Champions fall. Heroes rise. Hosts retreat. Status quo? If Greece's win in 2004 was a break from the status quo (France in Holland/Belgium 2000, Germany in England 1996) and the rise of a new European power, albeit defensive in nature a-la-Italia, then this Euro's initial results point to a return of the great super powers--Spain, Holland, Portugal, Germany, Sweden. Sure, Italy fell to Holland and France was held to a draw. Still, there's a reason for a group of death and normalcy is never quite completely so . Still, clear dominance has been felt. Spain was a treat to watch--David Villa made it look as simple as it is on my Wii. Germany showed why they are a superpower. Portugal flaunted Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho, Deco and Ronaldo, among others, showing no signs of slowing down. Then there's the Netherlands... Van Nistelroy and Kuyt made us dream of the great team captained by Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten (the second goal was pure fantasy and worthy of VB). Oh, and sorry I left them out of my poll...still, that's why I left an option for "other."
I was dissapointed with France but not so much by Italy. The azzurri are missing some key players for this contest and their age is beginning to show. France is in limbo without head-butting Zidane. The talent's there but Ribery really needs to step up. Henry's return might be what they need.
Tomorrow's another day. I get to semi-enjoy the games through peer2peer connections at work (don't tell anyone) and will be looking forward to seeing what Portugal can do against the feisty Czechs. I leave you with Van Basten's beauty: