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Thank Zeus, Thor and Odin: it’s all over. No more Wimbledon tennis. No more UEFA Euro footie. No more live scenes or photographs of gleaming white teeth, furry pink tongues and wobbly tonsils-revealing roaring faces from either tennis players or footballers, or their coaches and managers. No more groan-inducing punning headlines on the front pages of the national newspapers. (Note: Rome rhymes with home. Did nobody spot that?) No 1-day national bank holiday today as requested by more than 300,000 people in a petition to Boris Johnson. No new sporting knighthoods. Sorry, Harry! No kane do. No kane do! Geddit? A return to pandemic-conditioned normalcy is settling in over England this morning, accompanied by unrelenting rain, the sort that gets you wet as someone remarked to me recently. The Queen can go back to doing whatever queens do when they are not sending messages of encouragement to England’s footballers—worrying about the members of her dysfunctional family, I suspect. Us regular folk can go back to worrying about Covid-19-related issues and whether we will get to sit on foreign beaches next month. And I can go back to worrying about climate change, the price of fish, what movie to watch next, searching for those sneaky hidden typos in my blogs and books, and continuing my never-ending research into good wines and craft beers. My granddaughters’ dog, Layla, who spends time with us, can go back to either waiting patiently for her next treat or just sleeping peacefully when she is not being walked. As for England’s footballers, I have just two comments. One: read and adhere to the advice I gave to Gareth Southgate two weeks ago. Two: learn to score goals from penalties. It’s not that hard. Even the Italians can do it!

Final thought. I wonder if Novak Djokovic can play football and, if so, whether he would be interested in applying for British citizenship and then playing for England? He is unstoppable and, I’m sure, is capable of kicking a football from a distance of 11 metres into an area of 17.86 metres2 with a precision that defies all blocking attempts by any quick-witted nimble goalkeeper, including big lanky Italians. It’s a thought.

Spotted in extra time…

Novak Djokovic played a friendly football game with Brazilian and global legends of the sport at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in November 2012. They played two halves of 25 minutes each. Novak scored a goal from a penalty. The final result was 3-3. The lad can score!