries, hired from the mountains of Afghanistan and the ruins of the Balkans, meant to bring “toughness” to the team. We’re sure the guns and knives they brought along with their toughness are merely for show. There is a danger that practicing aboard a yacht so much, this team could grow soft and weak, but if the Champions League has taught Roman anything, its that only when his teams are at their worst are they ever going to win anything.
Westeros National Team, “The Fat, Drunk Deer”–
Having finally run out of war torn Eastern European nations to enlist in its tournaments, UEFA has turned towards war torn, fictional facsimiles of Europe for its newest entrant. Located to the west of the known world, Westeros is separated into seven different kingdoms that have combined to field a strong team. Players from Winterfell possess the grit and determination of the English, while those hailing from King’s Landing have the flair and continental flavor of the best Spaniards. Former Westeros great and current fat waste of space Robert Baratheon seems set to follow in Diego Maradona’s footsteps as their newest coach and has promised to “drink and whore” his team to victory. Combined with their coach’s brutal motivational techniques, which include tying buckets full of hungry rats to their player’s chests during training, they could be a formidable force during the Euros. Their biggest danger comes from the fact that no Westeros XI has ever made it to a tournament without killing each other. Expect infighting on a scale that would make the Dutch embarrassed and an early exit for the 2012 Euros’ most fictional team.
The Walking Dead National Team, “The Ricktators”–
Not much is expected from this rag tag group of survivors, pulled from the zombie infested wasteland of the American Southeast, but their ability to make it out of their group with 75% of their team alive is impressive nonetheless. Given to infighting, depression, plot inconsistencies, and head shaving, this group has a history of dodgy results against teams they otherwise beat. When they’re not squabbling with one another or wallowing in depression, they inevitably neglect their training to search for Sophia, even though she is clearly a zombie in the barn next door to where they’ve been spending their entire boring season. The team’s captain, Rick Grimes, is touted by many as an exceptional leader, but his track record suggests otherwise. Under his leadership, we expect not only an early exit for this team, but the unnecessary death of almost all of this team.