Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Euro 2012 Starting XI

My Euro 2012 Starting XI
by rick olivares photo by getty images

Goalkeeper – Iker Casillas (Spain)

Defenders: Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain)
From the early stages that included Portugal’s poor start, Coentrao and Helder Postiga carried the Seleccao. Coentrao was consistent from start to finish. Ditto with Pepe. With Sergio Ramos and Jordi Alba on one side, no one is getting through.

Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
The way I view the 33-year old Andrea Pirlo for this Euro 2012 is the way I saw Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup – one last brilliant hurrah. Zizou was 34 in his last tournament. But Pirlo will be like another Juventus stalwart in Alessandro del Piero as he will be playing well into his late 30s. Does He have enough to take Italy into Brasil? That Panenka will be remembered forever.

Andres Iniesta. He wasn’t Player of the Tournament for nothing. Good things come in small packages.

Sami Khedira was the best of the German side that hummed but never matched the pace and game that was on display in South Africa.

Cristiano Ronaldo got better as the tournament progressed. That he was unable to take a penalty during the semis match with Spain will be debated forever.

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain)
Balotelli came out and showed the world what he can do when he isn’t an off-field distraction. As for Fabregas, the false nine is just fine. Props to Vicente del Bosque for a most unorthodox lineup.

Bench: Luigi Buffon (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Gerard Pique (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany)

How about that Spanish team? That should be the best starting XI anywhere.


  1. That's 6 Madrid players :)

  2. no Gerrard even on the bench? he got two decent passes that led to goals be Lescott and Carroll. or even Welbeck for that backheel.