Monday, June 28, 2004

A bit on Euro 2004

Oh the drama and unpredictability of short order Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England have been knocked out of the "Eurocopa", leaving Holland and three of the EU's "emerging" nations in the semi-finals (I include Portugal, as at last count they still had a slightly lower per-capita GDP than New Zealand). If it was a beauty contest, you'd be suspicious of a political stitch-up.

The highlights so far include the Czech Republic's pulsating, come from behind 3-2 win over Holland...and the Italians going into a furious sulk *before* the 2-2 draw between Denmark and Sweden which knocked them out. And how must it feel to be Greek right now, with the Olympics still to come in September? Male testosterone levels must be soaring there at the moment...

What will happen from hereon? Very hard to say. I'd love to see Portugal go all the way - they play fluid, eloquent football and deserved to go through against England (sorry, Gareth, if you read this). But they lack a bit of the ability to actually knock in the goals, so I have my doubts. On the basis of performances so far, you can't go past the Czech Republic, who have won all four of their games and scored ten goals - although they were somewhat less convincing against Denmark this afternoon. Then there's my perennial second-favourite team and perennial chokers, Holland. They're a bit lucky, having only actually won one game so far - but they've been unlucky in the past, and it could be their year. And of course anyone who's written off Greece so far has been it should be pretty exciting stuff. I can't wait till Wednesday!

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