EURO 2008: The Fever Pitch

Article by Pete Prinyaroje

Regarded around the world as the most prestigious tournament for European national teams, the UEFA European Cup football tournament has been held every four years since 1960. This year’s version, Euro 2008 is offering a total of 184 million Euros in prize money. The winner will hoist a newly designed 8 kg trophy and will represent UEFA at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

Austria and Switzerland won the rights to host Euro 2008 making it the second time that two nations have been successful in winning the right to co-host the tournament. The matches will be held at eight different stadiums located in various parts of the co-hosting countries. While the host nations were given automatic qualifications, the rest of Europe’s elite were forced to battle it out in the rigorous group stages that began in August 2006. 14 teams made it through to join the two co-hosts in the 16-team tournament. The games begin on June 7th at St. Jakob Park in Basel, where Switzerland will take on the Czech Republic.

The German team captained by Chelsea’s Michael Ballack is favored by bookmakers to make the short trip home as European champions. However, Portugal, with arguably the world’s best player Christiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in their lineup, can’t be ignored as they attempt to go one step further this time after finishing as runners-up at Euro 2004. The Spanish also have a star studded team which includes Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and will be looking to lose their under achievers’ tag by making an impact at the tournament.

The English team will be the most noticeable absence, with former manager Steve Mc Claren being fired shortly after they failed to qualify. Other noticeable absences include Ukraine, Serbia, Norway, Denmark, Bulgaria and Scotland.

Euro 2004 winners Greece made it through and will hope to cause as much of a shock as they did in the last competition, while 2006 World Cup champions Italy will be hunting for more glory.

With the likes of France, Holland, Portugal, Spain and Germany all keen to add another major trophy to their cabinets, this tournament could be the most hotly contested in years. However, fans are sure to witness a few surprises as Croatia, Turkey, Romania, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Sweden make up the rest of the teams who are all hoping to grab the world’s attention.

“Expect Emotions” is the official tournament slogan as fans are set to experience joy, disappointment, relief and high tension up until tournament concludes on June 29th. The final match will be played at the 53,000 seat capacity Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna and will feature Enrique Iglesias performing the Euro 2008 tournament anthem “Can you hear me?” It’s guaranteed you will hear the fans throughout Vienna, as 53,000 rabid footballers cheer for their favorite.

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2008: The Year of Cristiano Ronaldo

Report by Victoria Cochrane

At any time considering that Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United in August 2003, the £12million winger has never ever been far from the headlines. Making his debut in the first game of the 2003/04 time, in a comfortable four- win above Bolton, Ronaldo came off the bench to change Nicky Butt to become the very first actually Portuguese player to represent the Red Devils. From the raw expertise signed by Sir Alex Ferguson – soon after becoming handed above by the then-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier and almost getting bought by Arsene Wenger at Arsenal – Ronaldo has turned into one of the contemporary day greats who is amid the quite finest in planet football. This claim has been verified by the fact that in 2008 Ronaldo received the Ballon d’Or, typically named the European Footballer of the Yr Award even though, currently gamers from any nationality enjoying in any country can win the accolade. The previous year Ronaldo had arrive second to the Brazilian Kaka. Ronaldo grew to become the 3rd Portuguese international (becoming a member of Eusebio and Luis Figo) and the fourth Manchester United player (following Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Greatest) to win the award. Somewhat than go by a player’s performances about the program of a period, the Ballon D’or is awarded to whoever is deemed to have been greatest about the course of a calendar yr. Ronaldo started off 2008 scoring against Aston Villa in the FA Cup before scoring his very first at any time hat-trick, in the six- demolition of Newcastle. The winger, or floating second striker as he was usually employed, scored 24 ambitions in between New 12 months and the stop of the 2007/08 season. His goal in opposition to the Czech Republic served his nationwide side reach the quarter ultimate of the 2008 European Championships. An ankle injury delayed Ronaldo’s return to club football but he managed one more nine targets before the conclude of the calendar 12 months, like four in four days as he scored match-winning doubles in opposition to West Ham United and Hull City. Thirty players have been nominated for the 2008 award, with 96 global journalists voting for their top five choices. Ronaldo came top rated with 446 factors, followed by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi with 281 factors and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres with 179 factors. Since then, nonetheless, Cristiano Ronaldo has been snubbed by his main rival. When asked to identify his dream staff of 2008, Messi neglected to decide on Ronaldo as a substitute opting for a midfield of Javier Zanetti, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. Irrespective, Ronaldo continues to be extremely significantly in focus as being a single of the world’s greatest and each transfer window brings rumours that clubs from across the continent are planning massive bids to pry him away from Outdated Trafford.

About the Author

Victoria Cochrane writes for a digital advertising and marketing agency. This post has been commissioned by a customer of explained company. This article is not intended to market, but really should be regarded as expert material.

Euro 2008 Football Tournament Review

Article by Daniel Millions

This summer’s European Football Championships held in Switzerland and Austria has been hailed as a massive success. The vast majority of games were full of excitement and goals and there were very few unsavory incidents. Many supporters and experts have expressed their belief that the tournament was one of the best ever. The eventual winners were Spain who were regarded as the best team not only by virtue of the winning score line but also they were the team that played the best football, scored the most goals and conceded the least.

This year’s European Championships was the thirteenth time it has been held since its inauguration in 1960. The tournament format was based on four groups with four teams in each. They played off against each other once and the top two teams qualified for the quarter finals. The group stage of Euro 2008 provided a fantastic display of open attacking football.

The opening game of the 2008 tournament was played out between co-hosts Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The Swiss had high hopes that they could impress but it looked like the pressure of expectation lay heavy as they struggled. They suffered a huge blow by losing star striker Alexander Frei during the game before losing 1-0.

In Group A, Portugal eased to victories over the Czech Republic and Switzerland to become the first team to qualify. In a dramatic final game between Turkey and the Czech Republic, the former emerged victorious after coming back from two goals down to score three in the last 15 minutes of the game.

In Group B, pre-tournament favorites Germany beat Poland before surprisingly losing to Croatia in the second game. They eventually qualified in the last game but failed to impress in a narrow win over co-hosts Austria, who were also eliminated in the same game.

Group C was seen as the tightest group with Holland, France and the World Cup winners Italy battling with Romania. However the Dutch seemed to be one of the most impressive teams in the tournament after comfortably beating Italy 3-0 and France 4-1. With Holland comfortably through, Italy and France met each other to decide the final qualification. In a tense game the Italians proved to be more resilient as they won 2-0.

In Group D Spain and Russia demonstrated some of the best attacking football in the whole tournament. The Spanish with their quick one touch football and the clinical shooting of Fernando Torres and David Villa easily qualified with victories over Russia, Greece and Sweden. The Russians followed with an impressive victory in the last game against the Swedes.

The quarter finals are typically the point when the best raise their game. This is often the case with Germany. Having struggled to qualify from the group stage, they impressed by defeat a good Portuguese team and became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. They were joined there by Turkey who in a dramatic finale managed to level the game against Croatia in the last minute before defeating them in a penalty shoot-out. Holland failed to continue their earlier impressive performances by losing to Russia and Spain managed to defeat Italy on penalties after a tense game.

The semi-finals provided fantastic entertainment. Turkey once more demonstrated their tenacity, but ultimately were unable to restrain Germany who progressed to the Final 3-2. Spain eased through after defeating Russia for the second time in tournament.

The Euro 2008 Final was played on 30 June. Spain won 1-0 with a goal from Fernando Torres and subsequently won the tournament for the first time since 1964.

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