Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

June 10, 2006


Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 9:49 am

The News Review:

* On the big stage
* Old is gold for Les Bleus
* Attacking Azzurri
* Who will beat Brasil?
* Nadal among the great teenage athletes
* England gets some help to defeat Paraguay
* Dutch Try to Rekindle ‘Clockwork Orange’
* BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Your views on Trinidad &…
* Watch out for Figo and Co.
* Sir Bobby Robson’s England guide
* Independent Online Edition > This Britain
* Czechs dismiss Nedved injury scare
* Battle between bands and footballers
* Becks to end England’s poor World Cup run
* The planet’s biggest show begins
* France replace Cisse with Govou

On the big stage
Hindu – Jun 10, 2006
Adu’s prodigious talent has seen him making headlines since the age of 10 when he was offered a six-figure contract with Inter Milan. Adu chose to stay in the United States and develop his talents there and signed a professional contract with Major League Soccer side DC United when 14. Not surprisingly for one so young, it proved a big step-up and it was even unfairly suggested he might not be all he was cracked up to be. But he has begun to find his feet and made his USA debut early in 2006. Having turned 17 on June 2, the age at which Premiership clubs can sign players on professional contracts, the big English clubs are now starting to take interest. Not surprisingly, Chelsea appear to be heading the queue. Adu may not feature prominently in the tournament, but that will not stop him from commanding attention with clubs sure to be jostling for his signature… Expectations were huge for the 1998 World Cup. But injuries and the form of Roberto Baggio kept him quiet, and he is still remembered for missing two fine chances in the Euro 2000 final. The 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 were also disappointing. Like Henry, Del Piero goes into the tournament on the back of a season in which he has become his club’s all-time leading scorer. He may have been inconsistent for his country, but he must not be under-estimated. @ PA Sport, 2006, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, re-written, re-distributed or commercially exploited.

Old is gold for Les Bleus
Hindu – Jun 10, 2006
It was the final straw for captain Marcel Desailly and defender Bixente Lizarazu, stalwarts of the French defence who quit shortly after the horror of their failure had sunk in. More were to follow as Zidane, Thuram and Makelele also decided to end their international careers two years later after being defeated by surprise eventual winners Greece in Euro 2004. Despite a flawless Euro 2004 qualification campaign, Jacques Santini’s new-look side were eliminated in the quarterfinal after a 1-0 defeat by Greece. Santini left for a short-lived spell at Tottenham, leaving new coach Raymond Domenech with a young, talented but inexperienced squad. Qualification for the World Cup proved extremely difficult. It evoked memories of campaigns for the 1990 and 1994 tournaments, when France failed to qualify. Despite starting as favourites to top their group ahead of Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Faroe Islands, Cyprus and Israel, France were only mid-table after six matches… For the first time in my whole life I decided to go back on a very important decision,” said Zidane. “It was important that I spoke a lot with the coach but I don’t want to be back as Zorro, as a saviour. ”

Zidane, who replaced Patrick Vieira as captain, might not have been the swashbuckling saviour but his experience and reputation certainly revived the French. They eventually secured their ticket to Germany with a 4-0 victory over Cyprus to top the group. “It would be extremely silly to think we obtained qualification only thanks to Zidane,” said Domenech. “But his return did help a lot in terms of confidence. He is a charismatic leader.

Jamaica Observer – Jun 9, 2006
In shades of the bust-up that veteran team-mate Luis Figo had with manager Luiz Felipe Scolari at Euro 2004 on home soil after he was substituted against England, Barcelona star Deco, 28, left some 20 minutes before the rest of the squad. There appeared to have been no bust-up prior to his storming off in an apparent huff. Both Scolari and Deco will, being both Brazilian born, attempt to inject some samba flavour into the side as they attempt to build on their run to the Euro 2004 final. On Sunday, they open their Group D campaign against former Portuguese colony Angola, and then face Iran and Mexico. World Cup may be over for Iranian duo
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (AP) – Left back Sattar Zare seriously injured his right knee in training yesterday, while midfielder Ferydoon Zandi has not been able to shake off a fever caused by the flu… “We’ll see tomorrow how serious it is after an MRI,” Ivankovic said. Zandi has been nursing a fever for much of the past week, and although he has shown up for practice he has not participated in team training. “I’m afraid it is not so good for both players,” Ivankovic said after Zare was carried off the field with an ice pack on his right knee. “I’m not sure they’ll be able to play in the World Cup. ”
Lippi pledges to shave head if Italy lift Cup
DUISBURG, Germany (AFP) – Italy coach Marcello Lippi has promised to have his hair shaved off if his team win the World Cup. The 58-year-old former Juventus coach made his pledge after a friendly exchange with a tall, afro-haired Italian photographer who was obstructing his view at yesterday’s press conference. “Either move out of the way or get your hair cut,” Lippi told the mop-topped snapper as he searched the room for a journalist who had just asked him a question.

