THE Italian landlord of a Uttoxeter pub is hoping his punters are left drowning their sorrows after England’s crucial World Cup opener tonight.
Carlo Girometti will provide revellers with free Italian wine and pasta when England play Italy at 11pm.
Although he usually supports his adopted country of 40 years, Mr Girometti will be staying loyal to his home nation throughout the tournament.
And, with his girlfriend coming from Brazil and his English-born son backing the three lions, there looks set to be fierce rivalry in the Girometti household.
Mr Girometti said: “It’s a really tough group, with England, Italy and Uruguay all competing to go through.
“I think England have a lot of excellent, exciting young players and can have a great tournament.
“I’ll be supporting them in all their games - apart from this one.
“But I genuinely hope the best team wins as I know that doesn’t always happen.
“Football is a beautiful but strange game sometimes.”
The Plough landlord has been at the helm for two months and wants to ‘give something back’ to the punters who have welcomed him ‘so warmly’.
He said: “The place has gone from strength to strength since I moved in and I’m so happy we’ve had such loyal support from our customers.
“I want to repay them by sharing some pasta and wine and enjoying what should be a great game of football together.”
Among Mr Girometti’s concerns is whether 35-year-old playmaker Andrea Pirlo can handle the searing heat of Brazil.
He has also labelled prodigious bad boy Mario Balotelli as ‘rubbish’ and ‘a wasted talent with a bad attitude’.