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This is the Teletubbyland team's first appearance in the football (or soccer if you're American) World Cup finals. This follows a late decision by FIFA, the world's football governing body, earlier this year to allow a ninth group comprised of so-called "mythical" nations to take part.Previously, Teletubbyland have been limited to playing friendlies. Since Teletubbyland is such a small place, most of the population have usually featured in the squad. However they always take their travelling army of fans with them in their own motorised flowerpots. The popular terrace anthem, "Oh I Say, The Referee Is Simply Ridiculous" can always be heard whenever their beloved Teletubbyland are losing. Teletubbyland's outspoken manager, Mr. Voice Trumpet has done an outstanding job in leading the squad to the World Cup finals. However his achievments on the pitch have been overshadowed in recent weeks by media reports on his private life, particularly his liason with Miss Ursula Klaxxon from the Granada Men & Motors show Hooting Cars. This does not seem to have affected his commitment to Teletubbyland's aim of glory in Korea and Japan though and he continues to bark his commands to the players on the pitch with all the enthusiasm he is famed for.Dancing his way through the opponents' defence, Dipsy can be a formidable striker. He is well known for his famous goal celebration in which he does a little dance and sings "Goal! Go-oa-oa-oal! Go-oa-oa-oal! Go-oa-oa-oal!". This can sometimes go on for several minutes which has led to his dismissal on two occassions. Off the field, he regularly graces the covers of style magazines and his unique sense of fashion is admired and copied by many devotees.Some footballers can do amazing things with the ball, making the ball curve in mid-air to devastating effect or scoring rocket shots from the halfway line. However, only Laa Laa has demonstrated the ability to make the ball change size or even, as she did during last month's friendly against a Tweenies XI, change its shape into that of a lower-case 'e'. "That's not the way a ball should be!", Doodles, the Tweenies' goalie, was heard to gasp. Understandably, this sort of thing can play havoc with the opposition's morale. Laa Laa sings lead vocals on Teletubbyland's World Cup single Tellytubbylub Be Winny De Wuuurl Cub!" The controversial inclusion of former Liverpool and current Real Madrid star "Macca" into the Teletubbyland squad came about after he was left out of the England side. Not long after this disappointing news, he made the somewhat surprising claim in an interview with Cross Stitch Monthly that his grandfather was born in Teletubbyland. The following day it was announced at a press conference by Mr. Voice Trumpet that Macca would be going to Korea and Japan as a Teletubbyland player. It looked certain that FIFA would veto this as firstly it's against the rules for a player who has represented one country to switch to another and secondly they had grave doubts as to the authenticity of Macca's claim to Teletubby ancestry. However, Laa Laa allegedly took several FIFA officials out to dinner last Thursday, looked each of them in the eye, giggled and said softly, "FIFA play ball?" All opposition to the move seems to have been dropped. "I'm the Bear! With Brown Fuzzy Hair!" she snarls, scattering defenders left and right as she charges upfield at impressive speeds. Works well when playing with Scary Lion. Outside of football, she has a part-time career as a stand-up comedian, making audiences everywhere howl with laughter at that hilarious thing she does with her tongue. Scary Lion works best when he is teamed up with the Bear With Brown Fuzzy Hair. Like her he is also a speedy player and his impressive roar gives him a sizeable psychological advantage over his opponents. Scary Lion was unfortunately out of action for most of last year with woodworm in his front paws but he will be keen to prove his fitness in the warm up matches before the start of the World Cup.Nick-named "Hamish" by many fans, the man in the house is probably the most eccentric player in the Teletubbyland squad. His ball skills are adequate and he is certainly fast enough to play on the wing though he does have a habit of muttering to himself while running. He is perhaps most famous for the bizarre incident in the match against a Sesame Street XI two years ago in which he was sent off for continuously switching the floodlights on and off. He has never properly explained the reasons behind his behaviour that night and when asked about it in interviews he merely opens a window and starts singing off key.The speediest of Teletubbyland's players, Po can often appear to be everywhere at once. She charges around behind the midfield, cutting off many of the opposition's attempts to move forward. However, she gets tired quickly and if Mr Voice Trumpet does not substitute her quickly enough, she will simply announce, "Uh-oh! Tired!" and fall asleep there on the pitch, leaving Teletubbyland a player short. Po has been attempting to improve her stamina lately with a tubby toast rich diet. Little Lamb (aaaahhh!) is perfectly suited to a defensive role as it takes a very stone-hearted opposition attacker to take the ball past him. It has even been known for opponents to pass the ball directly to Little Lamb (aaaahhh!) when he lets out one of his sad, despairing bleats. Little Lamb (aaaahhh!)'s family used to provide wool for the Teletubbyland kit until some of the flowers pointed out that woollen football kits were "a silly idea, yes quite ridiculous."The Teletubbyland captain's first involvement with the team was as it's physio, always ready with his magic bag full of tubby sponges. He soon switched to skills on the field, proving to be a rock solid defender. Always one of the largest players on the pitch, he tackles and clears with ease and his influence has quickly earned him the captain's armband. Tinky Winky is the only Teletubbyland born player to have ever played at club level in England spending the 1998/9 season with non-league Farnborough Town's reserves, before being released following their subsequent relegation.A late addition to the squad, Funny Lady replaces Tap Dancing Bear who was injured a couple of weeks ago when his flying circus tent crashed into the Teletubbyland Windmill. It remains to be seen how well she can perform but opponents may well be wary of her, if only from fear that she will start wittering on about the Naughty Yellow Cow or hand round non-existent biscuits at half time. The noo noo,an excellent goalkeeper who can pull off the most amazing saves. Balls that seem to be heading right past him into the far corner somehow change direction and finish up on the end of his nose. He has never yet "tidied up" a ball but has on seperate occasions inhaled the goal net and also one of his own defenders (a rabbit, who retired soon afterwards).

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