Every two years in this month, I will normally write about football non-stop for at least four weeks. It is after all the month of World Cup, European Championship (Euro) and Copa America. I will fight for the Astro remote from my wife and kids and sit on the couch analyzing the game as though I’m managing one of the team in the competition.
Yes, I’m a football crazy guy who probably regrets the fact that I was not disciplined enough to chase my dream when I was young. I’m pretty sure there are many like me out there. So, you’re stuck with whatever job you have now and every time your boss, wife or kids are not around, you will run that Football Manager apps on your phone and you dream of being Pep Guardiola or Jose Maurinho.
Ahh.. some dreams.
Having said that, I don’t think I will do it differently if I had the chance to turn back time. Well, what I have now might not be perfect but I’m really happy with it. Plus, like in the movie, you don’t want to mess up with time travel. Instead of getting better, you might head for the worse.
Ok, this article is not about me. It’s a bad SEO if you write something than has got nothing to do with the title of the article. Google is getting smarter every day, you know.
The UEFA European Championship
A quick glance at Wikipedia, you will understand what this competition is all about. Here it is, as I’m in a lazy mode, so I just copy and paste for you:
The UEFA European Championship is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years since 1960.
Basically it is:
- A football competition
- Between senior teams
- Of The Members of the Union of European Football Associations.
You can add no 4 if you want:
4. Normally watched by men (this is part where the fight for TV remote normally happen).
The European Championship or Euro Cup is a competition that normally determines the best team in Europe.
Win the Euro Cup, then your team is considered as the “King of Europe” or “Champion of Europe“, regardless of what ranking you are in at that s*it FIFA Ranking which my beloved country is now currently ranked 173 in the world.
It started in 1960 with the Soviet Union emerging as the first winner.
Like the World Cup, the Euro Cup is also dominated by the Germany, who won it three times and contested in three other finals. Spain also won it three times and other winners include Italy, Holland, France and the most surprising of all – Greece!
Yes, how could anyone forget that historical night when the Greeks won the Euro.
The Best Euro Cup
To me personally, Euro 1988 was the best ever. It was held in West Germany between 10 and 25 June 1988. This is the tournament that was set alight by the “sexy football” of Holland or the Netherlands, which ever you want to call them.
Holland was delightful to watch with their famous trio of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard running the show. They were expected to face mighty Germany who was boosted by players such as Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthäus, Rudi Völler and Andreas Brehme in the final.
But the results didn’t go their way with Holland being shockingly beaten by the Soviet in Group stages despite dominating the game. That game was a testimony of how good Rinat Dasayev was as one the best goalkeepers ever in the modern era.
As such, Holland had to face Germany in the semis.
They beat Germany in that semi-final with who else but Marco Van Basten to secure the win in the 88th minute with a clinical finish.
The Soviet Union inspired by on form Igor Belanov continued to defy the odds by beating a strong Italian side that featured four players in UEFA Team of the Tournament – Paolo Maldini, Giuseppe Bergomi, Giuseppe Giannini and Gianluca Vialli.
Then in the final, Marco Van Basten did this:
The goal that shocked the football world! Unbelievable!
and it went passed Dasayev of all people.
I was still schooling at that time. However, of all the Euro Cup, that tournament stuck in my mind the most.
After the tournament ended, I remember every kid wanted to be Van Basten and tried to copy his wonder goal. Yeah, I know there were better goals ever since but the first one is always special. At the time, we didn’t even think that it was possible to score from an angel like that let alone achieve it in one of the biggest football stage ever.
I only watched a couple of matches so far. As for the others, I just watched the highlights. How time changes, don’t you think?
It is not that I’m not interested in football anymore but I guess the priority has changed over the past few years. Not to mention these eyes of mine that can no longer ‘tahan‘ doing the OTs.
Pre-tournament, I thought France is the team to beat.
They look good on paper with many top players on their side. It is a balanced team and have strength in every department despite Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was rule out because of the non-football issue.
In the first match, the French team was struggled. But when you have good players, someone will always bail you out. Brilliant goal by Dimitri Payet and France was saved from early embarrassment. They need to improve though to win the tournament.
World Champion, Germany was in a poor run of form prior to the tournament. But somehow they always find a way to pick themselves up when the tournament starts. They are still not playing to their best. Therefore, other teams should be worried because the Germans still managed to win their first match.
Because of the Premier League and Man Utd factor, I will be supporting the English team.
I don’t think they will win but they can go far if they can get their tactic right. They certainly have good players like Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Plus, I would like to see young Rashford playing in the place of Raheem Sterling. 😀
Who Will Win Euro 2016?
I have no answer to that. Most of the teams are equal and either one of them can be the champion. Nonetheless, if you are betting with your friends, you wouldn’t want to go further than Spain, France, Germany. Then there’s Portugal, England, Italy, Croatia and Poland to choose from.
Let’s just hope this tournament will be a good one like the Euro 1988. Never mind, there is no Holland this time. If Didier Deschamps is brave enough to drop Giroud for Martial, I bet the Man Utd’s striker could be the star of this year’s tournament.
Mark my words!