Spiegel Online – Jun 8, 2006
Or, how football mirrors life. A reformer? No, he says, he’s not a reformer. Would he like to change Germany? No, that’s not his thing. But hadn’t the United States had a strong impact on him? No, it was more likely Italy. Actually, that only leaves one last question to be asked. Is this the real Jürgen Klinsmann?… Just like former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who tried to introduce a major reform package called Agenda 2010. To the national coach, speed and networking were the keys to success. He wanted to turn a national team that had meekly exited Euro 2004 after three games into a prolific attacking machine. He wanted to build an integrated framework within which the coaches of the national and youth teams could work together, free from the plodders at the DFB, the German Football Association. German soccer, German society: You simply can’t underestimate the grip that this game exerts on the country. That’s why the story of the reformer Jürgen Klinsmann is also a tale of his country’s ability to embrace change. When Klinsmann took over the national team in the summer of 2004, his mind was set not just on winning the World Cup; he was also determined to overhaul the DFB.

Attacking Azzurri
Hindu – Jun 10, 2006
“The Italian league has a number of very good forwards. ”

The understatement is accompanied by learned caution. The downfall of Lippi’s predecessor Giovanni Trapattoni was put down to the controversial decision to exclude Gilardino from his Euro 2004 squad. Gilardino was a 21-year-old sensation at Parma at the time — he has since been picked up by AC Milan — and topped the Serie `A’ scoring charts. He should have been first on the teamsheet, but the off-form Del Piero was picked instead and Italy were knocked out in the first round, goal difference their undoing after finishing level on points with group winners Sweden and second-placed Denmark. Trapattoni had to go and, just as surely, Gilardino is sure to shine in his first World Cup in Germany. Gilardino’s form for Milan — where he has outshone both Inzaghi and Christian Vieri — has been too impressive to ignore.

Who will beat Brasil?
San Francisco Chronicle – Jun 9, 2006
That won’t be easy — getting by Sweden and Paraguay. England then would face, I’m going to say, Serbia-Montenegro. S-M will have upset Portugal, still quaking from its poor showings in the 2002 World Cup and against Greece in the Euro 2004 final. So:1B England beats 2A Ecuador, while 2C Serbia-Montenegro beats 1D Portugal. Then England beats S-M to reach a semi. That enough foolhardiness for now, killing off the Dutch in Group C play and knocking Brazil out in the Round of 16. Quickly pursuing a more reasonable line, I’ll take Germany in the likely Germany-Argentina quarter and the Czechs in a Czech-France quarterfinal… The make up of the present squad, led by Carlos Alberto Parreira at the helm, has a distinct advantage that none of his predecessors ever enjoyed; 21 of the 23 man squad are plying their trade in European Leagues. But this is a double edged sword. In past World Cup competitions, their opponents would not have the advantage of seeing Brazilian players at close quarters, as, by and large, the vast majority of their squad would play for clubs in South America with little exposure to the European leagues. Today, the make up of the squads at Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, AC & Inter Milan, comprises of players from the South American giants like Brazil and Argentina. Advantage nullified!Let’s not misunderstand, Brazil are favourites, as they were in every World Cup I can remember dating back to the 1970 tournament in Mexico (with the possible exception of the finals of 1974 in Germany, as the bulk of that fabulous team of Pele, Tostao, Gerson and Carlos Alberto, were ‘retired’ so soon after their glorious 4-1 mauling of the Azzurri at the Azteca Stadium). But today, the gap between teams have narrowed, and on any given day, any of the top European nations can eliminate Goliath with one mighty swoop. Though Brazil have a relatively comfortable passage to the second round, the knockout stage will be anything but easy.

