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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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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"


My surname is Fletcher so it comes as no surprise that I have always been known as "Fletch". A given, you might say.

The problems started when my dad got a dog for Christmas several years ago. Not so much the fact that a pet entered his life - it has given him nothing less than the greatest of joy - more the fact that my family decided to call it "Fletch".

The westie in question is a touch excitable and I'm often faced with a chorus of "Fletch, Fletch come here" whenever I visit my parents now. It can all become very confusing and tiring.

I only mention this because I recently dreamt I was taking Fletch for a walk. Normally I've a pretty good recollection of my dreams, but this is the first I can remember during Euro 2008.

Continue reading "Football withdrawal kicks in"


Has such an awful game ever finished in such gut-wrenching drama and contrasting emotions of joy and despair?

It was worth waiting every second of the turgid fare served up by Croatia and Turkey just for the excitement of Ivan Klasnic's last-minute header swiftly followed by Semih Senturk's last-second leveller and the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

If football is game of highs and lows, there can rarely have been greater extremes suffered by Croatia, who celebrated en masse one moment and were plunged into a pit of desperation the next.

And, with grim inevitability, I believe the real winners when the dust settles will be Germany.

Continue reading "Germany the big winners in last act drama"


Friday's game between Croatia and Turkey is being billed as the most emotional of Euro 2008 thus far - and with just cause.

According to one Croatian journalist, as many as 200,000 of his countrymen will be in Vienna for the quarter-final clash. Turkey fans will number in their thousands, too.

Continue reading "Fans ready for Vienna party"


I have crossed the border to Austria for the first time in this tournament. It was great to be greeted by glorious sunshine after two weeks of drizzle in Switzerland. Watching it rain in Basel (again!) for the Germany v Portugal match made the meal we had just enjoyed on the banks of the Danube all the more satisfying.

So it's Croatia against Turkey on Friday night for the right to play the Germans in the last four. This should be lively - and noisy. There are huge numbers of Croatians in Vienna, but, from my experience, Turkey's fans make it a point of principle to out-shout anyone, even if they seem hopelessly outnumbered.

Continue reading "Back where it all started"

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