Greece’s manager Fernando Santos knew what was coming – in the first half at least. He had his head down, his eyes shut and his hand wiping a furrowed brow (a neat facial trick if your eyes are closed). The speech bubble “oh no, here we go again” wrote itself. I’m sure it has been…
Euro 2012 kicked off with a bang as the opening game served up something for everyone. Two goals from comedy goalkeeping errors, a controversial sending off, a cast-iron sending off, a saved penalty and an inspired substitution gave more memorable moments than most opening games put together. Poland started strongly with Jakub Blaszczkowski, Robert Lewandowski…
Euro Moments continues today courtesy of Dotmund and the 2004 European Champions.
No-one has done it single-handedly before. And whatever Lionel Messi achieves during the rest of his football career, nothing will surpass his transformation of Argentina – and one managed by “dirty” Diego to boot – into the good guys in the English media. One unfortunate side-effect of this astonishing volte face is that there’s only…
Finally the tournament has come to life. In the twenty four hours before this game we’ve had some fine football played by Switzerland, Uruguay and Argentina, some drama and a proper upset in the first of thesse games. We’ve even ahd some controversy going on off-the-field too. If we needed a reminder that behind this celebration of world football lies a grubby marketing exercise then there’s the faintly scandalous decision to prosecute two of the women involved in Monday’s ambush marketing stunt (which seemed, in any case, not to break any of FIFA’s strict rules) at the Holland v Denmark game. If you feel the need to tie your World Cup into a deal for an exclusive “official beer”, let alone one that tastes like muck, then you deserve to have your tournament ambush marketed. I applaud it and encourage it, even if I don’t applaud or encourage media pundits cashing in on the exercise.
Statistics are often as misleading as they are informative. On one hand this game is between the 2004 European Championship winners and the 2002 World Cup Semi-Finalists. Another way of describing the game is between a side whose World Cup finals record outside their own country is just one win in seventeen games (and that over African minnows Togo) and the only European nation ever to play at a World Cup without scoring. At the outset, that may be harsh, as the South Koreans are showing that the co-hosting of the Cup in 2002 has been beneficial in the long-term as the 1994 World Cup was for the United States.
The 19th FIFA World Cup kicks off in eight weeks today, and as such Dotmund continues his almost-in-depth look ahead to this summer’s festivities. Today he continues his preview of each of the eight groups, having been sent foraging for facts on the internet with only his trusty big pencil for company. Up for examination in this week’s post, Group B.