I'm just looking forward to seeing more of Messi. Sh-tty Time Warner chose not to make Barca's last 3 games available to us local viewers and I missed all of his exploits in them. F-ing Time Warner.
I'm just looking forward to seeing more of Messi. Sh-tty Time Warner chose not to make Barca's last 3 games available to us local viewers and I missed all of his exploits in them. F-ing Time Warner.
Not in Euro 2012?
Not to laugh too much at your expense, but I really did laugh out loud in the office at this one. Anyway, I've seen Messi in person (Arg at USA at the Meadowlands) and I'll be at the Brazil Arg game at the Meadowlands this Saturday. He is truly amazing to watch in person and I can't wait.
[I should just delete my original comment and your responses but my FAIL deserves to be saved for posterity.]
Brazil is probably the favorite, but don't count out Ivory Coast or Japan.
Does Antarctica have a squad?
If they did, they'd have the same chance at winning the EURO as Argentina. Just sayin'.
I would have picked the squad from Mars to win, however, Dantonio has picked the red planet clean of its most talented athletes.
New Zealand. The only undefeated team in the 2010 World Cup.
It's all good. Aren't you pretty new to being a soccer fan? I think you made a thread last year asking what teams you should watch.
I don't blame you for wanting to see more of Messi. He is like Denard in that way.
I still don't get it. Messi isn't listed in the Top 40 Euro 2012 players. WTF?
to England being eliminated and therefore, once again, not winning a major international tournament.
There isn't a fan base on EARTH more out of touch with reality than English soccer fans.
I have Notre Dame fans on line two. They'd like a word...
England is kind of like a whole country of ND fans. Except England actually has teams that could be the best in the world, whereas ND hardly competes with the elite.
can at least point to a history of greatness. What the eff has England won? A controversial World Cup on home soil nearly 50 years ago and that's it. They haven't even been to another major championship final.
How overrated are they? The United States has as many top 3 World Cup finishes as England--1.
This is the first thing that popped into my mind. Well played sir.
I am an England soccer fan (and family is from there) and I would say the fan base is pretty realistic for the most part. I can't tell you the last time any of my fellow fans thought we had a chance at the world cup or Euro despite the fact that many times we had the talent to do so.
If you look at the talent England has had over the years (this euro being an exception) they have consistently fielded teams that should have challanged for the title, yet performed very poorly. Whether it be that the coaching has been terrible or the boys just can't gel and perform under the pressure that comes playing international soocer I don't know, but they have been crap the past few decades. I just wonder why it is you think that the fans don't see that and look at each international tournament with impending doom, because that is what it has been like for a long time amongst the fans.
"If you look at the talent England has had over the years (this euro being an exception) they have consistently fielded teams that should have challanged for the title, yet performed very poorly."
What talent? You've just made my entire point. If they had the talent they'd have performed much better in these tournaments. It's one thing to have a bad tournament or bad decade, but it's been a bad 80 years outside of 1966.
is abysmal, especially as respects technique. There's a relentless emphasis on work rate and "positive attitude" at the lower levels--not that hard work isn't important, but it can't be the primary screening tool in a youth program.
I hope you're not serious. What talent? How about Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Ashley Cole etc etc etc. The problem with England (again, with the exception of this euro) has never been talent and if you think it has, you don't know anything about soccer. As I said in my post, I'm not sure what the issue has been, but it hasn't been talent.
The main point of my post was the remark about fans. I am sitting here wondering how many English soccer fans you could possibly know. Most fans of English soccer have not expected anything from the national team in decades and this year is no exception. The fact that you think otherwise tells me you have no idea what you are talking about.
the worst list of any 50-million-plus country in Europe. (OK, maybe not Turkey.)
England fans, and, worse, the soccer institutions in the country, think that this list is the equal of a similar list from Spain, Italy, Germany, France. And as long as they continue to think that, they will continue to lose. They don't understand why they lose, so they can't fix it.
keep in mind I'm not talking about these players today, I'm referring to them 8-12 years ago. On that list you have two of the best mid-fielders in the world at that time in Gerrard and Lampard; questionably the best free kick taker in the world; two of the best center backs in the world and a world class striker along with a very good RB in A. Cole.
Lok at their success on their club teams and say they weren't talented. If you think they weren't, I have to say you don't know much about soccer. I'm saying the talent was there, but for some reason when they played as a team they stank. To say they had no talent is ingnoring the facts and using the results and hindsight to formulate your opinion.
My main point was this...England soccer fans have not expected a good result from their national team in decades. Regardless of who was on the pitch or who was managing the team our fan base is about as pessimistic as it gets. That was the point I was making to the original dillusional poster who claimed my fanbase was dillusional.
This wasn't hindsight; it's been my opinion, and the opinion of many, many people on the continent, throughout.
