Which nation should you adopt now that Capello & Co are flying home?

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The Independent Football


Does the fresh pain of losing to Germany make the agony of the "Hand of God" feel like a distant memory? Do Higuain's goals and Messi's magic make you wish you were in blue and white? You could adopt Maradona's men as your second team, and rally behind the second (or is it third?) coming of Diego, surely the most gripping human tale of the World Cup (from a neutral perspective, of course).


It's Africa's World Cup, so support Africa's team? Customer loyalties in a Port Elizabeth bar during the US game suggests the claim that all Africans support Ghana is overblown, but they are more widely backed than, say, Germany will be by Europeans if they are the last Europeans standing.


Chile's best World Cup run since 1962 has brought joy to a country which suffered an earthquake in February that killed more than 500 – small compared to the death toll in Haiti, because building controls are better, but a tragedy nevertheless. Plus, they are huge underdogs against Brazil and Brits also back an underdog.


They should have their name on the trophy already but tried to humiliate Germany rather than just beat them in 1974, then were controversially defeated by Argentina in 1978. The Dutch are one of the more attractive teams here and have players with connections to several Premier League clubs.


The smallest country left in the tournament, with a population of 3.5 million; a bit more than Wales, a bit less than Scotland. The first country to host and win the World Cup, but it is 40 years since they got this far. Also deserve encouragement for concentrating on playing football this time, not kicking people.


They play beautiful passing football. Victory for their style of football will encourage imitators and provide firm evidence for Trevor Brooking in his quest to transform English attitudes to coaching young players. Success might even result in a rare smile from the lugubrious Vicente del Bosque.


If you can't beat them, support them. They're just like us, only better at penalties and passing. The supporters like beer, singing, hot dogs, fighting and getting sunburnt; the players run all day and never give in. They are our European partners.