The 2012 Euro Cup just ended and it certainly left a lot to talk about. Firstly, Spain showed the world why they are the World and European Champions. “La Furia Roja” gave no chance to Italy in the final match, or any other contestant throughout the tournament by being true believers in their system of play. As usual, Spain displayed great ball possession and domination of the game, which led them to history, as they now are the only team ever to win three consecutive major tournaments (Euro Cup 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro Cup 2012).
Though, Italy was the loser of the final match, the team showed great progress, smart coaching and astonishing leadership and guidance by Andrea Pirlo. The midfielder proved to be one of the best in the game, as he has it all: talent, intelligence and experience.
The biggest disappointment of the tournament, without a doubt, was the poor performance of The Netherlands. A squad that had it all to win, and came in as one of the favorites to take the tournament home, simply did not deliver. Overcome by the selfishness of some of the players and the vague decisions of its coach, this Dutch team never got its engine going and did not even get a single point out of the competition.
The greatest acknowledgement of the Euro Cup was that FIFA President Joseph Blatter finally understood and gave in, admitting that the goal-line technology has to be implemented in the game of soccer, as wrong goal calls keep happening even with assistant referees by the goal line of each net.
Three strikers who caught my eye on the positive side were Andriy Shevchenko, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano. Shevchenko had a wonderful impact on game one of the Euro Cup for his Ukrainian team that was trailing 0-1, but because of his two headed goals, Ukraine ended up winning the game 2-1. And after his team got disqualified the 35-year-old striker announced his retirement of the national team. Ibrahimovic, showed the world why he is one of the most lethal strikers in the game by scoring the best goal of the tournament against France side kicking the soccer ball in the air. And, Cassano’s performance on the pitch after having heart surgery about nine months ago was just beautiful to watch. The Italian striker made a statement of his own, proving to be 100% recovered from his surgery and showing that he still has a lot left in the tank to play at the top competitive level.
I must clarify that Jordi Alba was the surprise of the tournament to whoever does not follow Valencia F.C. and/or the Spanish League (La Liga), because this 23-year-old left footer defender has been playing in La Liga the same way he did at this 2012 Euro Cup for the past two years, at least. He has been making those runs down the line and having a great input defensively and offensively for Valencia F.C. for a while now. Lastly, I want to add that even though Spain came out victorious of the competition, I believe that Roberto Soldado should have been called to play for the Spanish national team at this Euro Cup. He deserved it, as he worked hard all season long and was actually the Spanish forward in the 2011-2012 La Liga, along with Fernando Llorente, with the most goals scored (17 goals). I think that if Soldado had been called up, Spain would have performed better at the Euro Cup, and coach Vicente Del Bosque, would have had a better line-up counting with a true number 9 on the team, who is currently going through a really good phase in his professional soccer career.
- Y gracias por no fumar!
|Spain celebrating its 2012 Euro Cup title. Picture from nst.com.my|