Shrieking for two: Choosing between your parents at the World Cup is never easy – The Post

Shrieking for two: Choosing between your parents at the World Cup is never easy

CPH POST catches up with three multinational families preparing for Group C crunch games

Shrieking for two?
June 16th, 2018 6:00 am| by Ben Hamilton
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It doesn’t get any better than beating your other half at the World Cup.

In my case it happened in 2002: a last 16 meeting between Denmark and England for which I held a midday barbecue for 40 people at my garden flat in Charlton in Southeast London.

The 1998 classic ‘Vindaloo’ by Fat Les is one of football’s most vicious songs, and on that day it endeared itself to me forever as half the party cowardly turned on the defenceless Dane sitting on the floor.

“We’re going to score one more than you!” – three more as it happened.

The battle is won!
We’d have to wait eight years for another possible match-up, by which time we were – to borrow an expression from Bridget Jones – sprogged up.

‘She’ might have already won the war and persuaded me to move to Denmark, but the battle for the allegiance of my daughters was only just beginning.

“Danmark er lort,” my youngest volunteered this morning. “De boller med de små.”

I don’t think you need a translator to know this was a fight I won a long time ago.


FRANCE

Mette Schønfeld Mazella (DK) and Guillaume Mazella (France) are looking forward to their first World Cup together at which Denmark and France have both qualified and – who knows – maybe as a family.

Time will tell whether Mette can deliver in the ward before her countrymen deliver on the pitch, and whether the new arrival will be screaming Allez les Bleus or Kom så Danmark.

When is the due date and might this pose a problem for any of the fixtures?June 23 – France and Denmark are playing on the 26th, so we will ask the hospital to show the game if Mette is delivering three days later than planned … which is possible.

Is this your first World Cup as a couple featuring both Denmark and France?Yes, although we were a couple for Euro 2012, which Denmark and France both qualified for.

Would you say that one of you will be louder than the other in your support?Definitely Guillaume is the loudest one. We are both cheering a lot, but Guillaume swears more.

Some might say that France are more sophisticated than Denmark on the pitch. Is this also true at home?
Not really, we share the sophistication at home, so it’s a clear draw on this one.

Do you intend to watch the game together?
Yes of course. Guillaume will watch all the games until he has to leave for the hospital. Mette is also a huge fan of sports, so she will support both Denmark and France unless they are playing against one another.

Will you be superstitiously looking out for signs as to who’s getting the support down below: kicking during the national anthem of choice, for example?
Mette will definitely, but she will tell him what to do since she has the biggest impact on him … and the biggest belly by the way. Guillaume will be too focused on his beers and trying to sing the Danish national anthem without any pronunciation mistakes.

What do you think the score will be?
Mette says: 2-1 to Denmark. She is really hoping this. Realistically it will end up with a draw or victory for France.

Guillaume says 2-1 for France, but I hope both teams will have qualifed before the game, or else it will be hard to watch it with my wife’s family, or even in Denmark.

Are either of you a bad loser?
Guillaume is the worst loser, but bad losers are in the genes on both side.

So there are no plans to give the winner first dibs on naming the baby?
For many months we were joking about calling him Kylian (after Mbappé) since France will be world champions. But luckily we have already agreed on Enzo (Italy is not part of the World Cup … so problem solved).


AUSTRALIA

Jessica O’Sullivan-Munck met her Danish husband Morten Munck whilst co-writing a column for CPH POST called ‘Dating the Danes’ as an Australian looking for love in Copenhagen.

She has now been in the Danish capital for almost a decade, and last year she and Morten had their first child, Axel.

Approaching the World Cup, the big question is who will Axel be rooting for/hepper på?

Is this your first World Cup as a couple featuring both Denmark and Australia?
Yes, we’ve been together since 2011 but never encountered this problem before.

Would you say that one of you will be louder than the other in your support?I’m more the silent, studious supporter, whereas Morten is the kind who screams at the screen as if he can actually influence the game.

