Monday, 30 June 2008

Maybe there is something to say about EURO after all

EUFA EURO 2008 went out with a bang. I guess they answered critics like me in the best way possible especially Turkey and Spain. I thought I would see the finals being contested between those two unfortunately lucky didn’t favour the Turks. Germany never look liked they would go through to the finals, but their sheer guts and determination took them trough. Ironically one of my man of the tournament would come from them. Short tempered Sweinsteiger. He was outstanding except that he saw red along the way. Spanish Sergio Ramos was the engine room, when he didn’t play Spain was not playing. When he stepped up the gear from back to the middle to being a thorn on the flash of the defences Spain always looked dangerous. Well done to Spain they deserve it. Initially I thought the Semis would be between Spain, Holland, Portugal and Croatia with Holland taking it. Well done Spain, I can’t wait to see you in South Africa next year on Confederation Cup. I hope we won’t embarrass ourselves because I know Egypt won’t.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Not much to write home about in Euro 2008

In Soccer there is a lot of superstition, I remember in my playing days we believed that when you leave a change room you must not look behind until you reach the field of play. It has been around for some time but when my friend told me that Liverpool was going to win the 2005 EUEFA champions league finals against AC Milan I thought he was crazy. On paper AC Milan was the favourites, but he told me “ In 1982 the Pope died… Prince Charles married princess Diana and Liverpool won the champions league,” he said. Needless to say the out comes reflected that.

In Euro 2008 I tried mine, when realising that Spain was going to play Italy I started looking at their history . What I found out was astounding, Spain had failed to live up to expectations in big tournament … and I thought that was a general knowledge. They had played three of their last major tournaments until penalties. Incredibly they had lost all those matches. They lost to Belgium in Mexico1986. Lost again in Wembley against England in 1996 and recently against South Korea in 2002 in Japan. . In superstition terms odds were against them.

Italy had its fair share of misfortunes in penalty shoot out in the world cup finals in 1990, 1994 and 1998 but that seemed to have past as they had won on their last penalty shoot out in 2006. I watched the whole match between Spain and Italy thanks to paternity leave I didn’t have to wake up and go to work. I was not surprised though when Spain won because like Italy they had to break that bad luck at some stage.

I think Afcon was more enterprising than Euro 08. Players are tired from long season and not much is different from European leagues and the Champions league.

I wish Spain good luck.