The "EU fiftieth birthday" match against Man U is in danger of turning into some sort of metaphor. The "Europe XI" team is a great reflection of the EU:
Beckham has pulled out citing injury / Far too expensive, and slightly past its best?
They have had to bring in three Brazilians to make it any good / Overtaken by globalisation and international competition...
Maybe the whole state of football is a reflection of the EU - how did something that everyone likes get hijacked and turned into a massive corporate enterprise remote from ordinary punters... (one controversy at a time please - Ed.)
At the press conference yesterday Marcelo Lippi admitted that they struggled to find players to play in the EU team, and that high profile names such as Zinedine Zidane turned down the opportunity. "It was initially supposed to be a European team only, but there are players from other continents to now... so many people dropped out". Jose Barroso said "I think that it is very good that there are non-Europeans in the European team... I think football is a globalised activity now, it is something that was invented in Europe and we can be proud of it."
Bobby Charlton was asked whether he thought this is the first step to the UK joining the euro (cue chortling from Brussels journalists): "No I don't... but as far as being together in Europe I think what we're doing today is our contribution at the present time."