I'll grant you Michael Owen, during those rare windows when he was healthy. I'd have granted you Rooney, too, if you'd put him on your list.
No one outside of England and an America flooded with Fox Soccer's endless procession of English announcers broadcasting EPL games would have ever considered Gerrard and Lampard "two of the best midfielders in the world"--fine players but Zidane or Baggio or Matthaus or Xavi they were not. Or John Terry one of the best center backs in the world, or Ashley Cole as a world-class player, or David Beckham as anything more than a talented striker of a stationary ball.
And I don't know what to say about a list that includes Paul Scholes.
And even they don't think they have much of a chance of getting out of their group, what with the managerial mess over the past six months and all the injuries that have struck their squad.
I'm too lazy to search for said that England hadn't had a truly competitive team for a major championship since the Queen's Silver Jubilee.
I'm picking Holland to win Euro. I think they are a better team than the squad that made the WC Final and as long as they can stay healthy (I'm looking at you RVP and Robben), then the Oranje should be in good shape to get out of the Group of Death and have a strong tournament.
I like Holland's style of soccer, but I don't like RVP (Arsenal) and Robben (just for being Robben).
Robben getting trolled by Subotic was one of the best things of 2012. Subotic earned some points back after picking to play for Serbia over the US.
Basically, any game in Group B. Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal.
Group of Death that is, feel somewhat bad for Denmark...they are just a bone for the rest to pick their teeth with.
People seem to forget that Denmark is ranked NINTH in the world, one spot ahead of Portugal. This is clearly the group of death, but I certainly don't think Denmark is going to get blown out of the tournament.
FIFA's world rankings are about as pointless as pre-season football rankings.
I tend not to trust anything that might have Sepp Blatter's involvement.
Denmark has a great squad, I'm picking them to beat Portugal, tie NED and slip through. Their gritty and although Sorenson is old he still makes some incredible saves. Thier mid field attack is strong, Bendtner (Arsenal fans will hate me) is solid.
Of course they don't have the squad NED has, but I think Robben, RVP, will be a bit worn down.
Bendtner is a different player for his country than he is for Arsenal. I was always hoping it would translate (I'm an Arsenal supporter), but it never panned out and I can't wait for him to be shipped off to Germany. However, his countryman, Christian Eriksen, that's the player I'm looking forward to seeing. I think he has a big chance to shine and make an ame for himself.
Denmark has a lot of past good luck to work off after winning a Euro tournament they didn't even qualify for.
(I actually think Portugal is the worst team in that group, by the way. Probably the most overrated team in the world as far as I'm concerned.)
Portugal is incredibly overrated. The only threat that team has is Ronaldo taking off his pants, which he seems to do with alarming frequency.
I think Germany will win it all, but at the same time they may not get out of their group (they're with Portugal, Denmark and Nederlands, the proverbial Group of Death). Germany has one of the best GK's (Neuer), 2 of the best Defenders (Lahm and Badstuber), arguably the second deepest MF behind Spain (Schweinstiegger, Kroos, Ozil, Khedira, Gotze, et al.), and one of the best frontlines (Gomez, Podolski, and Mueller).
Aside from Germany, Spain is of course the prohibitive favorite, with the likes of the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Italy as the other traditional powers in the tournament. I expect England to exceed expectations and I don't expect much out of Italy. France will be a Wild Card as they are one of the most talented teams, as well as one of the most dysfunctional.
I agree. I like Germany and Spain (bold pick with Spain, I know) to go far, but I am rooting for Germany. I would be funny to see another France meltdown. I think Italy will fall flat.
I'm tipping Germany to win. I don't think Spain will win this one because of the infighting between the Real and Barca players and because they will be missing David Villa. For all the possession Spain has had under Del Bosque, they've struggled to score a lot too. You take a key element of the scoring out of this, and I think you're going to see some struggles.
I like Germany for all the things Genzilla said, but also because the German players seem to just rise to the challenge when they play for the national team. There's something about the Germany kit that gets the most out of their players. I think they have guys like Özil, Khedira, and Müller who have matured since the last international competition as well as great veterans like Lahm, Klose, Poldi, and Schweinsteiger. I disagree that they have a great defense, but I think it's good enough to get them this European Championship.
I think you hit on the biggest difference between Germany and most of the other big name national teams. The Germans WANT to play and play hard for their NATION. They don't seem to be out there for themselves or to rep their club side or any other reason. The guys want to win big tourneys for the glory of the German nation. I can respect that, and I think it brings out the best effort from the team. The complaining and infighting on the other teams is always present and distracting.
I look forward to the German Holland game. No love lost there... those are always fun.
Winner of that match takes all IMO.
France has some personnel issues (the defense is sketchy at the moment) but their team chemistry seems much improved under Laurent Blanc. They're now on an undefeated run of 21 matches.