Nadal among the great teenage athletes
ESPN – Jun 10, 2006
Wilander, still wiry at 41, had to laugh when asked if he was anywhere near Nadal’s physical level when he beat Vilas in Paris to win the first of his seven career Grand Slams. I’m still not as physically developed as Rafael is, but I think I was very developed mentally. It’s a totally different story. Nadal’s physiotherapist, Juanan Martorell, whose job it is to maintain the smooth functioning of that Ferrari of a body, says, “Physically, he doesn’t have the body of a 20-year-old boy, he’s already an adult. Wilander believes that Nadal’s early success, and the attendant media crush that’s accompanied it, are more of a help to Nadal than a hindrance… The list grows, of course, when athletes who compete in team sports are added. Names like: Wayne Gretzky (51-86-137, NHL MVP at 19); Dwight “Doc” Gooden (260 Ks, 2. 60 ERA in 218 IP in 1984 at 19); and soccer stars Pel? (scored six goals for 1958 World Cup-winner Brazil at 17) and Wayne Rooney (linchpin of English attack and scorer of four goals during Euro 2004 at 18). Throw in LeBron James for good measure. Again, add to this list as you see fit, but it’s pretty heady company no matter how you look at it. All those great athletes possessed a certain something that good and even very good athletes just don’t have. The fear or outright hatred of losing, the ability to ramp up their games at the biggest moments on the biggest stages, the knack of making their opponents or teammates raise their level, to name just a few.

England gets some help to defeat Paraguay
International Herald Tribune – Jun 10, 2006
The other two teams in the group, Sweden and Trinidad drew, 0-0, inDortmund later Saturday, so England ended the day alone in first place. The only goal England would need came after three minutes when CarlosGamarra, the Paraguayan captain, headed the ball into his own net. England did not play particularly well. Its passing and control was oftenleaden and lazy. But while the English were uninterested and sloppy, theParaguayans were toothless and inept. On an afternoon when summer finally arrived in northern Europe, and thetemperature reached 26 degrees centigrade, or 79 degrees Fahrenheit, theEnglish were able to slow to a walking pace for most of the second half… "Four years ago a draw, two years ago we lost in the last minute, so to winwas good,' he said of the two previous major tournaments in his tenure. In 2002, England opened by drawing, 1-1, with Sweden, in Saitama, Japan. InEuro 2004, England lost its opener, 2-1, to France in Lisbon. What Englandfans remember, however, is that England led in both those games. Englandalso led, 1-0, in both the quarterfinals it has reached under Eriksson. Itlost both — to Brazil in 2002 and Portugal in 2004.

Dutch Try to Rekindle ‘Clockwork Orange’
Washington Post – Jun 8, 2006
“They may not be the big names that people may expect from the past, but it is important that they play in the system,” said Van der Sar. And that system is set by Van Basten, who had seen from the start this team needed a more nurturing approach. After the Netherlands lost the semifinal of Euro 2004, Van Basten was called in as a coaching novice to lead a team depleted of several veterans who had retired. Because the Dutch are so often divided by internal wrangling, Van Basten decided to make a clean break. He has not called on either Edgar Davids, feeling comfortable with the few veterans such as Van Nistelrooy and Van der Sar among a group of promising youngsters. His goal is to win Euro 2008 and the World Cup was originally seen as a way station on the road. “It is a plus, but it would be unfair to have too high expectations,” he said, happily letting Brazil and Argentina carry the burden of favorite.

BBC SPORT | Football | World Cup 2006 | Your views on Trinidad &…
BBC News – Jun 10, 2006
I hear a lot of talk that Sweden are not the best, but given their higher ranking, attacking play through the second half, advantage of being one man up. I would say T&T did a brilliant job securing a draw… This is a much better game. 1720: The Pain
Sweden are showing that it is possible to play good, fluid football in hot conditions. 1710: Keyser Soze
Sweden are essentially the same side that destroyed Bulgaria 5-0 in Euro 2004 and I fully expect a similar scoreline today against Trinidad and also when England face them. All credit to Trinidad, but they are comprised of lots of lower-level players, so I can’t see any points for them in this World Cup. Mind you, I thought Poland would sweep Ecuador aside so what do I know?

1657: bluevaio
The national anthem has started and the T&T squad is sweating.

