Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

July 7, 2006

France 1, Portugal 0: The old men advance to the final

Filed under: EURO 2004 — Ivan @ 3:57 pm

The News Review:

* Portugal’s Scolari Is Back For More
* Zidane shows the wisdom of a last waltz for old guard
* Greek soccer goes from fame to shame
* France 1, Portugal 0: The old men advance to the final
* Cannavaro hopes century is crowning glory
* A big letdown, technically and sartorially
* The Age: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technolog…
* Channelnewsasia.com – World Cup Germany 2006
* Opinion: Klinsi Should Head to the USA
* Report: Larsson says national team career may be over
* Global Agenda: White trash
* Robbo’s World Cup diary Pt VI
* The Prague Post Online: Tech & Telecom: Roundup

Portugal’s Scolari Is Back For More
Washington Post – Jul 5, 2006
In 2002, he left striker Romario off of the World Cup roster; with Portugal, he bypassed popular goalkeeper Victor Baia. Both decisions, in the end, worked out well. The Portuguese advanced to the final of Euro 2004, where they lost to Greece. Last week, Portugal midfielder Deco referred to Scolari as a "winner" and praised the family-like ambience that the coach brought to the team. Luis Figo, the team captain, has urged the Portuguese federation to retain Scolari once his contract expires after the World Cup, saying that losing the coach would be like taking 20 steps backward. "He’s enriched us, increased our confidence," Portugal goalkeeper Ricardo said this week. "Every ship has its captain, and he’s ours.

Zidane shows the wisdom of a last waltz for old guard
Guardian Unlimited – Jul 5, 2006
“The trouble is that once the old players came back in,” he said, “they started to make all the decisions – who’s in the squad, who’s in the team, what time of day they train, what sort of training they do. Everything, really. And that’s not a good idea… On their return two years ago Zidane retired from the international scene, taking his fellow veterans Thuram and Makelele with him. Thuram, in particular, had come to dislike the atmosphere within the squad. “During Euro 2004 there was a lack of discipline,” he said this week. “It was as if there wasn’t really a team. And if there wasn’t a team, it was all a waste of time. When you get to a certain age, you don’t have that time to waste. “Barthez stayed on but gradually slipped out of favour with the new head coach, and Vieira assumed the captain’s armband and attempted the task of pulling a dishevelled and ill-assorted squad together.

Greek soccer goes from fame to shame
Independent Online – Jul 7, 2006
Fast forward to this week, when the country’s most popular sport is shamefully contemplating an uncertain future after world governing body Fifa banned Greek clubs from European competition and also removed the national team from qualifying for Euro 2008, citing continued government interference in the running of the nation’s football federation (HFF). And while coach Otto Rehhagel and his team have not impressed much since 2004 – failing to qualify for this summer’s World Cup after finishing behind Ukraine, Turkey and Denmark in Group 2 – Greece are again in the spotlight thanks to a feud between HFF boss Vasilis Gagatsis and sports deputy minister Giorgos Orfanos… Fast forward to this week, when the country’s most popular sport is shamefully contemplating an uncertain future after world governing body Fifa banned Greek clubs from European competition and also removed the national team from qualifying for Euro 2008, citing continued government interference in the running of the nation’s football federation (HFF). And while coach Otto Rehhagel and his team have not impressed much since 2004 – failing to qualify for this summer’s World Cup after finishing behind Ukraine, Turkey and Denmark in Group 2 – Greece are again in the spotlight thanks to a feud between HFF boss Vasilis Gagatsis and sports deputy minister Giorgos Orfanos. As it turned out the state coughed up the money much later, but a rift between the two men was beginning to open. Orfanos quickly ordered less funding for the federation and then began to work on legislation which would also exempt HFF of state aid, benefits, incentives and tax reliefs.

France 1, Portugal 0: The old men advance to the final
International Herald Tribune – Jul 6, 2006
After Zidane scored, the old men behind him, Lilian Thuram, Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira, did the rest. "Yes, it will be the last one for him, the end," said Raymond Domenech, France's coach. "But it is not what he is thinking about. This is not all about Zinédine Zidane's last game; it is the World Cup final against Italy. "That Today in Sports… And we want to go there to win. It is the same for the others: for Thuram, for Makelele and for the rest. "It looked highly unlikely as France struggled to score in the group stage, continuing a pattern that began with its elimination as champion in 2002 without scoring a goal and continuing through Euro 2004 and World Cup qualifying. But just as in the qualifying campaign, France's defense has held up. Thuram, who is 31 and has played more games for France than anyone else, struggled against opponents with pace in the first round. On Wednesday he was dominant against the lightweight Pauleta, Portugal's lone striker. Thuram was named man of the match.