That said, their chemistry could hardly have been worse at the last WC, what with the strange decisions of Domenesche and the player revolt.
Agree 100%. France has improved and seems to have outgrown some their personal issues with coaching and chemistry. Center back is huge issue.
Center back is not a huge issue at all. Adil Rami has been a stud in Ligue 1 play and is finally getting his chance for the national team. Mexes has his wtf moments but overall he's decent enough. With Koscielny (Arsenal CB) backing them up, it's a pretty good unit, although France's weakest, which does say something about the team.
They've been hit with the injury bug at defensive mid the past couple games but have a good amount of depth there.
The main difference between this team and the WC team, other than a now-functional coach, is youth and depth. Domenech was always playing the older guys like Henry and Blanc has called up many new young players.
Watch for surprises from the French.
/end of rant about my favorite team
PS: I still hate Italians. Zidane is my homeboy.
I don't understand why he's starting Mexes over Koscielny. They're potentially weak at FB too with the inexperience of Debuchy and the poor form of Evra. The DM situation is alarming because a healthy M'Vila could have shielded some of these problems.
The big problem for me is in attack. I think they're going to be overreliant on Ribery. If a team like a Germany gets Lahm on Ribery, they can choke off the France attack. I don't like Nasri in the middle. His best moments at Arsenal were when he was playing on the wing one on one with the defender. He is more of a Marseille streetballer than a La Masia Puppeteer. I don't think his game has evolved much either. They do have a lot of attacking talent too.
There is no new Zidane though.
If M'Vila can't go, can he be replaced in the roster, or is it too late now?
They allow teams to file petitions to replace injured players however it would be too late to switch players under any other circumstance. Such as if Balotelli gets bored and throws darts at his teammate again, too late Italy, you are stuck with him.
Koscielny had his first good season this year, he is not ready to be the national team starter. Debuchy has been great in Ligue 1 play and really looks the part with Sagna out with injury. Agree with the DM situation, Diaby is a good one but M'Vila is as solid as you can get and a great distributor.
I don't think they over-rely on Ribery. They have tons of talent at the front. Between him, Benzema, Malouda, Nasri and a good bench, they should have no problems scoring and creating chances. But I do think he needs to be greatly involved for the French to play their best. From what I've seen watching France's 2 games in the past week, a 2-0 win over Serbia and a 4-0 thrashing of Estonia, Ribery and Nasri get a lot of freedom, not being pegged to a set position but instead drift around the field wherever they feel they need to be. This should help Nasri get comfortable and not allow Ribery get shut down by a good RB
deutschland vor! cant wait for die mannschaft to punch ronaldo in the mouth on saturday.
I am excited to watch Greece. I did my study abroad work there and fell in love with the culture. It was such an odd mix between Europe and old world culture. Even with the drama unfolding over there, it was still life changing. It will be a nice break for the people.
England, just kidding! Will be suprised if they get out of group.
My Furia Roja will repeat!! They are simply too talented and finally shed the "choke" label they carried for decades with their first major cup victory in 2008 and then the WC in 2010.
Fatigue is the only thing that could stop them from becoming the first squad to win 3 major cups in a row.
Fatigue and Deutschland are the only two things that can stop them.
The style they play is very frustrating for opponents. We'll see if they have enough in the tank.
Injuries are a potential issue for Spain, particularly at striker.
I have a strange feeling Torres will be stepping up on a big way....nothing more than a guy feeling.
I hate to speak in absolutes, but the team has no hope or creativity up front, and their central defense is terrible. I truly think England will return to form in '14(Kyle Walker, Phil Jones, The Ox, Wilshere and a host of others should all be world-class by then), but until then they're stuck with a stodgy bunch lacking creativity. I mean, cmon, Steven Gerrard is starting for them - in 2012!
Germany and Spain are by far the favorites, but don't be surprised to see Greece or Russia make some noise coming out of an easy group - and Italy is better than some think. They have a chance to steal one right off the bat from a Spanish side that hasn't played a whole lot together. No such problem for the Azzuri, and their refreshingly creative-minded head coach has a lot of toys at his disposal.
I'll be cheering for the Oranje!!
Croatia @8...Denmark @9.....granted, it has been quite some time since I followed the FIFA rankings but I never remember these countries as having particularly strong soccer.
They've had their moments over the years. Denmark won the Euro in 1992. Croatia made the WC semifinals in 1998 (losing to eventual champion France) and Uruguay made the WC semis two years ago.
I dont think Italy is any good, but im really curious to see how Mario Balotelli plays...
His performance in Euro 12/ ability to not be a headcase could have big implications for gli azzuri moving forward....
Who knows.... Rooting for Italy, but I think Germany has a good shot....
