Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

May 27, 2004

After so many letdowns, Spain goes to Euro 2004 with modest expectatio…

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 11:11 am

The News Review:

* Beckham fired up for Euro 2004
* France lead Euro 2004 pack
* Germany warms up for Euro 2004
* After so many letdowns, Spain goes to Euro 2004 with modest expectatio…
* Latvia ready to make history
* Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
* Smith close to finalising £7m move to United
* BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Liverpool | Houllier keen on comeback
* BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Switzerland | Players to Watch |…
* Russia still waiting for win on pitch in European championships
* Peterborough Today Euro 2004 – Tournament Guide – Tournament Guide
* Scolari doesn’t expect to continue with Portugal after Euro 2004
* BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Switzerland | Players to Watch |…
* Italy focused on finding redemption
* Shopping in the Name of Soccer
* Porto vs. Monaco in final tonight Real sacks Queiroz and hires Camacho

Beckham fired up for Euro 2004
TVNZ – May 26, 2004
“I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove to people,” Beckhamsaid on Tuesday at a pre-tournament training camp in Sardinia. “Since I moved to Real Madrid, from the first game onwards, Ihad to prove to people in Spain that I could actually play footballinstead of just selling shirts and I felt that I’ve done that. “I’m disappointed not to have won anything at the end of theseason. But I’m into a major championship now and with the teamwe’ve got, you never know what’s going to happen. Beckham said he had no plans to return to the premier league,dismissing speculation in the British media that a move tobig-spending Chelsea was imminent. “Whatever rumours there were about me moving back to Englandwere never started by me,” he said. “I was always happy at RealMadrid and wanted to stay there and that’s the way it’s been in mymind.

France lead Euro 2004 pack
BBC News – May 25, 2004
This may seem an obvious choice – but history tells us obvious choices are invariably the correct ones when it comes to major championships. The World Cup in 2002 was regarded as something of a football freak show with a number of the major nations falling by the wayside early on – but it was the old favourites Brazil who won it. France, the holders from Euro 2000, lead those who can win it and I would bracket Italy, Holland, Spain and England with them. Out of those five, I would rank England as fifth, but they certainly have the capability to have a very good tournament… France, the holders from Euro 2000, lead those who can win it and I would bracket Italy, Holland, Spain and England with them. Out of those five, I would rank England as fifth, but they certainly have the capability to have a very good tournament. France have got problems defensively, with Marcel Desailly not the force he was, and obviously they were caught cold right from the start against Senegal in the World Cup. In Euro 2000 they looked indestructible, but Lilian Thuram has not played well for Juventus this season and goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was moved on from Manchester United to Marseille and may be vulnerable. This will leave the rest with a chance but when you look at what France have up front you see why I still feel they will be the team to beat. Thierry Henry has had another magnificent season at Arsenal, while David Trezeguet is a second world-class striker. Patrick Vieira has been immense at Arsenal and, while Zinedine Zidane was part of a struggling Real Madrid side, a truly great player such as him will want to end his career on the the big international stage in style.

Germany warms up for Euro 2004
Expatica – May 26, 2004
“The team has to deliver after the ominous match in Romania. The 5-1 loss did us harm. We must overcome this. One must feel that we are hot for Euro,” said coach Rudi Voeller… Voeller gathered 20 of his 22-player squad on Tuesday, with only Werder Bremen’s Fabian Ernst and Frank Baumann missing because of club duty in Saturday’s cup final against Alemania Aachen. In addition, Christian Rahn is still injured and Thomas Brdaric is also not in full health. But that does not hurt Voeller too much as he plans the real Euro gear-up in the six days between the Malta and Switzerland games. “We will train in such a way that the players will be in top shape in Portugal. I know that the players won’t be happy, but it is important,” said Voeller. Voeller said that he will take special care of his most important players such as captain Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack, who were far from their best with Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga this season. “It is important that key players like Ballack go into the tournament in top form – not only physically, but mentally as well,” said Voeller.