Watch out for Figo and Co.
Hindu – Jun 10, 2006
The return of Figo from his international hiatus has proved a successful one, helping offset the loss of Rui Costa, who retired following the 2004 European Championships. In terms of desire, that tournament had — and should continue to have — a massive influence on Portugal’s performances. Defeat in the final of a major tournament on home soil could have sent Scolari’s troops one of two ways and it is a great credit to them they have reacted to their Euro 2004 final loss to Greece in the best possible fashion. That loss compounded their disastrous display in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where they failed to even make the knockout stages of the competition after shock Group D surrenders to Korea and the USA. The desire to win something big will be bigger because of the knowledge that this summer will be the final chance for a member of their so-called `golden generation’ to claim a senior international prize. Winners of the 1989 and 1991 Under-20 World Championships, great things were predicted of Portugal in the decade or so to come, but they always fell short and Figo is the last remnant of that era. Scolari is also set to step down following the finals… The man who led his native Brazil to their fifth World Cup last time out could become the first person to coach two different countries to football’s biggest prize. However, he has set a modest target for his side, saying: “Our objective is to reach the last eight, but we know we have a good enough team to reach the final. The idea is not to put ourselves under too much pressure or give the players the mistaken impression it’s the title or nothing. ”

He also admits he would rather his side did not face Brazil. “Brazil are playing well,” he said. “I hope Carlos Alberto Parreira’s team does a good job at the World Cup, although I hope not to meet them. ” They are not scheduled to do so until the semi-finals at the earliest but will almost certainly need some luck to avoid facing them at all.

Sir Bobby Robson’s England guide
BBC News – Jun 9, 2006
Former England coach Sir Bobby Robson, who led them to the semi-finals in 1990, looks at how Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad is shaping up with 12 months to go. GOALKEEPER

I think Paul Robinson is improving. He is not a Peter Shilton, a Ray Clemence, a Gordon Banks or a David Seaman yet, but another year and he will be decent. He has just got to do better on the low shots. He is good with high shots, he is a lovely kicker of the ball and a good catcher but not as good down low. DEFENCE

At centre-back we have Rio Ferdinand, Sol Campbell and John Terry but perhaps Jonathan Woodgate will come through. He has got a year to do it and what a player he is… Carrick has done very well as a holding player, Jenas has got more box-to-box ability but they will both bolster the midfield and put pressure on Lampard and Gerrard. Nicky Butt might drop out as he has had a poor year at Newcastle. I don’t know why because at the start of the season he looked so good and came out of Euro 2004 as a great player. David Beckham is in that wide position and I think we should settle on that. LEFT-SIDE PROBLEMS

We still have not solved the left side in my opinion. Eriksson has tried Bridge with Cole and I would like to have seen more of that. Bridge’s best qualities are actually going forward.

Independent Online Edition > This Britain
Independent – Jun 10, 2006
After the dramas of Rooney’s metatarsal, the Beckhams’ party and rumours that the footballers’ wives and girlfriends are locked in a game of competitive sleeping (after learning that sleep reduces wrinkles they are apparently trying to out-nap each other), the first game will finally begin. And it is not just the footballers who will reap the benefits of a victorious tournament. Televisions are being sold at a rate of one every 40 seconds, sales of footballs are 226 per cent up on last year and one optimistic punter has bet £200,000 on an England win. As the tournament gets under way, consumers are spending millions of pounds on food, drink and football-related merchandise. The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that the World Cup could boost the British economy by £1. 3bn – more than any other European country except the German hosts… Sales of official England merchandise are on track to smash all previous records for a single tournament. Replica shirts, footballs and stickers are among the top-selling items, the Football Association said. Fans bought around 18 million England items between January and March this year – more than the entire amount sold in the six months before Euro 2004. The John Lewis Partnership is selling one high-definition television every 40 seconds, compared with one every minute a week ago, while sales of footballs in its stores are 226 per cent up on last year. Barbeque sales are up seven per cent on last week and this summer’s must-have outdoor item, a Weber barbeque, sold out yesterday. More than £20,000 a minute is expected to be bet during the tournament. The bookmaker William Hill received its biggest-ever World Cup bet yesterday when a man placed £200,000 on England to win.