Cannavaro hopes century is crowning glory
Guardian Unlimited – Jul 6, 2006
For Cannavaro it would help wipe out such lows as 1990 and defeat in the Euro 2000 final, when a rare error of his helped France score. “We are very happy to be where we are,” he said, “but I don’t want to stop now. “Cannavaro will not allow complacency. The Juventus defender is more quiet captain than tub-thumping orator but he leads by example and cajoles or guides. During the semi-final, for example, he gestured to Marco Materazzi to play calmly after his fellow central defender had again wasted possession. Aggressive Cannavaro may be but he is always relaxed enough to see the full picture. The 32-year-old is described in the Italian football federation guide as “the footballing Neapolitan street urchin” and there is that rugged quality about his play… A relative lack of height does not prevent him being strong in the air, his positioning is excellent and his tackling well timed. His displays and organising are all the more impressive for coming, since early in the third group game, without his usual partner Alessandro Nesta, who is injured. When Cannavaro reflected on this team’s accomplishments he alluded to failure in Euro 2004 and the 2002 World Cup. “We stored up a lot of anger,” he said, “about how we hadn’t performed or qualified for the later stages, and we have taken that anger out on the pitch here. “Changes of players and coach have also been crucial; Italy are now unbeaten in 24 games. “This isn’t the product of the last week or even the last month,” Cannavaro said. “This has been a two-year project.

A big letdown, technically and sartorially
Guardian Unlimited – Jul 7, 2006
Gianluigi Buffon has done his best by choosing to wear the sort of velour v-neck not seen since the days when Lionel Richie was stalking blind art students, but the Italian apart, this has been a poor tournament for those of us who put on our dark glasses on in anticipation of witnessing some latter-day Jorge Campos. In the Mexican’s case it must be said the custodians got little leadership from the management. In Euro 2004 the Russian coaching staff all wore identical grey blousons with badges on the pockets. Sitting in the dug-out they looked like a group of security guards waiting for a bus. Nobody in Germany has had the courage to follow that lead. The refs have been roundly criticised for their performances in Germany by the increasingly furious Blatter. I feel they deserve some sympathy, however… The refs have been roundly criticised for their performances in Germany by the increasingly furious Blatter. I feel they deserve some sympathy, however. The problem is not the quality of the match officials, or their willingness to enforce directives, but Fifa’s decision to make them wear tops with no collars. You can’t expect people to take orders from a bloke in a T-shirt. The first World Cup final was presided over by the Belgian Jean Langenus. Langenus took the psychological impact of tailoring seriously, decking himself out for the match in a stiff collared shirt and tie, hacking jacket, jodhpurs and puttees. Faced with such obvious officer-class material Uruguay and Argentina behaved impeccably.

The Age: national, world, business, entertainment, sport and technolog…
The Age – Jul 6, 2006
Then, just when it looked as though it was heading for penalties, these two goals came along. "Grosso’s impact at these finals follows a fine run with his Sicilian club, whom he joined in Serie B from top-flight Perugia in 2003 and helped win promotion to Serie A. Although Italy coach Marcello Lippi did not include him in his squad for Euro 2004, he can be thankful that he did for this tournament. HOW cruel, unjust and unfair it seemed to the 55,000 Germans who packed Borussia Dortmund’s intimidating ground for a World Cup semi-final with Italy. This was supposed to be yet another staging post to their ultimate destination, the final in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on Monday morning, Melbourne time. But how typical of this sport, that it should twist and turn and deliver its knockout blows in dramatic fashion, oblivious to individual dreams or the hopes of nations. Just as Germany was heading to the lottery of a penalty shootout — a chance its whirlwind performance scarcely merited — it was undone at the last by two Italian goals, executed with precision and scored within moments of each other in the final 90 seconds of extra-time.

