With England set to square off against Italy at Wembley tonight, an exciting crystalline memory suddenly came stampeding back to the fore of Pies’ hopelessly addled mind.
Hang on. Raheem Sterling very nearly scored one of the most electrifying goals the nation has ever witnessed when England played Italy at the 2014 World Cup.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, we did watch said match in a Novotel hotel foyer under the influence of immense amounts of mortally-overpriced booze, so we had to check the annals to see if Sterling really did ripple Gianluigi Buffon’s net (albeit the wrong side of it) with a 30-yard pelter.
Turns out the only minor detail we got wrong was that Salvatore Sirigu was actually in goal for the Azzurri (Buffon twisted an ankle just a few days prior), but the rest still held water.
Just three minutes into the game, Raheem Sterling did in fact momentarily fool a nation into thinking he’d just opened England’s World Cup campaign with an absolute stonker…
Hands up. Who else fell for it?
Of course, Sirigu and chums went onto win 2-1 but Sterling’s oh-so-nearly miracle shot and the final result proved to be false dawns for both teams, as Italy and England went spluttering out in the group stages.
Still, for that one glorious nano-second…