Euro 2008

Game on! Quarterfinal matchups:

Germany vs. Portugal (Thursday)

Croatia vs. Turkey (Friday)

Netherlands vs. Russia (Saturday)

Italy vs. Spain (Sunday)

Hope: based on their first-round form coupled with history of disappointment, I’ll root for Portugal, the Netherlands, and Spain, and perhaps for a Portugal-Spain final.

Expectation: a final that includes Germany or Italy, quite possibly both.

9 thoughts on “Euro 2008

  1. So true. Portugal and the Netherlands broke my heart too many times but I can’t help rooting for them after their exciting display in the group stage.

    And yeah, I also can see the Italians beating the Netherlands in the rematch and squeezing through the the finals. While Germany somehow, somehow (how do they do it?!) managing to win as they’ve been doing for decades.

  2. well, your mind beat your heart on game number 1 –
    although I’d say that Germany actually played quite well and did not win undeservedly in an overall very entertaining game.

  3. That’s spot on Kieran, the italian plan should be called the “anti-football.” What a horrible game yesterday, especially after the other 3 amazing quarterfinals played by teams that are not afraid of taking chances and ENJOYING the game. I’m glad Italy didn’t go through, my faith in the sport is alive.

  4. Agreed that Italy/Spain game was horrifying. The ‘catenaccio’ style of rope-a-dope actually works very well against an attacking team, but if the other team is also waiting for a mistake you just get a dead snooze.

    Bob, the most beautiful game ever was played by the Dutch in the Cruyff era, and what did they win? _Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer_ is the cautionary tale.

  5. Carl, maybe Russia will change all that. Dutch genius coaching with East European fight-to-the-last breath defense and Bolshoy inspired graceful striking.

  6. Would that it were so. Spain 3, Russia O. “Defense wins championships,” the cliche’ goes.

    Still I was surprised. Russia looked so good against the Dutch, and there didn’t seem to be anything technically wrong with their defense. They just vagued out at a couple critical moments, which does happen to teams pushed forward.

    I like Spain against Germany in the final. I don’t think the Germans score more than one against a team committed to defense first, and they’re vulnerable to the counterattack.

  7. Spain’s second-half performance today was a delight. I haven’t been so impressed with a team since Argentina in the last World Cup. The same superb short passing game and quickness on the ball, getting so close in that the goal scorer is passing the ball by the keeper.

    Like Spain in this tournament, Argentina dominated everyone they played — until their match against, um, Germany.

  8. The German central midfield duo are not impressive at all. Ballack is off his best. The rest are marginal at best. Frings, their holding midfield player, is not the force he was two years ago. Lehmann in goal is an increasing liability. Lahm, a right sided player playing at left full back, is vulnerable to being passed on the outside as Turkey repeatedly showed.. Apart from set piece headers, the only German threat seem to be Podolski down the left wing linking with teammate Schweinsteiger in the middle.
    I think Spain will cut them open. The only problem is where do the goals come from? Villa may be injured and Torres seems off his best. Hopefully Fabergas is in from the start.

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