Though to be fair that should be 'brazuca' with a small 'b' or @brazuca with a sodding Twitter account. Rise seas. Fall skies. For this is where civilisation ends...
After Zlatan lost the duel with his nemesis, the World Cup will be without a monstrous ego (with a sprinkling of insecurity). We'll be saved some of the tiring nonsense...
Good morning, and how are you? Have you had a good summer? Yes, it has been hot. Well, it has been hot where I have been; I don't know about you. Where have you been? Was it hot there? Well, that's good. Or bad. Depending on what you said and what you like. Shall we - now that everybody's realised it's another bloody Andi Thomas piece and exercised their democratic right to close the browser tab and read something more to their taste - move on to the next paragraph yet? Yes, let's.
Let's talk about the Charity Shield, which isn't called that anymore, despite charity being a word of great resonance, import and significance, called by Thomas Aquinas "the most excellent of the virtues", and despite community being a bit crap. No poetry, these football administrators.
The Charity Shield is many things, but first and foremost it's a terrible shield. Even if you did manage to somehow strap the thing onto your arm, it would be of limited use in a swordfight. And so, rejected by the world of hand-to-hand combat, the big silvery plate had to find another job, finally fetching up as 'the traditional curtain-raiser' for the football season.
This remains the case, despite the fact that the 2013/14 Championship started last weekend, the 2013/14 Champions League started on July 2, and the 2013/14 Europa League began some time between the first and second Punic Wars. Presumably it's a very large, mostly transparent curtain. Or maybe football is actually one of those arty pieces that begin out in the audience, beyond the fourth wall, and we're all supposed to be asking ourselves complicated questions about the nature of identity, performance, and whether we should in fact have just gone to the cinema instead, yes I know I said I wanted to come, yes, I know it got good reviews, but really, I mean, they're just, well, dicking about, aren't they?
The Charity Shield is also 'a glorified friendly'. For all that this sounds like a bit of an insult - and for all that Roberto Mancini inspired some chortling after he included the Shield in his Thank You, Oh Thank You, I Will Never Forget You advert to Manchester City fans - it's a broadly accurate description. But it's no longer alone in this respect. As a quick look over the pre-season just gone will tell you, all the friendlies are glorified now.
At the top, England's premier clubs trail their brand around emergent markets, finding time between the flesh-pressing, deal-pushing, camera-gazing and hand-waving to play the occasional game of football. Lower down the pyramid, clubs charge their fans premium prices to watch Real Madrid's reserves jog carefully around a third division pitch. Television cameras send back pictures of a Manchester United training match against an invitational XI, major newspapers carry minute-by-minute reports, then pore over the entrails to see what we've learned. And what did we learn? We learned that the marketing department of Mamee noodles are fairly good at their job. We learned that people will click on anything. We saw Twitter creak, bend, then snap quietly in half. Because while it's very funny that Arsenal can't even win the Emirates Cup, it's very sad that anybody actually gives a flying one.
So what now for the Charity Shield? One wonders how enthusiastic the bean-pushers and pen-counters of Manchester United are for this year's fixture. Traditional? Yes, traditional is an important aspect of the Manchester United project, going forward. And a win would certainly be a nice start for David Moyes, who still looks as though he's expecting a large man in a suit to appear behind him, tap him on the shoulder, and say, "Excuse me, sir, but I don't think you're supposed to be here. The Megastore's that way."
But this is time that could be spent making actual money for Manchester United, which is what Manchester United exist to do. Strip away the significance - or the glorification - of the Charity Shield, look at it with cynical and uncaring eyes, and you'll see not so much an integral part of the sporting calendar as a fussy piece of unnecessary bureaucracy. Even more so this season, after Wigan's FA Cup win denied the nation the chance to see either Moyes or Manuel Pellegrini STRIKE THE FIRST BLOW in the BATTLE FOR SUPREMACY that will doubtless unfold over the COMING PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON, as they VIE TO FINISH SECOND BEHIND CHELSEA. Thoughtless Wigan. Naughty Wigan. It's like you don't even care about the narrative, Wigan. It's like you don't even care about the Premier League! Eh? Oh. Fair point.
Ultimately, there is something dusty and even perhaps quaint about the Charity Shield. This is why it's probably doomed. Football doesn't really do quaint; there's no money in it. Imagine suggesting it, now, to Richard Scudamore: Hey, Richard! Had a thought! Wouldn't it be nice if the league champions played the cup champions? We'll do it the week before the season starts. We'll get a big shiny silver platter. And here's the really great bit: we give all the money from the game to good causes! I know! Richard? Richard? Hello? Oh, he's hung up.
Andi Thomas - you can follow him on Twitter, you know