Apr 30, 2008

The Beautiful Game Returns !!!



I know it is a bit early..but couldn’t help. My soccer craze is sort of biennial .. Whenever World cup or Euro is round the corner, I dig up enough soccer material from net to add to the already esoteric collection of interests.. Euro-08, the once in four year soccer championship among European Nations will kick off in Austria & Switzerland coming June. So, this post is about soccer :)

( My “Ideal match” column in orkut profile has been reflecting the Euro – 08 interest ever since the tournament draw has been published :))

After having lived in a soccer-crazy engineering college campus where television broadcasts of non-descript matches in EPL & Italian League draw more attendance than lecture sessions, I’d say, club soccer has failed to captivate my interest. My knowledge in club soccer is largely superficial. I give a miss to even the champions league matches where perhaps the best individual soccer talents in the planet are showcased.. But, I’ve rarely missed any significant matches in any of the World cup soccer tournaments from USA -94 ( I still have some memories of Italia – 90 ) & Euro tournaments from England-96…I don’t know whats the reason for my non-interest towards club soccer…Maybe the nationalistic fervor in Euro & World Cup is at a different level.. But whatever be it, I’m increasingly reading quite a few news items tracking Euro-08 and half-soccer crazy as of now :-)

Okay.. I’m not going to do any thread-bare analysis of strengths of different teams and all..but still a bit of analysis ..

My logical bet for this Euro - Italy

With their core World cup winning squad intact & with Alex Del Piero in blazing form in Italian league, I’d put my money on them , though I don’t really like their way of play.. But solid..really solid team, unfortunately in a very tough group with Netherlands , Romania & France.. Hope they clear the group stage :-)

The team which I want to win – Czech Republic

Caveat :- Only if they manage to get Pavel Nedved back into the team.

Reason – Nedved, one of the most gifted and accomplished players of his generation in club soccer deserves something better in international soccer..I still remember that amazing match in last world cup where an inspired Italian defence marshalled by Cannavaro kicked Czechs out of the world cup.. And last Euro, wherein his injury limped him off the field in that semi final against Greece..The current Czech captain , Tomas Rosicky ( another of my favorite players ) is nursing an injury and because of that , calls for Nedved to come back to the team has intensified .. Retired from international soccer , but playing in Italian league in a good way, I hope he does a ‘la Zidane act and carries Czechs all the way to glory :-).

( PS – Pavel Nedved is one of the very few soccer communities that I’m a member of in orkut )
(PPS - If Nedved & Rosicky are not there, my support goes to Netherlands :-) )


The Dark Horses

An unlikely pick, but my vote goes for Romania in this category.

Reason :- I just love their style of play.. Fast, classy,superb..Romania was one of the teams which really caught my attention way back in US-94 WC..The golden generation of George Hagi is gone..but new players , same style..capable of bringing in a few upsets, but unfortunately drawn into the toughest group for preliminary round..But they are in good form too :)

A Tail Piece

-- No matter who wins, the game is beautiful as a lovely lass :) ..Or in title words, "The Beautiful Game Returns" :-)

Ajith

3 comments:

Dhanya said...

Soccer fans at the time of IPL.. Good good :)

lucky said...

To the owner of this blog, how far youve come?

Sreejith Kumar said...

Yo man! Another Italian supporter here. And, unlike in your case, their fan too! :)