Tuesday, June 10, 2008

European Championship 2008....Spain Gets Its Chance

This afternoon we will find out whether the current Spanish national team can live up to its potential. They have a tough game against Russia, and the rest of the qualifying group doesn’t promise to be easy either. For a couple of players this is going to be a very big tournament. If Sergio Ramos can reproduce his club form then he is in a position to become the key player in the team for the next few years. Meanwhile, we will see whether Fernando Torres has really improved as a player, or whether his excellent first season at Liverpool is down to him being better suited to the English game than to the Spanish one. He is likely to be accompanied in attack by David Villa, who has had a disappointing season. To be fair, this is probably because his club (Valencia) was engaged in a tough fight with Levante and Real Zaragoza to be the worst run club in the Spanish Liga. According to predictions I’ve seen, both Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas are going to start on the substitutes bench, what that says is that the team’s strongest area is midfield. Time for a bad prediction, I think Spain will win 2-1.

Last night injury hit Holland put the world champions in their place. Any game involving Italy only ever comes alive if the Italians go behind as there are few footballing spectacles more depressing than watching Italy look after a one goal advantage. This for me was easily the best game of the tournament so far, in which we have yet to see a game where both sides manage to score. Leaving aside the dull opening game between the Czechs and the Swiss, along with the equally soporific encounter between France and Romania, the opening games have not been too bad. But last night’s match took things to a higher level. Let’s hope it stays that way.

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