Euro 2008

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Portugal vs Germany: Ballack to help grind out a narrow German win

Germany have remained in the tournament partly as a result of a very favourable draw and with some inspired moments - like Michael Ballack's free-kick against the Austrians - making a huge difference. Scorelines of 2-0 (Poland), 1-2 (Croatia) and 1-0 (Austria) show that the Germans are not making th...

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The Unexpected Euro 2008 Star XI

Every team has played 3 games and while the big stars have made their impact who are the unexpected names who have made people sit up and take notice across the Continent? Artur Boruc (Poland) Goalkeepers have the chance to shine behind poor defences and the dreadfully slow Polish stoppers gave Bo...

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Holland v Romania

Romania could hit the headlines this Tuesday evening (June 17) as victory over Holland in Berne will propel them to the quarter-finals of Euro 2008, ending the hopes of both France and Italy in the process. Beating Holland may seem unlikely on the evidence of the first two games played by each side...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Italy v France

At least one (possibly two) of Europe’s traditional football powerhouses will fall by the Euro 2008 wayside tonight (June 17) when Italy take on France in Group C in Zurich. Neither have managed a win from their opening two fixtures in the section, and both found themselves on the end of a hammerin...

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Donadoni Looking for A Repreive

by Paul Grech Win or bust. That is what is facing Italy tonight, putting aside that it could be win AND bust if results elsewhere don’t go their way. That too is the reality for Roberto Donadoni: contract or not, if Italy go out then so too would the national coach. For many, that would be the pre...

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Monday, 16 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Germany v Austria

There probably won’t be anything neighbourly about Germany’s Euro 2008 Group B clash with Austria in Vienna on Monday night (June 16). A shock loss to Croatia has left Germany needing at least a draw to progress to a quarter-final appointment with Portugal, while the Austrians still have designs on...

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Euro 2008 Diary; Spain Snatch It Late; Greeks' 30-year Wait

Euro 2008 Diary - Saturday June 14 2008 Spain join Portugal, Croatia and Holland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008 but leave it late to beat Sweden 2-1 in Group D in Innsbruck. It all seems to be going according to plan when Fernando Torres notches his first goal of the tournament. The Liverpool ...

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Euro 2008 Diary; Mutu Miss Gives Italy Hope; Dutch Destrory Domenech's Duds; More Miller Movement

Euro 2008 Diary; Friday June 13 2008 Italy cling on to their hopes of adding the European title to their world crown of two years ago, but only by the slimmest of margins. The Azzurri are held 1-1 by Romania in Zurich in an eventful contest, and now need to beat France in their final Group C game ...

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Van Basten Keeps High Maintenance Dutch Machine On The Road

Turkey have their claims but Holland are clearly the team providing the most excitement at Euro 2008. That it was unexpected - especially by the Dutch- is an indication of the fragile balance that has to be maintained in any Dutch squad. Football in the Netherlands has been providing a conveyor bel...

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Friday, 13 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Holland v France

Two sides experiencing very different fortunes so far at Euro 2008 meet in Group C as Holland take on France in Berne on Friday (June 13). Unfancied (not least by themselves and their own media) before a ball was kicked in Austria and Switzerland, Holland shook up the tournament by blasting Italy 3...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Italy v Romania

Italy’s Euro 2008 prospects go on the line when they take on Romania in Group C in Zurich on Friday (June 13). Drubbed 3-0 by Holland in their opening game, Roberto Donadoni’s side will be eliminated should they back that up with a loss against Victor Piturca’s side. Already under pressure from the...

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Bookies Back Italy To Get Back On Track

Despite their three goal defeat to Holland, Ladbrokes firmly believe the World Champions will stay in the hunt for qualification today. Romania face a dilemma in their match with Italy because at some point the outsiders have to win a match to get through from Group C. Their dour effort against Fra...

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Euro 2008: Austria v Germany set to be more '78 than '82

Thursday's games at Euro 2008 saw a surprise win for Croatia against Germany and a controversial late penalty awarded by English referee Howard Webb that secured a draw for Austria against Poland. That leaves the co-hosts needing a win against nighbours Germany in the final round of fixtures while ...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Austria v Poland

After the elimination of one host nation, Austria will be hoping to deny a double when they take on Poland in Euro 2008 Group B in Vienna on Thursday (June 12). Switzerland’s 2-1 defeat to Turkey last night (June 11) left Austria standing alone among host nations retaining an interest in the compet...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Germany v Croatia

Euro 2008 Group B gathers pace when Germany meet Croatia in Klagenfurt on Thursday (June 12). Both sides won their opening fixture at the weekend. Tournament favourites Germany beat Poland 2-0, while Croatia were rather less impressive in sneaking past Austria by the only goal in Vienna. On the sc...

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Euro 2008 Diary; Portuguese Progress; Turkish Delight As Swiss Roll Out

Squarefootball Diary - Wednesday June 11 2008 Portugal become the first team to cement a place in the last eight of Euro 2008 following their 3-1 win over the Czech Republic in Geneva. It takes just seven minutes for Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side to take the lead as Deco and Cristiano Ronaldo conjure...

