The biggest continental tournament in my opinion is EURO. This is where most great clubs get their players, their stars, and this is the one time that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t have a price tag on him – like he does august through may.
But, some things have gone differently than expected, while others have been predicted. Let’s take a look at those.
Robin van Persie and the Netherlands’ fall
This was my pick, by the way. I thought after a world cup final loss they would be pumped up and come out of the gate flying. How wrong could I be? They lost to Denmark, the one team that didn’t seem deathly in the group of death, they lost to Germany, and have only scored 2 goals in 2 and 1/2 games. Portugal and Denmark are the nine and ten teams in the world. Holland is number 4. Germany is three. They have been dominated in possession, goals, and shots on goal. Robin Van Persie, after a dominating season at Arsenal is only with one goal and has not been very effective. I thought this was the year, but I was wrong. VERDICT: SURPRISE
Mario Gomez and the Germany domination
Germany was (unsurprisingly) a favorite. But we didn’t think they would be this dominant. There have been 3 goals for Mario Gomez, who, unlike many other players, can be good in club and international seasons (WOW!). The defense and goalkeeping has, as always, been top-class. Germany came in strong and look to finish strong – if not in first. VERDICT: EXPECTED
England and France play strong
We thought they were dead. We thought it was over. After losing to at the time 74th ranked South Africa, barely getting a win over the USA, and falling on and off the pitch. Then they came out running. Tying England, beating Ukraine at home, and maybe showing hope. After a great season at Real Madrid, Kareem Benzema is not playing incredibly, but the rest of france is picking up his slack. England, after losing some of their best players to injury and suspension, gets Wayne Rooney back tuesday, and have played well and only need a draw to advance. VERDICT: Surprise
On to the quarterfinals!!