Mario Balotelli is easily one of my favorite players to watch. He will make the craziest plays without even looking like he gives a damn.
for this, but I figure the mGo community has a strict one-futbol post limit on the main page. But Shinji Kagawa is officially off to ManU for a reported 18 mil. Though I'm not a Devils fan, Borussia Dortmund is my de facto second-team and Kagawa was brilliant the past two years in Germany. Not enough has been made about how good that Dortmund side was this season, and Shinji was the catalyst. His creativity is endless and his passes are smart and always on target. Rooney is going to love this guy, and he can now act as more of a striker and let Kagawa take care of the midfield dirty work. Considering Hazard was sold to Chelsea for about 3 times that, SAF got himself a steal. He'll be a household name this time next year.
I can only think of this skit whenever I hear his name...
As for the Czechs, I remember when they were a powerhouse, in the 90s through about '06. That lineup was killer, with players like Nedved, Koller, Poborsky, Smicer, Galasek, young Baros, young Rosicky, young Cech in the goal. Then Nedved, Koller, Poborsky, etc. retired and they have not been the same since. The only way I see them staying in this tourney is if Cech plays well - he is still one of the best goalies in the world - and if the offense can manage to score a goal here and there. I will remain optimistic but I would not bet my house on the Czechs making it into the quarters.
Conversely, I would not underestimate the Dutch. When it comes to international tournaments, they always make a very strong showing. in 2010 they almost won the WC. Nor would I underestimate Italy. They may not be the same team they were in '06 but they still play great defensive soccer.
I love the Dutch, that has been my team for several years and they are a safe bet to win it all. However, my parents are both Danish and I've been a fan of the Danes since Euro 1992. I'm a bit of a homer. :)
The Dutch are loaded with top flight talent and given their run internaionally, Champions league play, etc., I think key players will be running on emptly. I'm probably wrong.
I loved those Czech teams, Nedved was a great player.
Do not underestimate it. It would be very unusual for neither host country to make it out of their group (and yes, I know it happened last time). And while neither Poland or the Ukraine are all that outstanding, their FIFA rankings are depressed right now because they haven't played a non-friendly in a very long time. Ukraine in particular is dangerous, and Poland is in a very weak group.
the home country is a soccer power or at least a nation that has their moments like Sweden in 1992. Poland and the Ukraine don't really qualify as such.
but Poland was a power in the 70s and 80s, with 3rd place in the WCs in 1974 and 1982, beating both Brazil and Argentina in '74.
And the Ukraine was always the primary soccer province in the USSR; the Dynamo Kyiv academy was probably responsible for a lot of that.
And Minnesota was THE dominant team in college football in the 30's and early 40's. Things change.
Poland hasn't gotten out of the Group Stage of any major event since 1986 and has only qualified for 3 major tournaments since then. Would you put them in the category of a Sweden, Czech Republic, or England--solid teams below that top tier of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands? I wouldn't.
As for Ukraine, they've qualifed for one tournament since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. So if they were responsible for many of those very good Soviet teams of the 60s and 70s it hasn't translated to their own success.
...is that they've been allowed to host two major championships. The only real success they've ever had away from home was in '94.
At one point they had gone 18 years without winning a single match in a major tournament (they qualified for 2 WCs but only managed one draw from six matches) until they got to host the EC in '92, when they made the semifinals. They're probably the single best example for my argument--a minor footballing country that had never even qualified for a Euro but crashed the semifinals when playing at home.
Sweden's never had anything like the great 70s Polish teams with Lato and Deyna. Now that I think about it, neither has England. That makes me smile.
Do the people at Fifa even watch the games? How do we move up after that Canada friendly? That was brutal.
5-1 wooping of Scotland I'm guessing.
You are aware that the rankings are based on a simple formula (though a very flawed one) right? Nobody needs to watch anything.
For example is Uruguay the second best country? Of course not, but they are the South American champions coming off a semi-final appearance in the world cup. This is not surprising at all.
Haha we stink! Why are we so bad? Womp womp.
I am a huge Italy fan
Forza Azzurri, but i think were a team in transition and looking more at world cup 2014.
would love to advance out the group stage
as for a winner
I think Spain repeats, and am looking forward to the germany / netherlands matchup as well as the france / england matchup ( i hate france )
I think Russia can surprise as well as Croatia
wheres the mgoblog euro 2012 pool ?
Hoping France has fully turned things around under Laurent Blanc. Allez les bleus!
were involved in a much grander and bloodier battle for supremacy.
Nothing would make me happier than to see Portugal crash and burn in the group of death.
Rooting for Italy and Poland (one of my grandma's is from Italy and hte other was from Poland). But neither will win. Just hoping they both have a good showing.
Now im just waiting for the beerfest rankings
Spain beat Italy by 4-0.