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Switzerland v Turkey

It’s a fight for Euro 2008 survival in Group A on Wednesday night (June 11) when Switzerland take on Turkey in Basel. Both sides lost their opening matches on Saturday (June 7) and both know that defeat in this one will put paid to their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. If that doesn’t give th...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Czech Republic v Portugal

Two more title contenders collide when the Czech Republic and Portugal meet in a Euro 2008 Group A match in Geneva on Wednesday (June 11). Both got off to winning starts in their opening games at the weekend, meaning that the winner of this one will be guaranteed a place in the last eight. The Czec...

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Greece v Sweden

European title holders Greece take centre stage on Tuesday night (June 10) when they open their Euro 2008 Group D campaign against Sweden in Salzburg. It is hard to think of a defending champion that has been so unfancied. Before the tournament began you could get odds of 25/1 about Greece pulling ...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Spain v Russia

Stand by to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre as tournament chokers Spain enter the Euro 2008 fray this afternoon (June 10). Luis Aragones side take on Russia in Innsbruck in Group C with even more expectation than usual on their shoulders. It is believed that this is the strongest group of Spanish pl...

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Monday, 09 June 2008

Euro 2008 Diary; Flagging French Foiled; Dutch Devour Donadoni's Dummies

Squarefootball Euro 2008 Diary - Monday June 9 2008 The much vaunted Group of Death gets under way, and there are plenty of horrors on show for Italy and France. First up it’s the French, who toil through 90 goalless minutes of tedium with Romania in Zurich. The underdogs lack ambition throughout,...

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Euro 2008 Preview; Italy v Holland

Sparks are set to fly in the biggest clash of Euro 2008 so far as world champions Italy face off with Holland Berne on Monday night (June 9). The general consensus is that it has been a slow start to the tournament in Austria and Switzerland, so the introduction of two of it’s bigger names could pr...

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Life as A Substitute Suits Del Piero Fine

Paul Grech If Alessandro Del Piero was looking for closure then there could have barely hoped for a better stage for the European Championships: it was here that his career first went into a freefall. It is the 2nd of July, 2000 and Italy are taking on World Champions France in the final of the Eu...

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Euro 2008: Austria and Switzerland could buck a trend to crash out early

One of the unwritten rules of international tournaments is that the hosts qualify for the knock-out stages. This is necessary to retain local interest and press coverage and to make everything as good natured as possible. But with the modern expansion to the Euros this is the first time the Euros ...

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Euro 2008 Preview; France v Romania

Lock all doors and windows, raise the alarm and carry out a head-count as Euro 2008’s Group Of Death gets under way in Zurich this afternoon (June 9). Two-time European champions France enter the spotlight alongside the less fancied Romania in Group C. Raymond Domenech’s side have been one of the ...

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He Should Do Well: Jose Bosingwa (Chelsea)

Paul Grech As far as summers go, few have started off as chaotically as this one for Chelsea. Ever since the announcement that they had decided against keeping Avram Grant as manager, it has been a free-for-all among the papers with everyone linking them to a new manager every day. The apparent re...

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Sunday, 08 June 2008

Euro 2008 Draw Favours Germany

Germany set out today in their Euro 2008 campaign and while they are very different from the functional sides of the past, Joachim Low's side have retained one very important German quality- luck. For this tournament the administrators have decided to keep the top and bottom half of the draws compl...

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Friday, 06 June 2008

Euro 2008 Preview; Switzerland v Czech Republic

Euro 2008 kicks off this Saturday (June 7) when co-hosts Switzerland take on the Czech Republic in the opening game in Basel. The pair clash in Group A where they are joined by the heavily fancied, Ronaldo-led Portugal aswell as Turkey. Not much is expected of Switzerland despite their home advanta...

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Prediction: Spain to be squeezed out of Group D

Group D is a mismash of teams from the peripheries of the continent, Russia from the east, Greece in the south, Spain in the west and Sweden in the north; and each will take a distinctive style into the tournament. Spain will be attacking and reliant on abrasive defenders to secure wins; Russia wil...

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What We Really Think About Euro 2008

We've written our previews, told you all about the teams and tried to put as much information out there as possible. But what are the real views of the Squarefootball team? Read on to find out. Paul Grech WinnersThe injury to Fabio Cannavaro will hurt them but I still think that Italy will win it....

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Euro 2008 Preview: Russia

Guus Hiddink’s magic. Russia’s hopes are firmly pinned on their manager and his almost legendary ability to get smaller teams to progress in international competitions. In truth he’s already performed a minor miracle in getting them to this stage. They looked dead and buried after that defeat at...

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Euro 2008 Preview: Sweden

“The obvious aim is to get out of the groups…after that everyone is allowed to dream.” Lars Lagerback’s words betray his realization of Sweden’s limitations but also the eternal hope that no one can kill of in football. If Greece and Denmark can win the European Championships, why not Sweden? Well,...

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Euro 2008 Is No Poorer For The Loss Of England

In some quarters there is a perception that since England failed to qualify, Euro 2008 just isn’t worth the bother. Who wants to watch on enviously as the continent’s best teams go at it hammer and tongs for the right to be crowned European champions? Well, me for a start. Don’t get me wrong. Engl...

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Thursday, 05 June 2008

Square Eyes; The Squarefootball TV Review

There’s just a couple of days to go to the start of Euro 2008, and Britain’s major television companies each have their own way of conducting the countdown. First to get excited are ITV, who as an appetiser for their first live game between Portugal and Turkey on Saturday (June 7) are showing a ser...

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Euro 2008 Profile: Greece

Can they repeat themselves? It is the question that many are asking but in reality it is a rhetorical one. Of course Greece can’t win the European Championships again. Their victory four years ago was a fantastic success – from an emotional rather than stylistic one seeing how Greece played – yet ex...

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5 Goals Should Do It To Make Euro 2008 Top Scorer

Before every major tournament the speculation starts about who will emerge as the main hitman. Often it's an unlikely name (Salvatore Schillaci, anyone?) but that doesn't prevent the guessing game. The Euro Finals have only been a 16 team competition since 1996, thus popping in an extra game and 5 ...

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Euro 2008 Profiles: Spain

Looking through the squad and it is impossible not to rank them among the favourites. Take a look at their history, however, and you’ll start having second thoughts. Spain once again go into a major championship wondering whether they’ll manage to fulfill their potential or if they will confirm all ...

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Sunday, 01 June 2008

Euro 2008 Profiles; Romania

You won’t find many people outside Romania taking a punt on their national side reaching the quarter finals of Euro 2008, much less winning the title. Should Victir Piturca’s side suffer defeat to all of France, Italy and Holland in Group C nobody in the football fraternity will bat an eyelid. They...

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Euro 2008 Profiles; France

France enter Euro 2008 with one of the strongest looking squads of all of the 16 competing nations. Raimond Domenech’s side no longer have the genius of Zinedine Zidane to call upon, but there is a school of thought that Zidane’s absence will only help get the best out of an extremely talented grou...

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Euro 2008 Profile- Germany

Euro 2008 is quite like old times- Germany are back at the top of the betting after two tournaments when the 'Nationalmannschaft' (catchy nickname) fell well below their normal standards. Amazingly, the Germans failed to get out the group stage at both the 2000 and 2004 Finals - an event of seismic...

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Euro 2008 Profile- Austria

To say that Austria go into Euro 2008 with modest hopes would be an understatement; this is a team that has plumbed the depths of 101 in the FIFA World Rankings and Austrian fans started a campaign to withdraw them from the Finals last year so poor were their performances. Coach Josef Hickersperger...

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Euro 2008 Profile- Croatia

Under Slaven Bilic, Croatia have maintained their excellent qualifying record for major tournaments since independence. They have a blend of experience and youth which may well take them to the last eight via Group B. The Kovac brothers and Dario Simic are still in the squad to provide ballast and ...

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Euro 2008 Profile-Poland

The Eagles of Poland have finally qualified for a Euro Finals. Surprisingly a nation that finished third in 2 World Cups had never made any impact on the Continental competition before now. The draw in Group B gives Leo Beenhakker's team a reasonable chance of progression, although they will not be...

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Saturday, 31 May 2008

Euro 2008 Team Profiles; Holland

Holland travel to Austria and Switzerland for Euro 2008 with significantly lower expectations than those ordinarily foisted upon them. The draw, injury doubts and the presence of what is effectively a lame duck coach are all factors contributing to the dampening of the Dutch mood. Not only have Mar...

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Euro 2008 Group B Preview

A combination involving Germany, Poland, Austria and Croatia would provide a career's worth of material for a Central European historian but happily World Cup 2006 proved that rivalries can be healthy on the football pitch without resort to jingoistic references. On purely football terms this is a ...

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Euro 2008 Team Profiles; Italy

Crowned World Champions for a fourth time two years ago, it is remarkable to think that Italy have only captured the European title once. That success came 40 years ago, since when the Azzuri have only made the final once, losing out to David Trezeguet’s golden goal for France in 2000. Prior to tha...

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Thursday, 29 May 2008

Euro 2008; Group C Overview

Lazy hacks everywhere (including this one) are calling Group C the Group Of Death. And well they might. With World Champions Italy, beaten World Cup finalists France and regular will-they-won’t-they contenders Holland pitched in together there’ll be little room for easing into the tournament gently....

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Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Euro 2008 interest - Tottenham Hotspur

Current players: Tottenham's England contingent will have a free summer after the failure to make the final stages of the tournament and the focus of interest for Spurs fans will now be on new signing Luka Modric. The midfielder is expected to be one of the stars of the tournament as the key man in...

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Sunday, 25 May 2008

Euro 2008 interest - Chelsea

Current players: Although their England contingent will be absent from Euro 2008, Chelsea will still be well represented at this summer's tournament and a number of Blues' stars will be looking to go one better after their recent near misses at club level. Petr Cech is a certain starter for the C...

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Friday, 23 May 2008

Euro 2008 interest - Manchester United

Current players: A relatively small number of Manchester United players will be in action at Euro 2008 this summer, something that will no doubt please Sir Alex Ferguson as he plots the way to more glory for the Reds. Even better for Fergie of course is the fact that it is England's failure to reac...

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