My colleague Nick Aylott orders us to read The Independent’s interview with Fulham manager Roy Hodgson. We hear and obey.
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t have a problem with Germany reaching the final of Euro 2008: The 2008 edition of Germany is a sympathetic team, if a bit uneven in its performance. But like a lot of people I would also have loved to see Turkey in the final – the Crazy 11 sure added a lot of excitement and entertainment value to the tournament. And who knows: If Volcan Demirel hadn’t lost his mind in the final minutes of the match against the Czech Republic, then it might had happened. Or perhaps not.
But what about Russia vs. Spain? Spain is Denmark’s traditional nemesis but like most Danes I thought the Spanish side had earned every penalty kick it inflicted in the Machiavellian side in the quarter-finals. And Russia without Turbinsky, sorry: Torbinsky, … hmm.
My prediction was a) the match will be boring and b) Italy wins 1-0. I was unfortunately right about the first one but fortunately wrong about the second. One of my colleagues even told me that he went to bed early because the match was so boring and he saw the penalties coming.
My proposal for an amendment of the points system in international tournaments (CL, Euro, World Cup and qualifyers): Italian teams will be punished with the deduction of 2 points every time a team makes less than 2 goals in a match.
Spain is the traditional nemesis of Denmark in international soccer tournaments and of cause I hope for the Spaniards to … no, I don’t, because Spain will be playing Italy in the Euro 2008 quarter-final and I hate hate hate the Machiavellian Italian soccer.
Or to quote Jan Weiler of Die Zeit:
Es gibt wenige Gründe, den italienischen Fußball, diese tätowierten Daumenlutscher, diesen kickenden Frisurenkatalog zu mögen. Außer natürlich, man ist Italiener.
Sure. Italy will win 1-0. And it will be boooooring.
At least when we are talking about international football matches: Somewhere I managed to predict a Euro 2008 final between the Netherlands and Portugal.
Well, the Germans sans Löw had few problems with the Portuguese and the Dutch never really knew what hit them. But what a great match that still was.
Well, what else can you do after watching the Dutch making first Italy and the France look like extras on the field.
Die Zeit said it (at least in the rss-version of the summary): The Swedes played less badly than the Greeks and won 2-0.
If the Swedes hadn’t had Ibrahimovic…
I’m sure that the hour I
spent wasted watching the second half France vs. Romania will be credited in Purgatory.
Netherlands vs. Italy, on the other hand, was pure bliss: Not only was the match entertaining, but Italy was soundly beaten as well.
Tomorrow, the Euro 2008 championship begins. This has nothing to do with money (well, it has everything to do with money – perhaps “it has nothing to do with currency” will be more correct) but is the trademarked name of UEFA’s European Soccer Championship.
Sadly, or perhaps fortunately, Denmark is not in the tournament (that’s what having a third-rate national team gets you) so you might think that I could just sit back and relax and enjoy the matches.
Not so fast Poindexter! Let’s go through the groups one by one:
Group A: Czech Republic, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey
One of my cousins is married to a Swiss and lives in Switzerland.
Group B: Austria, Croatia, Germany, Poland
Truly the Group of Death – I follow an Austrian ex-student’s blog, the husband of one of my other cousins has a Croatian background (okay, they’ll back Sweden enthusiastically, but still) and I have German friends.
Group C: France, Italy, Netherlands, Romania
One of my friends is part-French and grew up in Paris.
Group D: Greece, Russia, Spain, Sweden
Sweden is an obvious problem, but I must add that one of my friends is married to a Russian.
Update: Somebody at Politiken had a bit of fun by making a list of Swedish national players who were born in Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. They could make up a team, actually.