The afternoon of the match, my wife and I had been doing something totally non-sporty. We’d been at a matinee performance of a Shakespeare play (in fact a delightfully blood-thirsty condensation of the little-performed Henry VI plays). We came out into the pale London light to find the streets filled with Cockneys cheering and yipping and waving Brazilian colours because “their” team had won the World Cup. Cars drove up and down hooting their horns and waving Brazilian flags. It wasn’t as if English football fans have a particular love for Brazilians – it was just that any foreign team (except probably the French and Argentinians) could be the ersatz “English” team so long as it defeated the Germans.