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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


Vienna

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"



Klagenfurt

Sad to say but I think that Euro 2008 is starting to wind down.

Let me explain. It's Tuesday lunchtime in Klagenfurt, the day after the night when the city hosted its final Euro 2008 fixture. I am wandering around the outskirts of the city, not far from the Worthersee Stadium, trying to find a launderette that does not require a minimum of 24 hours to wash half a dozen pairs of socks. Everywhere I look, temporary beer and foods stands are being taken down, likewise flags of the competing nations that had been hung from pillar to post.

Continue reading "Closed for business in Klagenfurt"



Belfast, Northern Ireland

They say the Europa is the most bombed hotel in the world. It is also the epicentre of Belfast life; morning coffee, afternoon tea, lunches and dinners all served here.

It has photos of famous guests lining the walls of the staircase that leads to the huge pictured café bar gawping out on to Great Victoria Street. Former US President Bill Clinton, who once booked out the whole place for his entourage, even has one of the swanky suites named after him.

Continue reading "Beauties in Belfast"



Vienna

It may only have been a few days since I made my blogging debut en route from Vienna to Klagenfurt, but it feels like about a month, such is the amount of travelling we've done.

We've covered most of Austria going to football matches, interviewing players and managers, filming the stunning scenery, trying in vain to get my radio satellite dish to work and pleading with editing genius Nick to stop telling his shockingly bad jokes.

All to the soundtrack of "Mercy" by Duffy. It appears that every radio station plays it as soon as we tune in. We're begging them for mercy now - please stop!

Continue reading "Ballack, Boruc and Spanish royalty"



Edinburgh, Scotland

I knew it was going to be a strange day when we stopped off in Berwick-upon-Tweed for a bag of pork scratchings.

The first person I saw was a barefooted man dressed as a pirate. He could probably have got away with it in the border town a few centuries ago, but in 2008 he looked a bit of a pillock!

Continue reading "Poles top the noise charts"



Villach

The 5 Live team has discovered it is staying in the same hotel that the Germans are using before matches at the Wörthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt.

It must be an efficient establishment, so imagine my surprise when I rang down to reception and asked for an iron and ironing board only to be told there wasn't one available until after the Germans had left.

Could it be I had unwittingly stumbled on the secret of Germany's success? Michael Ballack and co team ironing? Watch out, if Germany win Euro 2008, ironing might become all the rage...

Continue reading "We'll stick to table football, thanks"



Richmond-upon-Thames, England

I don't want to make this blog the story of my accommodation, but on Sunday morning I woke up surrounded by lakes, golf courses and spell-bound Essex girls in white towelling robes.

In stark contrast, my hotel the next night had an egg and chips carpet and three-quarters bald (male) receptionist, who still favoured a tight curly perm on the few strands he had left. I did ask for a view of the river in Bedford, but it didn't matter anyway, as I couldn't see out of the dirty windows! If anyone is reading from Essex Council, can you please put up more road signs...

Continue reading "Back to school for German lesson"



Villach

So here goes with my blogging debut. The instruction is to give you an insight into the life of a commentator at Euro 2008, so that is exactly what I will endeavour to do.

Actually, it is a relief to be here. When none of the home nations made it, I did wonder if 5 Live would have the same appetite for the tournament.

Continue reading "Graham soldiers on"



London

It's Saturday morning at Television Centre and just minutes to go before I set off on the first leg of my BBC Radio 5 Live Euro 2008 Road Trip...

What I'll be doing over the next three weeks is discovering a bit more about the 16 nations taking part in Euro 2008 by meeting the far-flung ex-pat communities dotted all over the UK.

Today I'm heading for Norfolk, where I hope to meet up with a load of Portuguese. Apparently, over the past decade, 50,000 of them have settled there.

Continue reading "Clem hits the road - UK look out"


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