Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Euro 2008

With Euro 2008 coming up on on June 7th, I just want to run through briefly who I personally believe are going to be favorites for the tournament.

Let's start with the current World Champions, Italy. With Totti out of Euro injured Italy will particularly look to Pirlo to lead the team, and I believe he is quite capable of doing so. It is quite unfortunate however that Fabio Cannavaro has been ruled out as he has sustained an injury in the team's last friendly game which would probably cause some defensive woes, but Italy is a team which is known for its solid defense, and therefore there should be a suitable replacement. The players to watch in this team are Pirlo, Del Piero, Zambrotta and Luca Toni. Look for Pirlo to dictate the midfield, Zambrotta to come up big in the defense and Luca and Del Piero to bang in the goals, as they both have been the top scorers in their respective leagues this season.

People hardly consider this team when they think of big teams but Germany is a very big side. Dating back to 2002, Germany has made the World Cup final loosing out only to Brazil and they finished third at the last World Cup by beating Portugal. Ballack, Klose and Torsten Frings are the stars for this side, so look out for big performances from these players.

There's no more Zinedine Zidane but France continues to produce amazing talent. After loosing out to Italy at the last World Cup, France will most definitely want to crown themselves champions of Europe. Look out for the young, talented Karim Benzema and Samir Nasri, Bundesliga's best Frank Ribery and veteran striker Thierry Henry.

Finally my favorite team, Spain, the great underachievers of Europe. Yes, they do not have many trophies as they have only won just one European title in 1964 but I just love the way they play. One journalist referred to the way they play as "tika taka" which means pass and go. I just love to see nice touch football and for this reason Spain is my favorite European team. Look for hitmen El Nino, Fernando Torres and El Guaje, David Villa to come up with big performances, along with the "midfield midgets", as I like to call them Xavi and Iniesta and Arsenal talisman Cesc Fabregas. The biggest concern for Spain right now would be the defense, hopefully they can get it together before the competition starts.

Euro 2008 should be great and although these teams I have mentioned may be the favorites, this is football, and we all know what they say, anything can happen.

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