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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 - 2,411 miles travelled

As I walked out of the St Jacob-Park media centre in Basel for the final time on Wednesday evening, a wave of melancholy swept over me. Euro 2008 is over in Switzerland, the party has finished and it is time to move on.

A rather fearsome woman who works on security, screening journalists as they enter the stadium, summed it all up. I asked her how she felt about it all and she simply replied: "Game over."

Continue reading "I'm going to miss the Swiss"

Grindelwald - 1,751 miles travelled

After the Netherlands had breezed through the Group of Death at Euro 2008, Dutch fan Will Henke and his travelling companions promptly booked an apartment in Vienna for the final week of this magnificent tournament.

Henke saves all year so that he can follow the oranje at major tournaments. It is prudent planning - and just as well because the cost of following your team is no laughing matter.

Continue reading "Dutch fans left counting the cost"

Warsash, England

Holland's exit from Euro 2008 at the feet of the mystical Russians brought on one of those "ashamed to be English" moments.

I had just suffered 120 minutes of unfathomably poor football - such a contrast from the slick destruction of Italy, France and Romania in the group stages - in the company of the Southampton Anglo-Dutch Association, an organisation formed in 1971 as a social outlet for Netherlanders in Hampshire.

Continue reading "Jinx strikes again as Dutch bow out"


Russia must now be regarded as major contenders at Euro 2008 after a breathtaking quarter-final victory over a Dutch side that had swept all before them in the so-called "Group of Death".

Andrei Arshavin capped off another sublime display with the decisive third goal to further boost his burgeoning reputation, while the result is another triumph for coach Guus Hiddink, who has honed a side that beat his countrymen at their own game.

Continue reading "Russia look the real deal"


Another example of Dutch unity at Euro 2008: Netherlands fans will sing the football anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" a few minutes before tonight's quarter-final against Russia kicks off.

The gesture is a show of support for defender Khalid Bouhlarouz, who suffered a personal tragedy three days ago when he and his wife, Sabia, lost their prematurely-born baby daughter, Anissa.

Continue reading "Dutch bond grows stronger"


Whenever someone mentions the word "statistics" I can't help but think of past Miss World competitions. And in case my wife is reading this, the last one I watched must have been at least 20 years ago. Yep, that's long before we met, my love.

Anyway, the BBC Sport website's Player Rater has thrown up some interesting numbers following the completion of the group games at Euro 2008...

Continue reading "Lies, damned lies and statistics"


OK, no beating around the bush. I'm tipping Germany, Croatia, Netherlands and Spain to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

Why? Well, the Germans have the experience and mental toughness to win when it matters, the Croatians have oodles of self-belief, no-one can stop the Dutch scoring, while Spain have too much firepower for the stubborn Italians.

Continue reading "My tips for the semi-finals"


Quelle surprise, the French are getting paranoid! Their top sports paper, L'Equipe, is full of conspiracy theories that the Dutch will not exactly be busting a gut to beat Romania on Tuesday and that, as a consequence, both France and Italy will be out.

Well, whose fault is that? Frankly, I think the French were fortunate that Romania took such a negative approach when they met each other in Zurich.

Continue reading "Faltering French look their age"


So we managed to sit down with Gordon Strachan and throw a few of your questions his way. He was in jovial mood as he told us that Wesley Sneijder, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Artur Boruc were among his stars of Euro 2008 so far. He also revealed he's a big fan of Nick Hornby's novels.

Continue reading "Strachan answers your questions"

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