Some might say that Australia is a little more robust than Denmark at sport. Is this also true at home?
Haha. All I’ll say is that they don’t call Danes Roligans for nothing.

Do you intend to watch the game together as a family?
Yes, without a doubt. We had hoped to attend the game in Russia, but unfortunately the travel distances and pricing weren’t that family-friendly.

So crunch question: who will Axel be supporting?
Given we’ll be watching the game in Denmark, and Denmark is marginally (and I really mean only marginally) better than Australia at the moment, he’ll be backing Denmark.

What do you think the score will be?
3-1 to Denmark.

Are either of you a bad loser?
Yes, both unfortunately.


PERU

Anders Nash (England/DK) and Lisbeth Vogensen (Peru/DK) and their children Maya, 3, and Theis, 1, recently moved back to Denmark after living in Bolivia for five and a half years.

The family are now looking forward to the first World Cup at which all three of their nationalities are competing.

But who will their children be supporting: the red and whites or the white and red?

Is this your first World Cup as a couple featuring both Denmark and Peru?
It is indeed our first WC. Since Peru haven’t featured since 1982, and Lisbeth wasn’t born until 1983, we are enjoying it for the first time.

Would you say that one of you will be louder than the other in your support?I would actually say that Lisbeth will likely be louder, especially if Peru can pull off a win. She isn’t a big Peru supporter nor believer, but she feels Peru haven’t had the rub of the green in recent footballing years and it is a country that deserves this for reasons beyond football.

Some might say that Peru has a more ruthless streak than Denmark on the pitch. Is this also true at home?
Peruvians, ruthless on the pitch?! Don’t come home to us then… you ain’t seen nothing!

Do you intend to watch the game together as a family?
We will watch as a family and frankly will be happy regardless of the score. We will be happy win, draw or lose.

So crunch question: who will the children be supporting?
The kids will be screaming both ways but not know quite why – that’s the best bit about it! They will get hotdogs, Mummy soft ice and Daddy beer, so actually the game almost plays second fiddle, haha.

What do you think the score will be?
I actually fancy Peru to make a run of it, but you have to expect Denmark to win it. I think Peru were better as a team when Guerrero was banned, but now that’s been overturned let’s see how he is galvanised.

Are either of you a bad loser?
We are both horrible losers, and since we have two kids things are getting lost and broken relentlessly so it’s all part of the family growth curve!

In the numbers:


FRANCE

Qualified: Topped qualifying group ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands

Goal average in qualifying: 1.8

Concession average in qualifying: 0.6

Competitive win percentage (last 10): 70

Mode average score (last 10): 1-0

Coach: Didier Deschamps

Captain: Hugo Lloris

Star man: Antoine Griezmann – top scorer of Euro 2014.

Surprise package: Benjamin Mendy – should be fresh after spending seven months out injured until April

Unsung hero: N’Golo Kante – the 2016-17 player of the year in England will never challenge for the top awards because he is a stopper, not a creator.

Top Trivia: France went 20 years without qualifying for a WC between 1986 and 2006. They failed in 1990 and 1994, were hosts in 1998 and defending champs in 2002.

FIFA World Ranking: 7

Tournament odds: 13/2

Group odds: 1/3

Recent pedigree: final of Euro 2016

Previous WCs: 14

First WC since: 2014

Best WC performance: 1998 Winners

Nickname: Les Bleus (The Blues)

Verdict: France had a resolute defence to thank for its comfortable qualification from a tricky group, leaking just six goals in ten games. One of the clean sheets came against lowly Luxembourg at home … in a 0-0 draw – typical of a side that can be as sublime as it is frustrating. Only in a 4-0 home defeat of the Dutch did the French really look like world-beaters – Group winners.


DENMARK

Qualified: Beat Ireland in a playoff thanks to a 5-1 win in Dublin after finishing behind Poland in qualifying

Goal average in qualifying: 2.08

Concession average in qualifying: 0.75

Competitive win percentage (last 10): 60

Mode average score (last 10): 4-1

Coach: Åge Hareide

Captain: Simon Kjær

Star man: Christian Eriksen – his hat-trick in Dublin secured Denmark’s place. Simply irreplaceable.

