Any body else a football fan? As a kid I was mad on the game, then again most children in England were. These days life is far too busy to get too involved in following the ins and outs. I still love to watch the game but now am restricted to watching my son in the under 6 games, and a little of the youths and amateurs if I have time. But it is Euro 2012 and I feel like I should be excited. The cream of Europe's footballing elite getting together should be something to celebrated, but some how it normally falls short. Their should be a great fan fare but instead in the great southern land it is ignored (games being played between 2-6am doesn't help). Euro should be celebrated for the staggering number of strange results, how did the Greeks win in 2004.
This years tournament held in Poland and the Ukraine should be straight forward. If form and talent are anything to go by you might as well hand Spain the trophy now. But upsets can happen. The biggest problem the Spanish face is themselves. European champions, World Champions, they already have it all. Rumours of in-fighting between the Barcelona and Real Madrid players could just be enough to put them off balance.
I should be singing up the praises of England, but I cant and won't. I have been excited too many times before only to watch dire and pathetic displays crush the hopes and dreams of me and a nation. All I can hope for is that we won't resort to a long ball game and trying to defend for 90 minutes even when we aren't winning. With a new manager comes hope, but having seen his past form as a club manager the glimmer of hope is small. Should England make it to the quarter finals the chance to play Spain or Italy is not tempting my taste buds. All I can say as I set my VCR before bed is please, please, please no penalties.
Who else then is in with a shot? Well with a competition which sees some of history's greatest players (in political terms, not on the field) face each other there could be some old scores to settle. Germany will march to Poland confident they can make the finals, and could with a favouring wind come back victors. Their clinical play and ability to always perform well on the big stage certainly means they cannot be ignored and my tip as runner up.
Russia will and have all ready shown they mean business and will challenge but will be hard pushed to get past the likely semi-final with Germany. Italy always a favourite but too much controversy off the field and chats to their bookies mean they are probably only an also ran this year.
Who will be this years surprise. Well France should make it to the semis, but if we are looking for outsiders there are a few. Portugal, can they make it past the final hurdle and out of the shadows of the Spanish? It will rely heavily on everybody forgetting about Ronaldo and remembering one player does not a team make. Host Poland will struggle, but home field advantage will mean a lot, don't be surprised if along with the Ukrainians the push big teams all the way. Finally Denmark and Holland can make it out of the also rans, I don't think they will but I have been known to be wrong. So I guess that means Greece, Czech republic, Republic of Ireland, Croatia and Sweden can pack their bags now as they wont be in action after the group stages (somebody please pick up the hotel bill for the Greeks).
So having predicted the winners I guess their really is no reason for me to subscribe to pay TV to watch live matches when only Vampires dare be awake, and cry when the inevitable happens to England. But I am a sucker for punishment and probably will.
Who is your tip for Euro 2012? Leave a comment and let me know.