So with England out, we can now cast an unbiased view of the remaining four teams competing for football medals.
Who do you think will get through to the final of Euro 2012?
There’s Portugal, who haven’t exactly set the world on fire and have relied on Cristiano Ronaldo to be the creator, something which has clearly not come easy to him at times. This tournament was supposed to be his time to shine, but save for a few standard finishes and probing passes it seems he’s not been able to live up to the hype yet.
Then Italy, who as we saw against England are extremely dangerous if you let Andrea Pirlo run around unopposed, proving that despite his age he can still be a force. The Azzuri’s finishing could be their undoing though. There were several chances for them to score against England and they couldn’t take any of them. They’ll need to capitalise on their chances if they’re to win football trophies.
The World and current European Champions Spain got off to a very slow start. Their methodical passing game has been called both boring and brilliant in the same breath. It’s been the undoing of many teams, but it does have it’s weaknesses.
In their final group game against Croatia they had the lion’s share of the possession. However, a rigid, organised defence proved that Spain can pass the ball around all night, but if there isn’t a shooting opportunity they can’t score.
Finally, there’s the Germans. They’re the clear favourites in the tournament so far, with the highest goals scored and by far the best performances in the tournament. Two players who have shone in this tournament are Mezut Özil and Bastian Schweinsteiger – between them they passed more than 200 times in their quarter-final demolition of Greece.
Germany have a team where everyone is capable of putting footballs in football nets, making them extremely hard to defend against and making it difficult to isolate a key player.
One thing’s for sure, it’s almost a relief England are out so we can’t get stuffed by the clinical Germans.
Image Rights: StewieD