Unsung hero: Yussuf Poulsen – his achievements at RB Leipzig, which has finished second and sixth in its last two Bundesliga seasons, rarely get a look-in back home.

Surprise package: Michael Krohn-Dehli – has been out injured for a long spell.

Top Trivia: Denmark are the only side in WC history to have two subs red-carded. Miklos Molnar and Morten Wieghorst lasted eight and three minutes respectively in their group game against South Africa in 1998.

FIFA World Ranking: 12

Tournament odds: 100/1

Group odds: 9/2

Recent pedigree: Wowed the world with their win in Dublin; underwhelming in their failure to qualify for Euro 2016.

Previous WCs: 4

First WC since: 2010

Best WC performance: 1998 QF

Nickname: De Rød-Hvide (the Red and Whites)

Verdict: Denmark are on an unbeaten run that goes back 15 games. Write them off at your peril – Third in group.


AUSTRALIA

Qualified: Beat Syria and then Honduras in playoffs after finishing third in their Asian qualification group

Goal average in qualifying: 1.57

Concession average in qualifying: 1.0

Competitive win percentage (last 10): 50

Mode average score (last 10): 2-1

Coach: Bert van Marwijk – the man who guided the Netherlands to the 2010 WC Final – replaced Ange Postecoglou just six months ago

Captain: Mile Jedinak – seven of his nine qualifying goals were penalties

Star man: Tim Cahill. He may be 38 and used less than before, but Australia’s Roger Milla remains supreme in the air and pops up when they need him. Top-scored with 11 goals in qualifying

Unsung hero: Reserve goalkeeper Brad Jones is no longer a journeyman thanks to 17 clean sheets  at Feyenoord in their 2016-17 championship winning season.

Surprise package: Daniel Arzani – the 19-year-old is a great ball carrier and scored against Hungary last week

Top Trivia: Only two of the squad play in the English Premier League, compared to nine in 2006; Australia lost in intercontinental WC playoffs four times between 1986 and 2002.

FIFA World Ranking: 40

Tournament odds: 500/1

Group odds: 20/1

Recent pedigree: Won the 2015 AFC Cup on home soil; defied expectations to only lose once (narrowly to Germany) at 2017 Confederations Cup

Previous WCs: 4

First WC since: 2014

Best WC performance: 2006 R16

Nickname: Socceroos

Verdict: Following the move to the AFC in 2005, the golden generation  effortlessly qualified for the 2010 and 14 WCs. Times have since changed and a late goal in their final group game ensured they didn’t become the only side not to beat last-placed Thailand – Fourth in group.


PERU

Qualified: Beat New Zealand in playoff after finishing fifth in qualifying

Goal average in qualifying: 1.45

Concession average in qualifying: 1.3

Competitive win percentage (last 10): 50

Mode average score (last 10): 2-1

Coach: Ricardo Gareca

Captain: Paolo Guerrero

Star man: Paolo Guerrero

Unsung hero: Attacking midfielder Christian Cueva has a far better scoring record for Peru than in club football

Surprise package: Renato Tapia – the 22-year-old utility player, currently with Feyenoord, is a key player

Top Trivia: Ricardo Gareca has never played or coached out
side South America; midfielder Edison Flores plays for Aalborg

FIFA World Ranking: 11

Tournament odds: 200/1

Group odds: 9/1

Recent pedigree: SF of 2015 Copa America; knocked Brazil out of the 2016 edition

Previous WCs: 4

First WC since: 1982

Best WC performance: 1970 QF

Nickname: La Blanquirroja (The White and Red)

Verdict: Peru are in their first World Cup for 32 years. Only Venezuela have waited longer from South America in the modern era. But their recent form, following FIFA’s decision to allow talisman Paolo Guerrero to play, has been impressive. They followed a 3-0 win in Saudi Arabia with a 0-0 draw in Sweden – Runners-up