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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"

Recent entries


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"


Germany's progression to the Euro 2008 final might have been billed as a return to old-fashioned values of efficiency and professionalism. But behind that easy stereotype lies a management team that is prepared to explore every possible avenue in the pursuit of excellence.

That has included bringing in Patrick Broome, a specialist yoga instructor and guru to international pop stars Madonna and Sting, to help prepare the squad.

Continue reading "Germans take the flexible approach"


Time is ticking for Vienna's Panini football card collectors. They meet outside the Technisches Museum, every Friday afternoon, old women trading with schoolchildren, long lists of indecipherable numbers in their hand. What will they do next Friday?

The clock is also running down for touts in the centre of Vienna. One walked past me in the rain and said: "Tickets?" I said that I was alright thanks. "I'm ******* buying not selling," came the reply. I guess I should have read the sign, written in several languages, that he was holding.

Continue reading "Platini basks in Euro success"


Much as the Dutch, Turks, Russians and co have lit up Euro 2008, the ingredients for Sunday's final are close to perfect in TV terms.

OK, so the audience would be bigger if one of the home nations had somehow made it. However, in all honesty, this tournament really hasn't missed us. The football has largely been glorious - eight goals in two semis, with no extra-time or penalties, is not the norm in modern tournament football.

Continue reading "A dream final?"

London, England

Back in the capital for Wednesday's Euro 2008 semi-final between Germany and Turkey, we decided to meet up with some members of the London branch of Fenerbahce FC.

There were plenty of fun and games before the match even began thanks to a late change of venue. We'd originally decided to pitch up at a snooker club in Harrow-on-the-Hill but switched at the last minute, heading for the Fat Controller pub instead.

Continue reading "Thanks for the memories, Turkey"


It just gets better and better. Are there any limits to the joy, skill, exhilaration and drama that Euro 2008 can serve up?

Wednesday's semi-final at St Jakob-Park was a stone-cold classic. Let's start by applauding Turkey.

Continue reading "Basel serves up a thriller"

The last 48 hours has been weird, being back at home after 16 consecutive days on the road, broadcasting from a different location every time.

Along the way we covered 2,500 miles and met supporters from 14 of the 16 Euro 2008 countries. In fact, so quickly have I exchanged one routine for another that departing Jamie Carragher's bar and restaurant in the centre of Liverpool feels like a month ago rather than late Sunday evening.

Continue reading "Ready for the semis"

Basel - 1,883 miles travelled

German newspaper Bild and Turkish counterpart Hurriyet both carried the same headline on Monday.

It read: "Let friendship win".

And wherever you look, all the right people are making all the right noises ahead of Wednesday's Euro 2008 semi-final between the two nations here in Basel.

Continue reading "Let football be the winner"


Andrei Arshavin looks to have eclipsed David Villa as Euro 2008's hottest property - and the inspirational Russian No 10 has also leapt above the Spaniard in BBC Sport's Player Rater rankings following the quarter-finals.

Arshavin now has a 9.02 rating after inspiring Guus Hiddink's side to victory over the much-fancied Netherlands, while Villa (8.13) has dropped to third place, behind Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc (8.37), after getting a 7.0 mark for his performance in Spain's penalty shoot-out win over Italy.

Continue reading "Arshavin on the up - Villa slides"

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