If you need a link to stream the Euro 2012 final, set to start in a few minutes, I’ve found one for you.
Who are you rooting for?
I’m Italy all the way!
Remember way back when I told you how I, as an Italy fan, was getting ready for my team’s opening game against Spain in the group stages?
I had my jersey ready.
I had the flag at my disposal.
And for good measure, I had all forms of deities I can get to at hand:
Now that my team has reached the final after an awesome win against Germany (which I was deep-down expecting but went about lowering my expectations and doing some necessary pre-game damage control, just in case. Those Lebanese football fans can sure be a pain when you lose), how will I get ready for the big finale?
Well, if anything, this Euro tournament has shown that you cannot dismiss the Italians easily, which many (including some of their supporters *raises hand* have done).
1 – Some hadn’t expected Italy to get past the group stage. They did.
2 – Some didn’t expect Italy to then beat a very mediocre England in the quarter finals. They dominated England and were unlucky not to have won in the game’s original time. Many had even predicted a 3-0 score for England. Those same people are predicting a 3-1 Spain win today.
3 – Once Italy reached the semi-finals against Germany, the only thing you could hear is resounding confidence how this will be the end of the road for the Italians. But it was far from it. The Italians should have won with more than two goals.
So what’s my mentality going in to the final?
Well, I cannot but have a faint tinge of panic (or a lot of panic). But I am proud of what they have done in this tournament. Italy have proven that they are so much fun to watch. They are attacking, creating chances. Not just scoring on a counter-attack and parking their legendary bus, stopping any team from even thinking about scoring.
On the other hand, Spain have been boring this Euro tournament. Their game against Portugal was such a pain to watch that I ended up catching up on my reading and blogging about a festival named Wickerpark before they reached the penalty shoot-out during which I still had no idea which team I wanted to advance. Out of the six goals they scored, four were against the same team (Ireland). Their showing against all the other teams they played (Croatia, Portugal, Italy) was far from impressive.
Am I confident Italy will win today? Hardly. But regardless of what the result of tonight’s game turns out to be, I – as a supporter of the Azzurri – am extremely happy with what they’ve accomplished and hope the cherry on top will be them winning.
Rising from the tournament’s underdogs to stars, this Italy side has proven that one doesn’t simply take them lightly. The game tonight will be great to watch, as was the group stage game between both teams.
I think Pirlo will be as great as he was in all of this tournament’s games. I think Balotelli will shine again. I think Buffon will prove, yet again, why he is the world’s best goalkeeper – bar none.
But regardless of what happens: FORZA EFFIN ITALIA! I can’t wait to see what Prandelli does with Italy in the next World Cup.
I am a big football fan (not the American one, the regular international one). I do not follow every single thing related to it simply because I get way over excited, especially when it comes to teams I care about.
For instance, in Euro 2008, when Italy was playing Spain in the quarter finals and Buffon blocked a penalty shot, I shouted so loud in the restaurant that the owner still remembers me. Yes, I support the Azzurri. Another instance that comes to mind was the game Germany vs Argentina in the latest World Cup’s quarter finals. I wasn’t originally a supporter of either team but I decided to root for Argentina – and ended up doing so more vigorously than the original Argentina supporters present.
So I do understand how the game works and when a team doesn’t play well. I do understand most of the technicalities as well and after tonight, I know most of the players as well – even for teams I don’t root for. I mean, one glance at a substitute and I blurted out his name. Awesome, no?
So the Champions League Finale was on yesterday and it set Barcelona against Manchester United. I had no idea how the odds for each team stacked up but I honestly dislike Barcelona (the team, not the city) so I decided to root for Manchester United instead. Glory, glory Manchester United, right? Absolutely not, apparently. It should have been “pity, pity Manchester United instead”.
I was so horrified by how bad they played that it wasn’t even funny. The only goal they got in was due to a mistake from the other team and it wasn’t even a stellar goal for you to think that lots of work was put into it. Their possession of the ball was 33% and they got only 3 shots the whole game.
On the other hand, Barca had a 67% and had more than 15 shots, 3 of which resulted in goals. See? I’m not always biased. I give credit where credit is due – although I still think they’re not the best team in the world and I vehemently do not approve of the notion that Messi is the football incarnation of God.
So yeah, for all matters and purposes, Manchester United were a big failure tonight. They were absolutely atrocious. Their first half was less than stellar but it kept them in the game. The second half, however, was a disaster. You can’t even begin to fathom how bad it was! When the only team you see playing is the other team, dear Manchester United, you should maybe get a hint to pick up your game? Or maybe it was that the players had enough money and not enough motivation? Either way, I almost felt shame for deciding to root for them. Even more ashamed than the time I supported Argentina in that quarter final and they lost 4-0. At least back then I was more involved and therefore more pissed off than able to see how bad Argentina really was. And yeah, they were worse.