Thursday, June 26, 2008
And then there were two: Euro final
Germany, eternal favorites in every tournament. Present in 5 Euro finals (including this one). Winners in 3. World Cup champs in 1954 (Switzerland), 1974 (West Germany) and 1990 (Italia). Michael Ballack, Bastian Schweinsteifer, Luksa Podolski, Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Co. have one of the more formidable sides that Deutchland has had in recent history. This side could have won it all in 2006 but fell short due to the lack of talent that has now been replenished. Expect fast-paced football, pinpoint passing, great long balls and plenty of headers from the Germans. They have a history of winning and playing in finals.
Spain's got my heart, however. Winners only in 1964 when they hosted the tournament and always seemingly overflowing with talent from their stellar clubs (Barca, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Villareal, Deportivo La Coruna), Spain tended to fall short time and time again. Only England can match them in disappointments, but at least the English won their own World Cup in 1966. Spain failed to do so in '84. But this time around they got past their quarterfinal jinxes and that just may have done the trick for them. Today they looked impressive next to Russia, always looking to score, always with plenty of flair behind the ball and always sticking to their game. Expect beautiful possession of the ball, sublime passes and individual fantasy from the likes of Fernando Torres, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa, Guiza and Cesc Fabregas.
I say it again.... Two teams. Both with head coaches. Playing the game of football. This will prove to be a great game!