To wander ahead, sometimes one must look in the past. Here’s a roundup of the Euro 2012 men’s championship while looking ahead for the women’s tournament.
One of the most exciting football tournaments, besides the World Cup, is the Euro Championship. The men’s Euro 2012, an incredible show of talent – especially by previous underperformers that year including Chelsea frontman and Spanish striker, Fernando Torres, as well as veteran players, like Ukraine’s Andriy Shevchenko – will be hard to surpass. Some surprise performers also emerged from the incredible talent pool such as back-up Polish keeper, Przemyslaw Tyton, as he upped his stock in football by making his first touch in the opening match for Poland a penalty kick save via a red card ejection from starter Wojciech Szczesny.
Big performers, however, ended up showing their strength as smaller, and more vulnerable squads, like Sweden and Ireland floundered; all the while other countries’ teams that normally show their footballing prowess (Where was the Netherlands we know and love? No where to be seen…) seemed to forge a different (i.e. disappointing) path.
The English squad packed with wonderful players, a team that usually has self-esteem issues, started believing in themselves up until their penalty kicks in the match against Italy. And France, though they had public troubles throughout the World Cup 2010 experience, seemed to be on the right road to recovery for the FFF, but were not at that point just yet.
In the Semifinals, the nail came down on the hammer for Portugal as Iberian Peninsula neighbors, Spain, bested them yet again, while powerhouse Germany was beaten by the fluidity of the Italians. This, obviously, led to the final where Spain became the Euro 2012 Champions, overpowering Italy, 4-nil.
To get to my point, the Euros are an exciting endeavor for amazing football players, and we, as fans, get to experience those same feelings of heart-wrenching losses and brighter-than-the-moon wins with the 2013 UEFA Women’s Championship.
Today, 9 November 2012, the draw was set for Groups A, B, and C.
Group A is headed by host Sweden and is joined by Italy, Denmark and Finland. Groups B and C look to have more competitive squads with B set with Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Iceland, while Group C includes France, England, Russia, and Spain.
With my limited knowledge for the women’s game in Europe (note: sadly, I do not know as much about the women’s game as I’d like but I plan on learning more as my excitement ramps up to the 2013 tourney), here are my predictions (they may or may not be out there, but why not? Besides, it’s my first reaction)…
Third-place game: Sweden (remember: Pia Sundhage is now the head coach) vs. England
Final: France – Italy
That’s all for now. Keep a look out for most 2013 Euro posts in the coming weeks and months!