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I'm a bit rushed doing this but haven't been able to be online that much the last few days.

Today is the first semi-final between Portugal and Spain. While I think Spain will probably win, I would not mind at all seeing this revitalized Portugal team go through to the final. Last night I listened to four different football experts give their opinions on the upcoming match. One of them upset me because he talked about how great Spain is even when they have not used their forwards that much, because of their width, blah, blah, blah, and how Spain should be able to exploit the Portuguese defense because the Portuguese central defenders are (a) old, and (b) slow, or don't like to move around that much. And that while the three midfielders, Meireles, Moutinho and Veloso link up well and have had a great tournament so far, they play too centrally, and again, the Spanish wide players will decimate them.

More here... )
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Here are pictures from Portugal's 1-0 defeat of the Czech Republic on June 21st, and Germany's 4-2 win over Greece on June 22nd.

Marco Reus and Jerome Boateng celebrate Reus' goal for Germany.


More here... )
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England beat Ukraine and even though Sweden beat France, France advanced, second in the group, with England first.

From England vs Ukraine:


More here... )
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By now we know that Portugal has overcome the Czech Republic to reach the semi-finals. But in Group C, the quarter-finalists were determined in the third and final matches on June 18th.

From Spain vs Croatia:


More here... )
Here are pictures from Group B's third and final matches:

Germany vs Denmark:


More here... )

The Group of Death claimed two victims: Denmark and The Netherlands. Germany and Portugal move on to the quarter-finals.
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I have so many pictures I thought I'd split them into each group's third and final matches.

From June 16th: Czech Republic vs Poland


More to enjoy here... )

Of course, the Czech Republic finished first in the group, with Greece second, and Russia and Poland are out.
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You can keep track of the match results and standings here:

These are photos from the second round of matches, starting with Poland vs Russia:


More below... )
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I collected some pics from the first round of matches.

The scores & standings are here:


More pictures here... )
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I decided to do a more in-depth list of the teams I like/dislike in the Euro 2012 competition and reasons why.

Like Best:

#1: Germany - Why? It's a nice team with a nice coach & players, it's exciting to watch, & plays strong & attractive football.

#2: Spain - See above reasons but with more Spanish flair than strength.

#3: England - I know most of the players from the EPL. I hate only one of them - John Terry - but love the Liverpool and Spurs players, as well as some others. Their GKs are favourites of mine. I don't expect them to advance to the semis, but it would be great if they could. :)

#4: Ireland - It's an interesting team, I like some of the players, but I don't know them all that well, so I might change my mind again.

More here... )
Over the weekend there were a few friendly games being played, as a warm up to the eventual tournament, which begins on June 8th.

Here are some photos, plus more training pics:

For me, the nicest-looking kit this year is Portugal's:


More here... )

EURO 2012

May. 27th, 2012 08:41 am
More arrival and training pics. :)

The French boys show off their style.

This is Olivier Giroud


More French boys and other goodies here... )

EURO 2012

May. 24th, 2012 06:53 am
Here we go again!


The teams are training in their various facilities in Poland and the Ukraine. Soon the tournament will begin, scheduled to run between June 8 - July 1st. Here is a link to the Wiki site:

Training photos below... )
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My NEW Favourite Teams

I always like to feel good. I hate that feeling of being down when it comes to my teams' losses. I always like to have a lot of teams around me. I don't know - my feeling has always been that if I had only ONE team and they lost and made me feel bad, then I would have no other teams I could watch that might be able to cheer me up. Therefore I have always watched a lot of matches from a lot of different leagues with a view to finding teams that interest me and are fun to watch and get involved with.

And this year, at season's end for most leagues, I've decided that I am no longer going to cheer for the biggest teams. In the beginning I think I, like most people, got sucked in to thinking I had to get behind teams like Real Madrid or Manchester United because they were the ones I could see the most on TV. Or Barcelona. Or Liverpool, or Chelsea. AC Milan. Etc., etc. But once I got Pay TV and discovered streaming, there was no excuse NOT to follow other, 'lesser' teams. And once I got started doing that, what did I discover? That these teams are much more fun to follow. Their players are not the big headed 'superstars' that the BIG teams seem to swallow up like so many jelly beans until some of the disappear into what seem like black holes, never to be seen again.

It seems that these superstars are usually too 'professional' for me to like them very much. It's like they are playing only for the money and the stardom, to see how many goals they can rack up in a season, as if that is the only reason they are playing, certainly not for the team that hired them. They tend to change teams a lot as well, maybe because it's a way of staving off boredom. I don't know. To each his own, I guess. I am not knocking these teams or players, but just writing about what's interesting for me and what isn't.

So, okay. The teams I REALLY, really like based on what I've seen during the past season, are:

Below the cut )

EDIT: I forgot to mention CONCACAF! I love the Mexico NT with all my heart, and I like Costa Rica. I also like the Venezuela NT. Forgot to mention them as well. ;)


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