Euro 2012 group summary: let the finals begin!
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Two weeks after the much anticipated tournament began, football fans have strapped themselves in for the nail biting and enthralling end to the competition.
Now eight countries are left, with Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and England coming through. Before the quarter-finals begin, I’d like to review the group stages.
The group that delivered the most exhilarating bunch of matches was definitely Group B, while Group D had the dullest matches. The group stages also provided us with forty-three goals, with Spain scoring the most goals.
The best match of the group stage had to be the Portugal V Denmark match. It was end to end attacking, defensive abilities were on show, and unexpected and un-prolific players came up with goods.
The match will long be remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo’s many fluffed chances, and the image of frustration depicted on his face. For a man who is regarded by many as one of the greatest players in world football, it looked like there was a continent of expectation on his shoulders.
If I was the coach of the Portugal, I would simply take the armband off him and let him roam wild. Captaincy shouldn’t be given to the best player in the squad, rather to the one which shows the greatest leadership skills. Right now when I see Cristiano play, I don’t see a captain, not yet anyway.
Throughout this match, Denmark proved to be the dark horses in this group of death. They never sat back, they kept going for the kill, and for Bednter to come and score two was quite the surprise. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this match, and this has to be my favorite game so far.
There have been many surprise packages, Russia’s early rampage against the Czechs, Denmark’s resistance, Ireland’s horrific game plans and Holland’s egotistic problems.
The Dutch were dubbed as odds on favorites to win the competition, yet they couldn’t even string a win together or even a decent performance. They have deep problems that go far beyond a drawing board. If they don’t get their act together, their World cup qualification could be in jeopardy.
As a Spanish Supporter, their play hasn’t convinced me so far. Playing with no striker is not my cup of tea. When you have the likes of Fernando Llorente, Jesus Navas and Fernando Torres on the bench, why no use them?!?
They might not have the experience or impact as David Villa, but nonetheless Alonso, Iniesta and Xavi would have a set target to aim for, so Vincente, no more 4-6-0 formation, please.
So as we look forward to some mouthwatering quarter-finals action, my team of the group stage goes as follows:
Lahm Pique Chiellini Alba
Ronaldo Pirlo Iniesta Silva
Let the finals begin!
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