Written by ENR (Ex-France manager)

Indeed. In less than a week, we shall have crowned a European Champion. The whole continent shall bow down to the best managerial partnership. The fame and the bragging rights that come along with it shall be unparalleled in the community. The team shall have the privilege to hold onto the title for 2 whole years. Imagine the scenes!

But hey, we’re not there yet….as the best of the action still remains. The twelve teams will tell you “As if we haven’t had enough action already” As cliche it may sound, Gary Neville rightly said “The game isn’t over until Schmeichel himself comes up for the corner” - The. Very. Last. Minute.


Let’s take a step back and bid farewell to the teams which fought their way valiantly to the Quarters:

Collapse of the hosts
The QFs saw the disappointing exit of co-hosts, Poland & Ukraine. Large things were expected of both the Pot 1 teams and atleast one of them were favorites to go all the way. The home fans prodded their teams right till the very end, all in vain. There was heartbreak, for both the hosts missed out by the narrowest margin of 2 points. They will feel very harshly done by. However, big props to both these teams for a spirited performance and giving the neutrals a nail-biting contest.

Story of the Recovered Balls
Where there was pain inflicted, there was celebration. The Poland-Germany clash was decided by an extra RB point gained by Germany’s superhero, Barzagli over the period of extra time in the Ita-Eng game. Few miles away from Poland, a similar storyline was scripted. The Ukraine-Croatia clash was decided by Stevie G’s uber-late extra point amassed from RBs. Who said this game is all about goals and assists? Two clashes were decided by the technically sound defensive displays of a defender and a holding midfielder.

The Poles of Scandinavia
Coming into the quarter-finals, the Scandinavian countries of Denmark & Sweden boasted the highest points accumulated over the 3 Matchdays. It was always going to be a matter of time before the laws of average took its toll on one of them. Sweden fell victim to a mammoth performance by the Azzurris, who seem to be peaking at just the right time. However, there was continued joy for the other Scandinavian sister, Denmark. The Karma (Good deeds) accumulated over the course of the Cup seems to have played a pivotal role in buoying this team to a huge victory against the infamous Russians. Tough luck to Russia & Sweden this time around.

Battle of the Groups of Death
A few weeks back, the results of one of the polls conducted on the FFS UEFA website clearly revealed that Groups B & C were deemed to be close competitors for the “Groups of Death”. Once again, the prediction of the well-educated football fans was bang-on. As we head into the Semi-finals, we have both the qualified teams of these groups. Who said this Cup is just about the clash of 2 v 2 managers? Come on Groups B & C, it’s time to raise your voices of support for your big boys:

1) Germany vs Croatia = Survival of the Jammiest
Had Darwin lived to see the FFS Euro 2012, he would have no qualms about renaming his theory to the “Survival of the Jammiest.” That has been the levels of jamminess (new word defined as of now) displayed by heavyweights Germany. However, they will face the heat from only unbeaten team of the Cup, Croatia. However, both teams come into the semi’s at the back of narrow escape in the QFs. Will the jamminess continue or will the heavyweights finally….finally impart their dominance?

2) Denmark vs Italy = Karma Wars
Whilst Denmark brings a massive flavor of valour into the Cup with their daily features, Italy includes the very last Council member standing pivotal in presenting this Cup to all of you. Can Denmark defy the Law of Averages and turn into the biggest underdog story in the history of the Euro Cup? Or will Italy grow from strength-to-strength, with the patriotic manager Milanista steering his crew?

Only time will tell. Join in me wishing our final four warriors the very best in the semi’s!

If you missed the Group Stages Round-Up, catch it on here

 





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