Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Euro 2012: The Clash of the Titans

Europe's heavyweights separated themselves from the so so when the semi final cast was completed. Earlier, Portugal nipped the Czech Republic, 1-0, Germany outclassed Greece, 4-2, defending Euro and World Cup champion and No. 1 in the world Spain eliminated France, 2-0 and finally, today, Italy sent the English team heartbroken with a 4-2 penalty shootout win. England's penalty loss was their greatest fear for it seemed like a curse to past English teams. Since 1990, they lost 6 out of 7 penalty shootouts, and this time, it happened  again, following a goal less regular and extension time. In all four quarterfinal matches, the winning teams clearly dominated their opponents, notwithstanding the scores. Of the four teams, only Portugal did not win a World Cup title. I was glad I have watched all the replay of these games and look forward to its conclusion.

It will be Spain vs. neighbor Portugal, and Germany vs. Italy. I go for Portugal, the underdog and the powerful Germany in the finals. Spain is heavily favored against Portugal but who knows, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal's superstar might show his true wares and give his country  a glorious victory. Spain is powerful, with its players culled mainly from Real Madrid and Barcelona, all veterans of the Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010. But I get bored with their style of play, long set up plays, disciplined and patient though. Portugal plays a running game and I like football that way. Germany on the other hand is strong both in offense and defense and have a deep bench. Against an ultra defensive but boring Italian team, I'm sure they'll be able to make breakthroughs and score.

That's the reason why I like South American football, the way Brazil, Argentina et. al. play. Free flowing, smooth attacking style. That's how you can appreciate the beauty of football.

After all is said, I think Germany will be the Euro 2012 champions. I like to see their leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel jump for joy again, like she did in the game against Greece. It would be a good break and relief for her while leading the European Union out of bankruptcy and disintegration.


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