Disunity - a convenient excuse?

July 4, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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So Spain once again are champions of Europe. It can now be argued that they are one of the finest national sides of all time, alongside the great Brazilian sides of 1958 and the 1970s. It is hard for me to compare this side to those as I wasn’t even a glimmer in my mother’s eye when the great Pele was plying his trade. However, what I can certainly say is that this is the greatest team I have seen since the France side that won both the World and European cups in 1998 and 2000 respectively. The mercurial Fabien Barthez protected by Lilian Thuram, Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly and my favourite, Bixente Lizarazu. Up front the pace and finesse of Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka was supported by Youri Djorkaeff and Christophe Dugarry, and what is left to say about Patrick Vieira and Zinedine Zidane that hasn’t already been said?

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Talk about Depth: five Spanish starlets for 2014

July 3, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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With all the plaudits coming Spain’s way following Sunday’s footballing masterclass against Italy, it is well worth noting the quality of player that did not get a game during Euro 2012, and even more so, those that didn’t even get in the squad. From the 23-man squad for Euro 2012, five players did not play a single minute: the two back-up goalkeepers, Raul Albiol, Fernando Llorente and Juanfran. Those five players alone would walk into most national teams, but even scarier is the sheer depth of talent in Spain is so much that a number of very talented players did not even make the squad. Here are just five that may play a major role in World Cup 2014.

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Dull. Monotonous. Boring. But Blooming Brilliant

July 2, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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Yesterday, Spain become the first team in history to win three major international tournaments in a row, and they did it by winning 4-0, the biggest ever win in a European Championship final. There is no doubt that they deserved to win the tournament, but their domination of international football over the past four years has now reached the stage where everyone is a bit bored of them.

In 2008, everybody was marveling at Spain’s expansive passing style and their wonderful technical ability. They hadn’t won anything before, they were the under dogs. That is why everyone wanted them to win. It was the same story in South Africa in 2010. They played superb football and deserved to win the tournament. But fast forward to the present day, and we are all, well, a bit fed up with them, to be honest. They have become the Manchester United and Barcelona of football. Nobody wants them to win, because they always do. Read the rest of this entry →

Spanish masterclass destroys Italy

July 2, 2012 in Euro 2012, International

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Spain rewrote the history books to claim their second successive European Championship with a sublime performance that further strengthened their claim to be the best international side ever. Two goals in each half were sufficient for Spain, who simply stroked the ball around a hard working Italian side who, at times, appeared to be chasing shadows. On this occasion, the Azzurri were a pale imitation of the outfit that played so well in the group game between the two sides and didn’t even look like gaining any kind of foothold in the match. Quite simply, Spain were ruthless and passed the Italians off the park. On this evidence, those commentators who, ahead of the final, scornfully derided the Spanish as boring should now be hanging theirs heads in shame. That also includes you, Arsene Wenger!

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90′s Time Tunnel - Euro 2012 Special: John Jensen

June 30, 2012 in Euro 2012, Features, International

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With the Euro 2012 final on the horizon, The 90′s Time Tunnel is back! In this week’s installment, let’s go back to the very first European Championships of the 90′s. Let’s go back to Euro 92, and a man that scored in the final - but is remembered for not scoring for a long, long time. That man is John Jensen.

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