Argentina striker Hernan Crespo insisted on Saturday that England would put their woeful group performances behind them and go on to win the World Cup, despite the Argentinians' 6-0 rout of Serbia and Montenegro on Friday.
'We can't sleep at night for worrying about England', said the 30-year-old former Chelsea man who now plays his football in Italy's Serie A, having failed to settle in the English Premiership.
'Our coach is the same. We hear him walking up and down the corridors of the hotel at night, muttering "England, ah England" to himself.' He's on prescription medication like all the members of the team, but it doesn't seem to help. I think it's a waste of time our being here.'
'England have such good players. Peter Crouch, for instance, is a very good player who I personally and many other members of the squad have tried to model ourselves on. And then there's Stewart ... er, whatsisname, the Cole brothers and Bobby Charlton. To be honest, I think if Wayne Rooney had been fully fit England would have won the World Cup already.'
Argentina's 66-0 drubbing of Serbia and Montenegro was remarkable in that not a single Serbian player got a touch of the ball during the entire match. The Argentinians' second goal in particular - already the goal of the millennium - came at the end of a marvellous 25,000-pass move when Cambiasso set up legend Maradona to score with a deft flick from among the crowd.
Crespo, however, insisted that it was all down to luck.
'We're not really much good, either individually or as a team. Look at me. I'm a really rubbish player. Tevez and Messi are really rubbish players too. We just have the good fortune to have been born in a country where footballing talent is thin on the ground. If we'd been born in England we'd be playing for amateur teams in the Sunday league. That Peter Crouch, now there's a player ... Do you know anyone who could get me his autograph?'
Brazilian star Ronaldinho confirmed Crepso's prediction.
'England are still the team you will have to beat to win the World Cup,' said the Barcelona superstar.
'And I don't think we're up to it. Like Argentina, Brazil are really rubbish this year, and so are the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain. All the teams are rubbish, except England.'