England was this morning still engulfed in wild celebrations after Ashley Cole’s heroic penalty miss allowed Roy Hodgson’s men to sneak off quietly without getting thumped by Germany.
The defeat to Italy, pitifully predictable, had been particularly striking for England’s inability to get within fifty feet of veteran Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, whose performance was so dominant that he even went on to dominate the penalty shoot-out.
Talking to Football Burp, Team England goalkeeper Joe Hart spoke of his delight at seeing his plan of pulling stupid faces at the Italian penalty-takers come to such glorious fruition.
He said: “It’s a buzz to be part of such a great night for England, and the shoot-out success is something I’ll savour forever.
“We knew that playing Germany in the semi-finals would be something that could end up blighting all of our careers, so we worked hard at finding a way to bow out beforehand with some of our pride and dignity intact.
“I had a whole set of elaborate masquerade masks made up just in case we did encounter a game that we’d actually want to win on penalties – there was a Jimmy Carr one, a Zidane one with bull’s horns and a V for Vendetta one that looks just like David Beckham – but given the circumstances I thought it best to just scratch the dome of my skull with my index finger, lull my tongue out and slur ‘duuuuh, which way did he go?’. You can’t get much more of an invitation to try something clever than that.
“In the end Coley nailed it but I’d like to think I played my part in saving the nation from ninety minutes of abject humiliation in a few days’ time.”
He added: “Come to think of it, I tell a lie – it was a David Beckham one that looks just like V for Vendetta.”
Andrea Pirlo said: “No, I am not aware of the Jimmy Carr tax scandal. They are new music band?
“I actually wrote a song while my penalty was going in. It’s called ‘Hart on the Ground’ and it’s got a classic Italian love song sort of feel.”
He quipped: “Find me two dogs and a plate of spaghetti and I’ll play it to you.”
Meanwhile, FA scientists are working on developing an English player that can emulate Pirlo’s ability to control and move a football.
A spokesperson said: “We hope to have a prototype ready by 2018.”