Czechs dismiss Nedved injury scare
CNN – Jun 8, 2006
"It is not an injury. This is normal, it is light," Brueckner said afterwards. Striker Milan Baros is still not training because of a foot injury and any injuries to other high-profile players would be bad news for a Czech team who are keen to build on their Euro 2004 performance where they reached the semifinals. But with Italy, the United States and Ghana as rivals in Group E, it will be hard work to reach the later stages. The Czechs open their campaign against the United States on June 12. "Everyone has been waiting for qualification for the World Cup for a long time so the expectations are high, but I think you have to be realistic and everybody knows that we are in a tough group and we will have to fight to be in the last 16," goalkeeper Petr Cech said after training. But it is a challenge that Cech said he relished, acknowledging that the pressure was on him to perform well… "It is not an injury. This is normal, it is light," Brueckner said afterwards. Striker Milan Baros is still not training because of a foot injury and any injuries to other high-profile players would be bad news for a Czech team who are keen to build on their Euro 2004 performance where they reached the semifinals. But with Italy, the United States and Ghana as rivals in Group E, it will be hard work to reach the later stages. The Czechs open their campaign against the United States on June 12. "Everyone has been waiting for qualification for the World Cup for a long time so the expectations are high, but I think you have to be realistic and everybody knows that we are in a tough group and we will have to fight to be in the last 16," goalkeeper Petr Cech said after training. But it is a challenge that Cech said he relished, acknowledging that the pressure was on him to perform well.

Battle between bands and footballers
BBC News – Jun 10, 2006
Last time the festival showed a game – during Euro 2004 – England lost and many who were there say the atmosphere was ruined. ‘Absolutely outrageous’

Before and after Saturday’s game, the crowd was fully focused on the bands, sun, beer, grass, fairground rides and everything else one of the UK’s top music festivals had to offer. But, during those two hours, many clutched radios to their ears and some strained to see portable TV sets in the sunlight while others attempted to check the score on their mobile phones.

Becks to end England’s poor World Cup run
Independent Online – Jun 8, 2006
All the more reason to break a recent habit and get off to a good start against Paraguay on Saturday. The last time England opened a tournament with a win was at the 1998 World Cup against Tunisia (2-0). After that, it lost to Romania 3-2 at the 2000 European Championship, drew 1-1 with Sweden at the 2004 World Cup and lost to France 2-1 at Euro 2004. Captain David Beckham, a veteran of England’s past four tournaments, is not sure why openers pose such a problem. “Even if we win games in the opener, the performances are not as good as they can be or as they have been in other games… “Even if we win games in the opener, the performances are not as good as they can be or as they have been in other games. ”

After Paraguay, England faces Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden. But it’s the defeat to France two years ago particularly rankles. England was leading 1-0 until Zinedine Zidane scored twice in injury time.

The planet’s biggest show begins
Hindu – Jun 9, 2006
Only football could bring together more than three million supporters of every creed, colour and social class to watch 64 matches in 12 venues, plus a television audience expected to run into several billions. The truth, for all the doom and gloom during the beginning of the last English season, is that football has never been more popular. Premiership attendances are slightly up, not down, the Champions League has become the sport’s spectacular money-spinner. World Cup 2006 will reflect all that by becoming the biggest, most expensive, most technological festival in sporting history. And, inevitably, much of the attention will centre on England — and its fans, justifiably saddled with the tag of the most notorious in the game. Much has been done to curb the hooligan menace since the ugly scenes in Marseille during France 1998 and Charleroi in Euro 2000… And yet it is easy to make a case for so many of Europe’s sides, who exude strength and organisation without standing out from the crowd. France is in transition but still has wonderful players such as Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet. Italy has Francesco Totti desperate to atone for a miserable Euro 2004 while Portugal, captained by the resourceful Luis Figo, has Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco and the canniest of coaches in Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari.

France replace Cisse with Govou
BBC News – Jun 8, 2006
Cisse broke a leg in the warm-up game with China – after missing most of the 2004-05 campaign with a similar injury. French team-mate Thierry Henry said: “This is a really bad time for Djibril, for us and for his family. It was hard not to think about it during the game. ”

Govou, 26, also received a late call-up for France’s Euro 2004 squad. Back then he replaced the then injured Monaco playmaker Ludovic Giuly, who is now at Barcelona and who was surprisingly overlooked for the squad this time around.

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