Saturday, June 28, 2008

Euro 2008 - A month of sleepless nites.

When Germany and Spain walk into the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna on Sunday, it shall be the finale of a 1 month of football competition where Europe's 16 best national teams had congregated to determine who would be the Champion. Down to the final 2, it is a 50:50 choice who shall be the winner.

Since we have been bombarded weekly with English Premier League (EPL), there are a number of football fans who are sad England did not qualify. The consolation is that there are sufficient players from the EPL representing their nations. So for these fans it is still about the Devils, the Gunners, the Blues and the Kops.

After Greece's performance in 2004 by being Champions, I was hoping that the football coaching wizard Guus Hiddink would use his magic and ensure that Russia would be crowned European Champions. He got his team to the semi's and the Spainsh football armada was just too much for the Russians. Nevertheless, Hiddink must still be the talk about coaches.

The sad part is on its way Russia made sure they knocked out the Dutch in the quarters. Marco Van Basten, the coach for the Dutch was a prolific player during his days. The European Player of the year for a few seasons, Marco had brought back the attacking style of football. The smooth flowing style of play reminds me of the Dutch team with Johan Cryuff. The Dutch seem always unlucky. With very very few exceptions, the Dutch somehow cannot find their true form when it matters.

The Turks usually somehow will leave some form of impression when ever they play their football. Beaten by Germany in the last minute in the semi's, that game could have gone either way. One must recognise the Turks for their spirit.

Superstar Ronaldo of Portugal had set the pace for the Portuguese and they performed well at the group stage. Of course the MU fans were looking out for signs of whether he will remain with them. It would seem the Portuguese ran out of steam when they met the "blitzkrieg" attack of the Germans.

All in all it was exciting except the "red eye" in the morning could not deceive my colleagues at work. The wonderful thing was they too were "red eyed". Another day and it shall be over. I am fond of the Spanish, their tapas and of course their wine. So, Viva Espanyol!

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