- 1 Jun 08, 08:43 PM
Football's still a team game, right? It's just that a lot of the views being churned out by newspapers, magazines, television shows, radio stations and websites seem to have ignored this very basic fact in the run-up to Euro 2008.
Look, being blessed with lots of talented individuals isn't a precursor to success. Just ask Steve McClaren. Yet for some reason a lot of people believe Greece have absolutely no chance of winning the European Championships again.
Other countries may have better squads - Spain, for example, boast such luminaries as Torres, Fabregas, Ramos and Casillas - but the Greeks are a proven team, one that equals more than the sum of its parts.
They are in the Finals on merit, topping their qualifying group by dropping just five points from a possible 36, and they are coached by the same man - Otto Rehhagel - who guided them to success in Portugal.
I'm not suggesting Greece will shock the footballing world for a second time by defending their trophy, just reminding everyone that it is perhaps a little foolhardy to say they won't.
And, please, no more 'Lightning Won't Strike Twice' headlines.
What's clear to me from the numerous interviews I've read and heard in the build-up to Euro 2008 is that this is a tournament capable of serving up another surprise winner.
My particular dark horse is Poland. Like Greece, they topped their qualifying group - a group that included Portugal - and they have a coach in Leo Beenhakker who, like Rehhagel, is capable of instilling his players with oodles of self-belief.
And had Romania not been drawn in a group that also includes Italy, France and Holland, I might have tipped them to cause an upset as well.
Two other major themes have emerged from my 'research'. The first is that not many people are giving either of the host nations a prayer, particularly Austria. The second is that each team's first game is hugely significant. Win it and the self-confidence blossoms. Lose it and the pressure is well and truly on
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