Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Countdown to UEFA Euro 2008 Magazine: Issue 2

Sorry for the late publication, folks. I have lots of reason why I publish this magazine late, but I won't want to waste your time so I'm going to skip the explanation part. Anyway, here's issue 2, and if you haven't read issue 1, you can read it here. So, without further ado, enjoy Countdown to UEFA Euro 2008 Magazine: Issue 2 :)

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:

After reading Issue 1, I'm sure you have gotten a glimpse of France and Spain. But for today, I'm going to introduce to you France's fierce rival, Italy, who have a not-so-long but tense rivalry since World Cup 2006. And also the very team who knocked out England, Croatia, will also be shown to you. And finally, enjoy a tour around the stadiums of Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria. Let's go check it out!


Team Profile

Nickname: Azzurri
Association: Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (Italian Football Federation)
Manager: Robert Donadoni
Captain: Yet to be decided (Formerly Cannavaro but he got injured)
Most Caps: Paolo Maldini (126)
Top Scorer: Luigi Riva (35)
FIFA Ranking: 3
Number of Times Champions: 1

The Ones to Watch:

Alessandro Del Piero

Some people call his participation for Italy in Euro 2008 is probably his last stint for the Italy National Football Team. Expected to have signed his last contract extension last season, he is already 33 but is playing, scoring, and assisting in football like a 27 year old player. He impressed at Juventus, where he is a loyal player and became the top-goalscorer for the Serie A. An excellent finisher who is also rather good at assisting and creating chances for his other strike partner, if he does play for Italy in the first team, probably partnering Luca Toni, they will form one of the best strike-force in the tournament, with Del Piero helping Luca Toni score while score some goals for himself at the same time.

Daniele De Rossi

With such an impressive season at AS Roma, no doubt can De Rossi impress too at Euro 2008.
A great leader and strong defensive midfielder, he can dominate the midfield with his physical strength and influence. He can also score goals at times, especially screamers from yards out which send the goalkeeper staring. Seem tireless, whoever is playing with him in midfield knows he has a great ally playing beside him. Plays so much like Gattuso, so much better than him that Gattuso has to be shifted out of position to make space for him.


The current world champions, Italy have a very good chance of winnig another major competition, literally proving they are the best in Europe and probably the world. I would very confidently say that they are my pick to be winners, but sadly, because of somebody, I dare not say that they will be champions. And that somebody is the injured Fabio Cannavaro.

Just before the tournament was going to start, he got injured. Some people say he's alredy past his best, but someone who captained his team to World Cup victory is really somebody. It's no easy feat, and Italy will probably miss his mental presence more that his physical presence.

So, because of that large hole left in the defence by Cannavaro, Italy is still ont my favourite to win Euro 2008. Anybody can cover up for his position, but it's really nothing as good as a "Cannavaro-captained" Italy. But anyway, they still have a rather good chance, so for the Azzurri fans, fear not. they are already proven world champions, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Chance of Winning: 9/10


Team Profile:

Nickname: Vatreni ("The Blazers")
Association: Hrvatski nogometni savez
Manager: Slaven Bilic
Captain: Niko Kovac
Most Caps: Dario Simic
Top Scorer: Davor Suker
FIFA Ranking: 15
Number of Times Champions: 0

The Ones to Watch:

Luka Modric

This Tottenham-bound attacking midfielder is a vital part of the Croatian Team. A natural playmaker, he can set up goals for his teammates and strikers, recently shown in good partnership with Eduardo da Silva. Sadly, Eduardo got a long-term injury, but he continues to do his playmaking duties well. He can use both feet to play, and he is one of the most quick-feeted players without the ball, often bringing himself to favourable offensive positions, thus creating or scoring goals.

Niko Kranjcar:

Another Croatian player from the English Premier League, he can play as a striker, although he has shown talents playing as an attacking midfielder, thus establishing his role in that position for Croatia. An excellent dribbler and passer, he can shoot well and normally score amazing scorchers. He is also a rather good freekick taker, and his ability to spot a good pass is also a good advantage for him and Croatia. He normally gets forward when the opportunity arise.


Considered one of the best underdogs in the competition with the most chance of winnig, Croatia's squad does not lack in talent.

Yes, compared to other teams in the tournament Croatia lose out on depth, but their great winnng mentality and teamwork offers them an edge in the tournament. They are being hit hard by the loss of Eduardo, one of their greatest goalscorers and most lethal finishers, but they should be fine because they know Eduardo are watching somewhere. Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar will no doubt shine, and a team who manages to defeat England, even if they were lucky, shouldn't be underestimated. They have a small chance of winning, but yet I can't totally rule them out. Small odds, but it would be more interesting to see how they fare and how far tehy get.

Chance of Winning: 7/10

The Stadiums:





Vienna The Final






I won't do the talking. Just watch this video for yourself to see what the stadiums looks like:

That's all for Issue 2, while you stay tuned for Issue 3, here's some preview for where we would be going next: We will go to the home of Johan Cryuff and Tomas Rosicky. I will also introduce to you the mascots for Euro 2008, Trix and Flix. Hope you enjoyed what you read, till then, take cares and good bye.

Jump to:

Issue 1
Issue 3
Issue 4