Is there a Trojan Horse in this year’s Euro 2008?
This Greek side is almost an entirely different one that hoisted the cup in 2004. More than half the team is new but it should be noted that on their way to the Euro Finals they compiled an 11-1 record while scoring 25 goals to their foes’ 10 while displaying that stingy defense that saw them shoot up FIFA’s rankings. And with a line-up far superior to the one that failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, they’ll be a handful in the Group D bracket (
So who could spring a surprise here?
If Eduardo was playing for
After luring away Leo Beenhakker from
During the qualifiers,
The Poles are lumped together with traditional foe
Domenech has rectified some of his mistakes (aside from his tactics) from France’s last major international competition by announcing that Lyon stud net minder Gregory Coupet will take the place of the now-retired Fabian Barthez who made some horrendous misplays in Germany. But Coupet has been far from form as he recently recovered from a knee injury and he isn’t listed anywhere near all-world keepers Gigi Buffon, Edwin Van Der Sar, or Iker Casillas.
Also conspicuously absent from the line up are
Of the current quad, it is only Frank Ribery (who had a superb first season with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich), exciting newcomer Karim Benzema, and Nicolas Anelka who’ve had great seasons.
Can Joachim Low duplicate if not better Jurgen Klinsmann’s feat?
Lukas Podolski certainly would wish that Joachim Low, like his predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann, would start him. Instead after a distinguished tenure with FC Koln and scoring goals at an astonishing rate for
It isn’t solely “Prinz Poldi,” as Podolski is called, who is in need of game time. Defender Christoph Metzelder and midfielder Torsten Frings just got back from extended time from sick bay. Team captain Michael Ballack after nearly on ice for two seasons at
Low has continued the attack-oriented football that Klinsmann got the national side playing during the 2006 World Cup. While they derive their strength from the chances offered by the diamond formation of a 4-4-2 alignment, they conceded only seven goals in 12 matches en route to the Euro 2008 Finals. The catch there is they scored 35 goals including a 13-0 shellacking of
They have the 2006 World Cup Golden Boot awardee Miroslav Klose up front partnering with Gomez with Ballack and Bastian Schweinsteiger behind them. It was Schweinsteiger’s two goals that allowed
The Germans likewise have a favorable draw as they’re lumped in Group B with
But for Podolski, all he wants is another chance to prove to one and all that there was a reason why he won the Best Young Player two years ago in the World Cup.