It is around this time I get palpatations and my palms start to sweat.
Do not be alarmed, I am not turning into a werewolf but I do worry about the return of mundane TV.
I might even have to talk to the wife and do the odd bit of washing up now that Euro 2012, which has gloriously filled the airwaves over the past three weeks, is just about done and dusted.
I am writing this before Spain’s final opponents are known, though I am guessing the Germans will be the ones to provide a pairing which will whet the appetite of football fans.
Like an old mangle, I have squeezed every last drop out of this tournament and it has not failed to deliver. I will remember it for many reasons...
The ‘tiki-taka’ tactics of Spain have again prevailed. Like a pin-ball machine, the ball has been passed, passed and passed with a consistency which has mesmerised most opponents.
Cynics call it boring, I call it pure enjoyment. A bit like a cat toying with a mouse, teasing and tantalising the opposition until eventually they succumb.
Iniesta has been a joy, weaving his magic and casting spells on his opponents. Long may this kind of football flourish.
In complete contrast we have witnessed England serve up more of the same tripe supper that we have had to endure in the past. Were you at all suprised to see us bow out on penalties?
I know I wasn’t. As much as I want to, it’s very hard to fall back in love with England at the moment. My last romance was way back in Italy in 1990 when Gascoigne was running the show, Cruyff-turning the Dutch inside out and inserting Lothar Matthaus in his back pocket.
Nowadays we are technically inefficient, void of skill, decision-making is poor and, more importantly, our ball-retention is non-existent. The latter is a key requirement on the international circuit. Every good team needs to be able to keep the ball.
Why can’t we? It’s as if we are allowed three seconds of posession and we then have to see how far we can hoof it upfield in the hope it lands at Welbeck’s feet. Back to the drawing board I’m afraid.
Overall, though, the football has been exhilarating. For the first time in a while, the semi-finals were contested by the four best teams in my opinion.
Mezut Ozil inspired Germany, who look capable of world-domination for many years to come. Italy featured the composer that is Andrea Pirlo, who still looks like he could play the game in slippers and a velvet dressing gown. The developing Portugese had Ronaldo as its sorcerer and ‘La Roja’ had Xavi and Iniesta at their beating heart.
Of the rest, hosts Poland and Ukraine not only put on a spectacular but also thrilled with their football; the Dutch proved useless but were not quite as poor as Ireland, whose fans would surely have won any singing contest!