Channelnewsasia.com – World Cup Germany 2006
Channel News Asia – Jul 5, 2006
With their kaleidoscope of attacking talents even champions Brazil were clueless, a previously rampant Spain only took a temporary lead through a penalty in their round of 16 clash. Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is stunningly agile again, the veteran who many felt had become more clown than athlete is back to his calm, steady best. And why not, when he is immediately fronted by William Gallas and Lilian huram, a central defensive pair that are a mix of muscle, sound anticipation and good pace. And in Gallas? case, such belief, a fiery passion that he will never be beaten I swear he sometimes roars on the pitch. While right-back Willy Sagnol is solid and dependable, the form of previously unheralded left-back Eric Abidal has been remarkable. With such talent it is little wonder Lyon have been doing great things in French club football and starring in the European theatre. So far Abidal has been nearly flawless, he has so much speed and athleticism after a few minutes of the match Portugal?s Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo may both be arguing to plough their furrows on Sagnol?s patch, rather than operate where the 26-year-old Lyon star prowls… Keeper Ricardo is in fine form, his penalty heroics against England in the previous round will give the team great hope if the semi-final comes down to the heart-stopping shootout of chance. Based on this platform, Scolari, while adamant they still have to assume defensive duties when necessary, instructs Ronaldo, Figo and Deco primarily to pick apart defences, with Pauleta on his own upfront to apply the coup de grace. A number of Portugal?s stars retired after the team?s loss to Greece in the final of Euro 2004, but so gifted is Scolari, within two years he has rebuilt the team into a force that has matched the feat of the Eusebio-inspired side of 1966, who were knocked out by eventual champions England in the semi-finals. A few months ago Scolari was pilloried in Portugal for talking to the English FA about taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson. It has all been forgotten he is a hero once again. When his players talk of the Brazilian they cite how he has instilled a familial spirit in the team. Hardly sophisticated in dress and style, unlike his opposite number today the impeccably coiffured Domenech, Portuguese players Hugo Viana and Ricardo said yesterday the Scolari football brain is something to behold and that is all that matters.

Opinion: Klinsi Should Head to the USA
Deutsche Welle – Jul 7, 2006
While Klinsmann would be under the critical eyes of Germany’s 82 million remote control coaches, the US Soccer Federation would be hard pressed to find half that number of Americans who can name the current coach — and he’s been there for eight years. Not to mention a sense of normalcy for the rest of the family. Though a move to Germany is unlikely, Klinsmann can bet more German papers will send reporters to California to keep tabs on the long-term trainer. Klinsmann wouldn’t be able to buy a carton of milk without the tabloids blaring on about the kids’ calcium levels if Jürgen stays with Germany. But the national hero himself would no doubt continue to be asked for two forms of ID by American cashiers if he took over at the US helm… Take the case of Klinsmann’s predecessor Rudi Völler. After a successful 2002 World Cup campaign in South Korea and Japan, he returned with a second place medal to chants of “There’s Only One Rudi Völller,” and a celebration in Frankfurt so massive he could only ask, “What would you have done if we won?”

On that happy July day Völler enjoyed the support Klinsmann is basking in now, but fast forward two years and the jubilant fans have disappeared. Germany dropped out of Euro 2004 and Völler was in the center of a media lynching of such proportions he threw down a microphone and stormed out of a live television interview before leaving the team. Granted, Germany didn’t win a single game in the 2004 tournament, but Klinsi shouldn’t be tempted into believing he’s won a fickle country’s eternal gratitude. In the US, however, he wouldn’t be able to do any wrong, and little would be expected of him.

Report: Larsson says national team career may be over
Jamaica Observer – Jul 5, 2006
“I have not made up my mind, but right now it is not leaning toward a ‘yes’,” Larsson, 34, was quoted as saying by tabloid Aftonbladet, when asked if he would continue playing for Sweden. The former Barcelona striker sent a penalty kick over the bar as the Swedes exited the World Cup with a 2-0 loss to Germany. Larsson retired from the national team after the 2002 World Cup, but came back to help Sweden qualify for Euro 2004. On a club level, Larsson joined FC Barcelona in 2004 after playing for Celtic in Scotland for seven years. He left the Spanish and European champion this year to finish his career in the Swedish league with his former club Helsingborg… “I have not made up my mind, but right now it is not leaning toward a ‘yes’,” Larsson, 34, was quoted as saying by tabloid Aftonbladet, when asked if he would continue playing for Sweden. The former Barcelona striker sent a penalty kick over the bar as the Swedes exited the World Cup with a 2-0 loss to Germany. Larsson retired from the national team after the 2002 World Cup, but came back to help Sweden qualify for Euro 2004. On a club level, Larsson joined FC Barcelona in 2004 after playing for Celtic in Scotland for seven years. He left the Spanish and European champion this year to finish his career in the Swedish league with his former club Helsingborg. Larsson trained with the team for the first time since 1993 on Tuesday. “Of course it was fun.

