Olé, Olé Olé Olé: EURO 2008: What A Tournament!!
Olé, Olé Olé Olé!! EURO '08 - What an amazing three weeks of soccer! And, in the end, the best team definitely won. The Spaniards - who have been on fire all tournament long, and who finished undefeated, with six straight wins - clearly deserved to hoist the cup today after their 1-0 victory over Germany.
Really, the score should have been more like 3-0 or 4-0. Aside from a 15-minute spell there in the second half, it was all Spain today. And what a beautiful goal by Fernando Torres! It may not have been the best game of the tournament, but it was still a great display of attacking soccer, one which I'm sure any fan of the game could most certainly enjoy.
Well, aside from German fans, perhaps. But the Germans were lucky just to be in the Final after being totally outplayed, out-chanced and out-classed by the Turks in their Semi-Final match on Wednesday.
I came into the tournament cheering for Holland, France and the Czechs, but how could anyone argue with the terrific all-round play of Spain? Soccer doesn't get much better than the way they played it over the past three weeks.
I definitely have to say that it was one of the best major tournaments - that is World Cups and Euro Championships - I've ever seen. And I've been watching them all since 1990.
There were some amazing games in this tournament, such as Holland's 3-0 victory over Italy, Spain's 4-1 defeat of Russia, Holland's 4-1 thrashing of France, Turkey's incredible 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Czechs, Germany's 3-2 Quarter Final win over Portugal and Germany's exciting-but-undeserved 3-2 Semi-Final defeat of Turkey. And those were just the best games. Many others were quite entertaining as well.
Over all, it was simply an elevated level of play all around. Really, there was only one very boring game throughout the entire tournament, which was Romania and France's terribly-disappointing 0-0 tie. And with 23 out of the 31 games featuring at least 2 goals and only two 0-0 games all tournament long, it was undoubtedly one of the most exciting and offense-minded tournaments of the past few decades.
Also, diving was way down from the past couple of tournaments, while sportsmanship seemed to be way up. Especially nice was the fact that this time around my favorite player didn't head-butt anyone to finish the tournament, and his career, in disgrace. Best of all, the championship was won on the field, not with one of those dreaded penalty shootouts.
With teams as exciting as Spain, Portugal, Holland and, tournament surprise, Russia putting on brilliant displays of entertaining, attacking soccer, I think any fan of the game would agree, this was one hell of a great tournament. And, hey, let's not forget the Turks, a team that turned the end of every game into an amazingly dramatic spectacle.
So, way to go Spain and let's just hope that attacking, offense-minded soccer continues to succeed in all future tournaments. Less than two years to go now until the World Cup kicks off in South Africa. Whoever wins there, I just hope they play the game as beautifully as Spain did these past few weeks.
Olé, Olé Olé Olé!!
Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Sunday, June 29th, 2008
For more on EURO '08 click here: Agony Revisited: Please Take Pity On The Poor Dutch Fan
And make sure to check out Comedian Steve Patterson On Soccer: Finally, The Game Fully Explained
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