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My colleague Saj Chowdhury has done a bit of a straw poll in the office and here is our(unofficial) team of Euro 2008.

You can see how it compares to the official team here.

Fernando Torres was your star of the final in Player Rater and deservedly so after winning the cup for Spain.

But his two goals in the tournament weren't enough to get him into our overall team. Have we got it right or have we dropped the ball?

Continue reading "Team of the tournament"


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Vienna

So that's it. Euro 2008 is all over. And I still haven't heard Ultravox's 1980 hit 'Vienna'. Did you know it never made it to number one? It was kept off top spot by Joe Dolce's 'Shaddup You Face'. I have a disturbing feeling I may have bought that, although it's certainly not in my record collection anymore.

I'm not going to do the whole highlights/lowlights thing. I'll leave that to others. What I will say is this: Vienna has been a wonderful host. Sometimes it's felt like the tournament was being played in another country far, far away, but I'd view that as a plus rather than a minus. It has certainly allowed me to retain a much-needed sense of perspective. You can get a little carried away in the hysteria that sometimes grips the big tournaments.

Continue reading "Goodnight Vienna"



Here's a reminder of our Euro 2008 final question:

You Are The Ref

Continue reading "You Are The Ref answer"



Vienna

The most gifted and complete team won Euro 2008 - and for that I am truly thankful. I thought at one stage it might be the Dutch before I briefly flirted with the idea that Russia may well exceed expectations. But ultimately there can be no arguing with Spain's status as worthy champions.

It could have been so different had Miroslav Klose capitalised on Sergio Ramos's awful pass to Carles Puyol after just three minutes but destiny ensured victory was with the deserved.

In defeating Germany here at the Ernst Happel Stadium on this balmy June evening, Spain not only ended 44 years of international failure and frustration but delivered a gift rich in significance to those who subscribe to a brand of football that truly is the beautiful game.

Continue reading "Spain are worthy winners"



Vienna

It's only right and proper that I hand over one of my final posts to Mr Graham Taylor, a man who brought me a lot of joy back in the late Eighties during his time as Aston Villa manager.

Despite his standing in the game, he has suffered some terrible and unnecessary ribbing - some would say abuse - at the hands of his radio colleague John Murray during Euro 2008.

Now it's time to redress the balance, so over to you, Graham...

Continue reading "Turning the tables on Mr Murray"



Vienna

Well, it was a long time in arriving and flew by quicker than I can believe. Euro 2008 has been my first tournament for BBC Sport, and what a special three weeks it's been. But now it's time to start packing for home.

All the presents I've bought seem like a bad idea now and just will not fit into a suitcase that was already full in the way out...great planning, Jake!!

My suitcase may be full, but it's positively vacuous compared to the memories filling up the grey matter and taking up so much space I'll never find anywhere for all that Olympic research. In no particular order, these are some of the things from Euro 2008 that will live with me for a long, long time...

Continue reading "So many memories, so little space"



You Are The Ref

Continue reading "You Are The Ref - the final"



Vienna

Something's got to give at the Ernst Happel Stadium on Sunday. Germany's mental rigour comes up against a Spanish outfit that is widely regarded as the most complete team at Euro 2008.

And when the losers trudge off, beaten and vanquished, they can console themselves with the thought that they are far from alone in their abject disappointment. Both countries are at fever pitch as the final moves ever closer, with the match dominating television, radio and newspaper coverage.

Continue reading "Final expectations at fever pitch"



Vienna

Sometimes us journalists expect more than we end up being given. Take Samuel Eto'o, for instance. Like a lot of big-name footballers this summer, he had been jetted into Vienna by the sportswear company he promotes as they looked to cash in on the worldwide interest in Euro 2008.

Naturally, we saw it as the chance to ask the Cameroon striker if he was on his way to England to play in the Premier League. This was, after all, a player had been told his Barcelona career was all but over by new coach Pep Guardiola.

Continue reading "Eto'o silent as Motty spills the beans"



Nuremberg, Germany

In a previous blog I may have given the impression that the national stereotype was a thing of the past. How wrong was I?

Only an hour into Belgium, on the last leg of our Radio 5 Live Euro 2008 road trip, we stopped at a motorway café that was genuinely playing Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand. Nearly 12 hours later, our end-of-day beer in North Bavaria was accompanied by The Scorpions!

Continue reading "Vienna here we come"


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