No, not former Prime Minister Hatoyama! I’d like to introduce you to Tulio, or Marcus Tulio Tanaka.

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Now, I’m not really a massive football fan, but the World Cup has rolled around again and we happened to be in Tokyo when Japan had a friendly against England. Perfect timing some might say, so we got the beers in and hunkered down, ready for disappointment on both sides.

Japan scored early, a roar from the crowd and long faces from the England benches. And then, in the second half, it happened. Tulio, golden goal boy from the start of the game, scored an own goal. I don’t know how common it is for one player to score for both teams (at a World Cup friendly too!), but the odds must be pretty slim. Oh, Tulio. At least he wasn’t alone for long, as his team-mate Nakazawa decided to join in and scored the second own goal. Final score: Japan 1 – England 2. Thanks boys.

Just when he must have been getting over his own goal, Tulio’s friendly curse strikes again! This time not in the form of a mis-placed ball, but Ivory Coast’s Drogba’s elbow – broken thanks to a Tulio/Drogba bounce. Ouch. Oh, Tulio. Well, less than ten days until it’s Japan v Cameroon. I’ll be on Tulio Watch, ready for disaster.

If, after the World Cup, you see Tulio around, why not give him a pat on the back and a beer. I think he might need a drink after the past couple of weeks.


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