Saturday, June 21, 2008

Last gasp

Well, my dark horse pick to win the tournament, Croatia, is out of Euro 2008. Turkey seems charmed even if they're practically throwing the equipment guy on in the next match.
That leaves my sentimental pick, Spain, but I have absolutely no confidence in their intestinal fortitude. Skill they have in spades, but I doubt any other top soccer country has as fragile a psyche. History and tradition are solidly against them. Sentimentality isn't common sense, though, and I'm sticking with Spain to the bitter end (and it's always bitter and sour, like over-pickled gazpacho).
David Beckham, by the way, is also pulling for Spain. He has friends on the squad. His support didn't really help the Lakers versus the Celtics, though.


starinyourfire said...

i hope spain can beat Italy on sunday, i'm also pulling for the dutch so if both teams win i'll be torn watching that semi-final

FC Uptown said...

Gotta like the Dutch style.

Diane said...

I'm a nervous wreck over Spain v Italy--as a Spain Spain.

Watching Luca Toni, his play is as smart, and shooting as powerful, as ever. Its hard to believe nothing has gone in yet. So he looks on the verge of scoring big, just in time to meet Spain.

On the other hand, we haven't seen Torres' best either. There's the question of whether that's because of the difference between Spain's style and his club's set-up, or just whether he also is due for a surge.

If both teams are firing, I might give the edge to Spain's offense, a contest between Casillas and Buffon is a tough call, but there's no question about the quality of Italy's defense.

Spain do have their hatred of Italian football -- mostly, I suspect because they can't get past that defense. So, if the team has been hypnotized or bewitched NOT to go into the match believing that, we could be in good shape. Or if Villa and Torres play a scorcher...

Oy VEY! So much to worry about for all those boys.

Diane said...

(oops meant Spain "supporter")

Anonymous said...

Yeah, 'charmed' is a good way of putting it with Turkey. However, they are gritty and tough and that often wins out over skill.

With the way things have gone the teams that have fared the best in group (Croatia, Portugal), lost against teams that somewhat struggled (Germany, Turkey). Makes me wonder if Italy isn't the favorite over Spain?

I think the Dutch will handle Russia. Although the weakness that Spain exploited against Russia (slow centerbacks) might not be something that Van Nisterlooy is able to take advantage of the way Villa and Torres did. As far as attractive soccer, Nederland/Russia will probably be the best of the quarterfinals.

I'm saying Italy vs. Nederland semi.