After so many letdowns, Spain goes to Euro 2004 with modest expectatio…
San Diego Union Tribune – May 27, 2004
Since taking over the squad, Saez, a staid and father-like figure, has brought in a handful of new players but made no revolutionary changes to the style of play, relying somewhat too heavily on a 4-2-3-1 formation that promises lots of slog but little splendor. Tugging the ship as usual will be Raul Gonzalez of Real Madrid, the national side’s all-time leading scorer with 38 goals in 71 appearances but a player that goes into the tournament after a dismal season. "If I thought that Raul was not going to be in the form that we need, he wouldn’t be in Portugal," said Saez. "He is the reference point. He wants to add a triumph with the national team to his other trophies. "Raul will have alongside him in-form Fernando Morientes of Monaco, the Champions League top scorer and a former Madrid teammate. Also adding a spice to the front line will be 20-year-old Fernando Torres of Atletico de Madrid, one of Spain’s most promising talents.

Latvia ready to make history
BBC News – May 27, 2004
The Baltic nation only received its independence from the USSR in 1991 and was welcomed into the European Union in May 2004. But for all the massive strides Latvia has made to integrate into Europe politically, the country’s participation at Euro 2004 will really put them on the map. Gary Johnson, currently in charge at Yeovil, managed the team from 1999 to 2001 and remains a consultant to the Latvian Football Federation. And he is in no doubt how important reaching the finals is to the people of Latvia… ”

When Johnson arrived in Latvia he surveyed a country with just eight professional teams. Take out the Russians and Lithuanians playing in the country and he had around 200 players to choose from. But it was not a dearth of talent that concerned Johnson. “There was a lack of self-belief,” he said. “They enjoyed training and showed in training that they have good technical ability but it was a case of moving them 40-50 yards further up the pitch to make them more dangerous.

Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan
Daily Times – May 27, 2004
I don?t know what will happen. ?But since at this moment I notice that winning Euro 2004 makes it difficult for me to stay on and losing also makes it difficult, I will have to think about my future,? he added. ?If I get an offer, I will have to examine it. I was not thinking this way before. ? Portugal, who are in Group A in the Euro 2004 finals alongside Greece, Russia and Spain, have a 7-5-3 record under Scolari. Portugal have two more friendly matches to come before the start of Euro 2004, against Luxembourg on Saturday and against Lithuania on June 5.

Smith close to finalising £7m move to United
Telegraph.co.uk – May 25, 2004
Jose Mourinho’s expected appointment as Chelsea manager moved a step closer with reports that FC Porto had lined up his successor. Luigi Del Neri, coach of Italian side Chievo Verona, is expected to be appointed after tomorrow’s Champions League final against Monaco which will be refereed by Denmark’s Kim Milton Nielsen. Thierry Henry said yesterday that, if France do not win Euro 2004, he would like England to capture their first trophy since 1966. “You have a good team. Look at the players you have in the squad,” the Arsenal striker said. “I can say this because I have faced them a lot of times. If we don’t win the Euro, I’d like England to do it because I have so many friends playing there.

BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Liverpool | Houllier keen on comeback
BBC News – May 25, 2004

He added: “If I leave with one big disappointment, it is that I feel I leave Liverpool with unfinished business still to be done. ”

But Houllier’s break from football will be brief as he prepares to spend a month assessing teams at the European Championship. “I am going to Portugal for Euro 2004 as part of the Uefa technical team. “I will probably not come back immediately, but once I have had a rest it might be a case of the sooner the better. ”

Houllier has already been linked with the post of Football Association technical director after the recent departure of Les Reed. He added that Liverpool would find no “quick fix” for bringing the club its first title since 1990. Houllier said: “It is important for the club to find the balance in a world driven by economic and political needs.

BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Switzerland | Players to Watch |…
BBC News – May 25, 2004
Brother of defender Murat, Yakin came to European attention during FC Basle’s Champions League run in 2002-03. But his career has taken a nosedive since he underwent an hernia operation causing Paris Saint-Germain to rip up the contract of their new signing. After recovering, Yakin joined VfB Stuttgart in January 2004 but has not always featured in the first team. He will be short of match practice when the tournament gets under way, but a fit Yakin makes a huge difference to the Swiss side… Brother of defender Murat, Yakin came to European attention during FC Basle’s Champions League run in 2002-03. But his career has taken a nosedive since he underwent an hernia operation causing Paris Saint-Germain to rip up the contract of their new signing. After recovering, Yakin joined VfB Stuttgart in January 2004 but has not always featured in the first team. He will be short of match practice when the tournament gets under way, but a fit Yakin makes a huge difference to the Swiss side. He was missing for the only match Switzerland lost in qualifying, 4-1 to Russia, underlining his importance to the team. Did you know? Yakin was named Swiss Footballer of the Year in 2003.

Russia still waiting for win on pitch in European championships
San Diego Union Tribune – May 27, 2004
com > Sports — Russia still waiting for win on pitch in European championships. Not the squad, but its supporters. For the first time in the post-Soviet era, Russia’s entire ticket quota – about 20 percent of the stadium capacity – has been bought up.

Peterborough Today Euro 2004 – Tournament Guide – Tournament Guide
Peterborough Evening Telegraph – May 27, 2004
The 28-year-old is one of a number of Italian players returning to the European Championship with a score to settle. The nation, under the guidance of Dino Zoff, were denied the trophy in cruel fashion four years ago when Sylvain Wiltord’s injury-time equaliser allowed France to claim glory with a golden goal from David Trezeguet. Zinedine Zidane – France Euro 2004 could be the final international campaign of a player who has come from the harsh streets of Marseille to earn his place at the top of world football. In the last 20 years, only Diego Maradona has inspired the awe which Zinedine Zidane now commands on a global scale, and he will go down in history as one of the greatest players of all time. The French midfielder cost a staggering £46million – still a world record – when he signed for Real Madrid in 2001 and his influence played a massive part in lifting France from the second tier of international sport to world champions in 1998. Zidane’s performance during the final in Paris will never be forgotten – two headers set France up for an unlikely 3-0 defeat of Brazil, and he has been named World Player of the Year on three occasions since. To many he is the ultimate midfield player and even Maradona may find cause to agree… Zidane’s performance during the final in Paris will never be forgotten – two headers set France up for an unlikely 3-0 defeat of Brazil, and he has been named World Player of the Year on three occasions since. To many he is the ultimate midfield player and even Maradona may find cause to agree. Carles Puyol – Spain Barcelona’s brief decline in recent seasons has not prevented Carles Puyol from catching the eye of every manager across the continent. The Spanish full-back would have been forgiven for bailing out of the Nou Camp last summer after Barca crawled to sixth in La Liga but his loyalty has been rewarded and the Catalan club are poised to return to the Champions League next season. Puyol will command plenty of transfer speculation during the close season – look for the inevitable headlines linking him with Chelsea – and he will have the opportunity to enhance his reputation in Portugal provided Spain avoid their usual trick of under-achieving at high-profile tournaments. Real Madrid’s Raul is always touted as the country’s key man, but a failure to keep clean sheets has been their fundamental problem over the years and Puyol should be every bit as important as the big names in front of him. Gianluigi Buffon – Italy When a team puts up £32million for a goalkeeper, as Juventus did for Gianluigi Buffon, they expect nothing less than the best of the best.

Scolari doesn’t expect to continue with Portugal after Euro 2004
Calcutta Telegraph – May 25, 2004
?But do you want to know the big difference? If you look at the European player during the team talk, you don?t see that glint in their eyes, they?re very cold. Of course, there are outstanding players in Europe but the Brazilians are still unbeatable. ?

Scolari said he did not expect to be offered an extension to his contract after June and said he had received a number of offers. ?After the European championship, I?m going to study the many offers I?ve received, from clubs and national teams, such as South Korea. ?

Asked about Portugual?s chances of winning the championship, Scolari said: ?If we get past the first two stages, we could get there. ?

Scolari said his relationship with Ronaldo, who scored eight goals for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup, was still good. ?I didn?t intend to criticise him,? Scolari said.

BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Switzerland | Players to Watch |…
BBC News – May 25, 2004
Standing at 6ft 5in, Streller is a very effective target man with particularly impressive heading ability. His career has undergone a dramatic turn around since Basle coach Christian Gross sent him out on loan in autumn 2002. While Streller is not yet a first choice for the national side, his time cannot be long in coming with Euro 2004 providing the ideal stage for the youngster to perform on. Did you know? Streller’s father Thomas is a referee in the Swiss league.

Italy focused on finding redemption
San Diego Union Tribune – May 27, 2004
May 27, 2004ROME – The whining about Byron Moreno has died down and Italy is finally fit and focused on finding redemption at Euro 2004. The outrage with the Ecuadorean referee who was held responsible for Italy’s ouster from the 2002 World Cup at the hands of co-host South Korea lasted well into 2003. By then, Italy had another problem: its poor start to Euro 2004 qualifying and the related questions surrounding coach Giovanni Trapattoni’s job… Now he has a charisma within the team, beyond his unique class. Indeed, Totti rose to a new level this season at Roma. Not only did he score more goals – 20 – than he ever had before, the Roma captain exerted newfound leadership qualities. In Roma’s final matches of the season, Totti appeared on a personal mission to catch Milan and his enthusiasm wrapped up his entire club. In the end, the mission was fruitless, but if he brings that type of energy to Portugal, Italy’s opponents could be in trouble. With only three Milan players on the roster, nearly all of Totti’s teammates should also be extra motivated to win something important. Reserve striker Marco Di Vaio of Juventus called it a team full of "angry" men.

Shopping in the Name of Soccer
Deutsche Welle – May 27, 2004
score, Mastercard will award 11 minutes of unlimited shopping to the lucky fan who guesses how many the team ends up with at the end of the game. Of course, given Germany’s problems on offense, this deal could work out better for the credit card company than the customer. Might not France, or Holland, be a better choice?

“You’re of course not entirely wrong,” a spokeswoman told DW-WORLD. “But I don’t think that would be very popular among our German customers. ”

So far, more than 50,000 customers have sent Mastercard their guess-stimations. And Mastercard expects many more before the Euro 2004 kicks off in Portugal on June 12, 2004. The company is one of many in Germany and the rest of Europe tapping into football fever in the weeks leading up to the 16-team, three-week long tournament… “But I don’t think that would be very popular among our German customers. ”

So far, more than 50,000 customers have sent Mastercard their guess-stimations. And Mastercard expects many more before the Euro 2004 kicks off in Portugal on June 12, 2004. The company is one of many in Germany and the rest of Europe tapping into football fever in the weeks leading up to the 16-team, three-week long tournament. Riding football coattails to profitWhether it’s pizza restaurants offering the right pie to go with each game, or a department store offering football-related deals, European companies are jumping at the opportunity to link themselves to the beautiful game.

Porto vs. Monaco in final tonight Real sacks Queiroz and hires Camacho
Turkish Daily News – Turkish Daily News (subscription) – May 26, 2004
They did it against Real Madrid and Chelsea, we did it against Real in the group phase and after against Manchester United and Deportivo. We did great things. "People say that the big teams are not here but they’re not here because we beat them. We deserve to be here. "

There will still be plenty of quality on show today. Fernando Morientes, a Champions League winner with Real Madrid in 1998, 2000 and 2002, will receive valuable support from midfielders Ludovic Giuly and Jerome Rothen, two of the best French players in the League. Porto will look to the inspiration of Brazilian-born Portuguese international Deco Souza in midfield, while the fast and skilful Brazilian forwards Derlei Silva and Carlos Alberto have the ability to trouble any defense… "I just thought our defense, especially the interior, was just unbelievable," Detroit coach Larry Brown said. "Our defense was just great tonight and we made some big plays down the stretch. "

Indiana had a chance to tie the game on a lay-up by Reggie Miller with less than 15 seconds left, but a spectacular block by Tayshaun Prince stopped the shot. "It was a good thing I got there," said Prince, who sailed into the crowd after blocking the shot. "It feels good to get this win. "

Prince’s block was the 19th of the game by the Pistons, just one off the NBA playoff record set by Philadelphia in 1981. Corliss Williamson added nine points for the Pistons, who held the Pacers to just 24 points in the second half.

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