Friday, July 11, 2008
Spain!!! The Champions of Europe!
What a tournament, I say, what a tournament!?!?! Spain finally back on the map, big time! A good final for the Spaniards, in spite of their star striker sitting out due to injury, as Torres put their team ahead, in just half an hour since the start. They held on to the lead and then realized their dreams, FINALLY! Aragones must be one happy guy. Scrutinized first for not including ace Spaniard star Raul, he is now applauded for his work with the team that has now risen to glory. The Germans did try a lot to equalize, but their efforts went in vain. Casillas and his band of defenders did well to prevent the likes of Pudolski, Shweinsteiger, Klose and Ballack from finding the back of the net.
Prior to this fitting finale, both teams had to face the challenge of meeting the news making teams – the Turks, very famous for their late comebacks and the Russians, who were under their inspirational “magical” coach Guus Hiddinks.
Turkey had been a revelation in this tournament. They defeated the co-hosts, Switzerland, then the Croatia and also the Portuguese, all in thrilling last phase winners. Oh boy! They sure do have some nerves to hold things till the very end. Semih Senturk was their wrecker in chief in situations more than one. The Russians who had entered the knockout stage in a calm and composed fashion, having negated the previous champions, Greece, a spot into the last eight. But, as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. The Russians were surely very tough on the night they had to face the Dutch. And shockingly, the Dutch were silenced when Russia added two goals to their solitary goal in regular play time. After this, the Russian team started getting a series of calls from the famous football clubs from all over Europe. A move to these clubs may mean that they may play for glory, but they will surely be paid less than what they get paid at their Russian Clubs, which are backed by rich (I mean very very Rich) industries.
The German and Spanish teams had a comfortable way to the knock outs, though Germany was once defeated y the Croats, but their pool-mates, Austria and Poland were finding it difficult to qualify to stage 2. Germany then defeated the Turks in what was a superb encounter. Turks were not fourth time lucky here, unfortunately. Spain had an easy time in overpowering Russia, who were given encouragement in wild (I mean wild) proportions from the big ones back home. They were to be awarded for every goal they score in the semifinal, but they disappointed. All in all, they provided superb entertainment.
The end of Euro saw a list of retirements, sackings, transfers, rumours, blames and fames, and Iker Casillas lifting another title, this time, for his nation.
What a wonderful tournament it was. Now, we have to wait until the leagues kick off in Europe for more drama. Then, there is the great Olympics, for which the clubs are trying to hold their players from representing the nation so that it may help them to qualify for the UEFA Champions League / UEFA Cup. As of now, the qualifiers for the FIFA world Cup are going on.
Awaiting more football……….