The banter between supporters of England and the USA has escalated since the World Cup draw, when the two countries were drawn into the same group.
On his political comedy talk show, The Daily Show, Jon Stewart broached the subject of the upcoming match with actor guest Hugh Grant, asking, "Are you fearing us to some extent?"
Grant had a notion of the USA team's victory over England in a previous World Cup. "There was a horrible moment in 1962 when I think you beat us."
However, Stewart, a former college soccer player himself, jumped in to correct Grant. "1950. I think we beat you 1-0."
Grant was unfazed. "Oh, well, whatever."
Of the USA's improbable victory in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Stewart said. "It's the one thing we have in soccer, we have to get it right."
Grant responded with a dig at soccer's second-tier status in the USA, while acknowledging, of sorts, the USA women's team that has twice won the World Cup title. "I'm
always surprised you have a male football team," Grant said. "It's a female game
Stewart didn't have illusions about the American teams chances against England in June, however.
"I'm very nervous about the game," said the entertainer. "England, especially
this year, has a chance to win the World Cup. They have a tough squad,
good skill, unless Rooney breaks his foot."
The self-deprecating Grant allowed that England has longed for another World Cup title. "It's been hurting since 1966, when we last won the World Cup."
Though he didn't seem to think an upset was likely, Stewart did warn Grant about the fallout if the USA managed the feat. "If we do beat you, it really does puts the final nail in the empire."
Andrea Canales, Goal.com
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