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World Cup 2014: A spoofer’s guide to … Bosnia Herzegovina

by Aidan Elder | June 9, 2014

Fun Fact…

In the mid to late naughties, Bosnia Herzegovina was the venue for bizarre claims that the country was the home of the only pyramids in Europe. Semir Osmanagic claimed that hills around a town called Visoko housed ancient pyramids built by the Illyrian people in about 10,000 BC who later covered up there work to disguise them as hills. As you do. Unsurprisingly, it was all proven to be bullshit. In his defence, the hill is very pyramid shaped, but in his criticism, a lot of hills are.

Wikipedia ‘Fact’…

Bosnia Herzegovina is nick-named the ‘heart shaped land’ due to the shape of the country looking ever so slightly like a heart. If you squint. The name was decided by X Factor style public vote, beating ‘the land that looks like Michael Jackson’s face when he stood too close to a warm lamp’ into second and ‘the land that’s a bit like a rather battered looking Dorito’ into third. ‘Wrinkly Vagina shaped land’ was initially declared the winner but the country’s parliament intervened to veto the result.

National Hero…

There’s no shortage of local poets and war heroes who tickle the jingoistic nationalist fancies of lots of Bosnians and Herzegovians, but they haven’t reached much fame outside the Balkans. Hanging out with Bill Clinton, Elton John and Sean Penn – now that’s what the global community really want. That’s where Sanela Diana Jenkins comes into her own. The 40 something year old Sarajevo native has really become a Renaissance woman, justifiably laying claim to titles such as photographer, record label boss, TV mogul, health drinks brand owner, humanitarian organisation running and of course, bikini seller – all without the need for a family member to go onto Wikipedia and write all that stuff on her behalf. She also got around £150m when she divorced Roger Jenkins, which helps funds a lot of cocktail parties with Bill Clinton and co. Just don’t let him anywhere near the Cubans. Both the cigars and any younger women prone to being seduced by power.

Football Pedigree…

As part of the Artist Formerly Known As Yugoslavia, Bosnia Herzegovina can lay claim to quite a decent history – kind of like Liam Gallagher pointing to the Oasis back catalogue and ignoring all this Beady Eye shite. At the World Cup, Oasislavia can boast three quarter-finals and one semi-final appearance to their name. Then came the war and eventual independence. While Croatia, the Noel Gallagher of this strained analogy, strolled off pretty much straight into widespread acclaim, it took Liam Bosnia Herzegovina a little longer to establish themselves. They narrowly missed out on World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 appearances to playoff defeats at the hands of Portugal, but avoided another run-in with Ronaldo’s excessively styled hair by topping Group G of qualifying on whopping goal difference.

Acceptable National Stereotype…

A modern, European nation emerging from a difficult period involved in an unhappy national alliance

Unacceptable National Stereotype…

Surly Yugoslavs who like to start a fight

Don’t be surprised if they…

Actually look really good and get as far as a quarter-final or something impressive that isn’t winning it

Odds to win World Cup 2014: 175/1

They probably won’t win and there’s very few puns to cleverly work into some sort of call to action, but you’ll find all the World Cup betting and markets over this way:
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