Global Agenda: White trash
Jerusalem Post – Jul 7, 2006
The lessons of the 1970s and 1980s, when the best and most attractive teams – Holland, Brazil, France, Denmark – consistently failed to win, have been well learnt and thoroughly applied. The outcome is managers such as Erikson (England), Scolari (Portugal) and others, who readily replace attacking players with defensive ones in order to hang on to the tenuous and often fortuitous leads they have established. Winning is the only thing that is consistently and aggressively incentivized, and both experience and common sense suggest that the surest way to win is not to be scored against. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that in the recent competitions there have been no outstanding teams (with the possible exception of France in 1998), of the sort that everyone found a joy to watch – as there were in almost every previous competition. The epitome of the new era is the Greek team that won Euro 2004, but the trend toward the defensive blanketing of inspiration and virtuosity began long before and is still intensifying. Why, then, do the public put up with this, indeed lap it up so hungrily? The answer is again quintessentially European: on a base of conservative tradition – this is what we do every two years (either the World Cup or the “Euro” i… Winning is the only thing that is consistently and aggressively incentivized, and both experience and common sense suggest that the surest way to win is not to be scored against. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that in the recent competitions there have been no outstanding teams (with the possible exception of France in 1998), of the sort that everyone found a joy to watch – as there were in almost every previous competition. The epitome of the new era is the Greek team that won Euro 2004, but the trend toward the defensive blanketing of inspiration and virtuosity began long before and is still intensifying. Why, then, do the public put up with this, indeed lap it up so hungrily? The answer is again quintessentially European: on a base of conservative tradition – this is what we do every two years (either the World Cup or the “Euro” i. European Nations Cup) – is added the lethal mix of media hype and marketing juggernauts. The overall result is to create the impression that a) this is our cultural heritage, perhaps even a replacement for the religious ceremonies we no longer observe; b) it’s super cool; c) if you don’t think it’s great, you’re weird.

Robbo’s World Cup diary Pt VI
BBC News – Jul 5, 2006
Jermaine Jenas, do you know why you were there? Rooney, you’re brilliant but we’re running out of patience. Becks, good lad but time to say ta-ra. Frank Lampard – our second best player at Euro 2004, but cack in this one. For now there are two consolations: one, sometimes it’s a bloody relief just to not have to go through the agony anymore; and two, we can relax and watch Zinedine Zidane for a few more precious moments… Becks, good lad but time to say ta-ra. Frank Lampard – our second best player at Euro 2004, but cack in this one. For now there are two consolations: one, sometimes it’s a bloody relief just to not have to go through the agony anymore; and two, we can relax and watch Zinedine Zidane for a few more precious moments.

The Prague Post Online: Tech & Telecom: Roundup
Prague Post – Jul 5, 2006
Brückner took over the team in 2000 and guided it to the semifinals of the Euro 2004 tournament. The team, however, failed to advance beyond its first round group at the World Cup in Germany despite high hopes. CAMP - Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Čech will participate in two junior training camps for boys in Prague’s Strahov stadium July 14-21. Hundreds of children from all over the country are expected to participate. TREATMENT - German doctor Thomas Velber openly questioned June 26 the medical treatment Czech national soccer team strikers Jan Koller and Milan Baroš received during the FIFA World Cup 2006… CUP - Carolina Hurricane defenseman František Kaberle and forward Josef Vašíček became June 20 the 18th and 19th Czech hockey players to win the Stanley Cup. Kaberle scored the decisive second goal for the Hurricanes in the seventh, final game in the championship series against the Edmonton Oilers, which the Hurricanes won 3-1. REJECTED - Czech hockey legend Dominik Hašek will not get a new contract to play with the Ottawa Senators, which will likely lead to his retirement. The 41-year-old goaltender, regarded as the world’s best goalie in the late 1990s, missed most of the last NHL season with a groin injury that he suffered when playing in the Winter Olympics in Turin in February. DEBT - Six-time Czech hockey champion HC Vsetín saved its spot in the 14-member Extraliga after paying off its 24. 5 million Kč ($1 million) debt to the Association of Professional Clubs June 20. The team got the money from the Vsetín town hall.

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