Monday, June 2, 2008

Countdown to UEFA Euro 2008 Magazine: Issue 1

The much anticipated Euro 2008 is just over 4 days away, and although I should have created this magazine series much earlier, I have no choice as this is a new blog and I only thought of it today XD And by the way, I added the Euro 2008 countdown timer at the side of the blog.

UEFA Euro 2008, the next major football competition after the FIFA World Cup, has pretty much left us all feeling excited(even if England isn't in). This magazine series of "Countdown to UEFA Euro 2008" is about each team's profile in the competition, and I will go through 7 major teams in the tournament in the time span of 4 days, telling you about their UEFA Euro history and their key players. Hope you love it and enjoy:

In this issue, I will go through 2 teams that have a rather good chance of winning the tournament, one who were the 2006 FIFA World Cup runner-up, and another a squad boasted with talents. Today, I will talk about France and Spain. And I will also share with you the match ball of the tournament. Let's go check it out!


Team Profile:
Image:Le nouveau logo FFF.png

Nickname: Les Bleus (The Blues)
Association: French Football Federation (F.F.F.)
Manager: Raymond Domenech
Captain: Patrick Vieira
Most Caps: Lilian Thuram (139)
Top Goalscorer: Thierry Henry (44)
FIFA Ranking: 7
Number of Times Champions: 2

The Ones to Watch

Franck Ribery

This fast, pacy and virtually tireless winger could just be a star for France in this tournament. With Patrick Vieira having some injury problems and Thierry Henry recent form, the Bayern Munchen winger can just shine. I supported France during the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and I have seen him dominate the flanks. We've always been talking about Vieira, Henry and Gallas all being the same old star players for France, but after this competition, Franck Ribery can just add his name to that list.

Mathieu Flamini

Another tireless holding midfielder in the French ranks, as proven in his performances for Arsenal he can just bring in the same type of form he showed at the Emirates Stadium to Euro 2008. With Vieira having some injury problems, this is the perfect opportunity for him to shine and if he shows the same kind of form he showed at Arsenal last season, France would definitely have a great chance to win the competition.


France have a rather good chance of winning the competition, but I believe they won't get far.
After the performances they showed at the qualifiers and the recent friendlies, I'm a little worried for them because they should be achieving more.
Thierry Henry, quite possibly, just got a lost year at the Nou Camp, while William Gallas and Patrick Vieira always gets the same old sickness: They play well for their clubs but don't really give their best for their country. This competition I believe, is only there to show the importance of certain players, how age is affecting their once best players, and I'm pretty quite sure you would be surprise who I'm talking about.

Chances of winning: 7.5/10


Team Profile

Nickname: La Selección (The Selection)
La Furia Roja (The Red Fury)
La Roja (The Red)
Association: Real Federación
Española de Fútbol
Manager: Luis Aragones
Captain: Iker Casillas
Most Caps:
Andoni Zubizarreta (126)
Top scorer: Raúl (44)
FIFA Ranking: 4
Number of Times Champions: 1

The Ones to Watch:

Cesc Fabregas

He totally stole the show at Arsenal; he was the playmaker, the person who made Adebayor top-goalscorer and at the same time, he himself became the player with the most assists and PFA Young Player of the Year. Recently given the number 10, this kid has the brains and creative juices of one of the greatest playmakers in the world, yet at the young tender age of only 21. No wonder he got number 10 jersey. His passes can slice through defence like hot knife through butter, and if he shows the form he showed at Arsenal as playmaker, Spain can actually win the competition.

David Villa

The first thing you would do when you saw his name in this magazine is, "Why David Villa instead of Fernando Torres?" Yes, no doubt about it, Fernando Torres have had a better season than David Villa, but think about ability. Torres is still young and he will certainly be a future star, but let's not forget David Villa, the player who tried hard to keep Valencia out of the drop-zone, although he looks certain to leave. Great pace, great composure, excellent finisher and superb goal-scorer. I don't know why, but I would bet on Villa doing well rather than Torres, and he together with Fabregas, Spain can go all the way to the finals.


Spain, like England, is filled with talent and depth, but they just lack the mentality to win anything. Their team is full of star players, and you would sometimes really wonder just how in the blue world they can't win any major competition. But their luck may just change.

Although not included in "The Ones to Watch", Iker Casillas will be an important part of the team. He has proven how he can be on par with other great goalkeepers such as Buffon and Cech, and for his performances he is made captain. His commanding presence will help the team, and his team knows that they have a reliable back to fall back on.

After everything, sadly, I have to say, Spain can go as far as only the quarter-finals, or with a little luck, the semi-finals. Call it curse or whatsoever, this year just don't seem right for them. Not right, not yet. But trust me, in a few years time, they will be indomitable.

Chance of Winning: 8/10

The Match Ball:

The match ball for the tournament will be design by Adidas, called the Europass. It has the same technology as the Teamgeist. Another ball, called the Europass Gloria will be used in the finals.


Recently, Jens Lehmann has complained that the ball for Euro 2008 has unpredicable movements, as shown in the last 2 goals he conceeded in Germany's friendly against Belarus in the last 30 minutes. Oliver Kahn has in fact challenged that, insisting that there is no problem with it.

Will it affect the teams and show us some embarassing moments? We shall see...

Anyway, we've come to the end of the magazine, but don't worry folks, this is only issue 1, stay tune for issue 2, as I take you to Croatia and Italy, and also a tour around the stadiums that will be hosting the matches. Till then, hope you have enjoyed my magazine. Take cares and goodbye.

Jump to:
Issue 2
Issue 3
Issue 4