Only a couple of days before the big European sporting event of 2008 kicks off in Austria and Switzerland. Who will be crowned European football champion of 2008 in Vienna on June 26th?
For my own country The Netherlands, which finds itself in a Group of Death with France, Italy and Romania, the odds do not look very good. Solid individual players, apart from maybe the current defence line-up, but not always up to par as a team.
Current world champion Italy recently lost star defender Cannavaro because of an injury, but even so the signori di catenaccio won’t have much trouble keeping the gates tightly closed.
The French side, the current vice world champion, looks pretty solid too, with fresh new players like for instance attacker Bafetimbi Gomis. And then there is the Romanian side, a strong outsider wolf comfortably clad in underdog’s clothing. Nobody seems to expect the Romanian inquisition, but this side has nothing to lose in this group and could very well upset at least one of the higher ranked teams.
Last year a Dutch clairvoyant (or maybe somebody who just follows Dutch football very closely) already predicted the Orange Team won’t make it past the group stage. And to add insult to very probable Dutch injury the English, who failed to qualify for EURO 2008, have taken it upon themselves to have some preemptive fun at the expense of the soon to be blue orange squad.
A certain Jon Gledstone from the creative design agency 5th Of November thought up a web campaign called Just Go Dutch to urge his compatriots to support, of all possible teams, the Dutch. You can find the guy’s rather funny webpage here. The Dutch, being the good sports they are, have already thanked Gledstone for his support with an official orange T-shirt showing his name in ‘Dutch’: Van Gledstone.
Anyway, what is your favourite team to win the EURO 2008 Championship? Or, alternatively, who would you like to see defeated? After all, as those dastardly English are showing us in a reverse psychology kind of way, cheering against a team can be fun as well.
PS: A big kiss to Gledstone & Co for at least giving us Dutchies a little bit of attention before we inevitably sink into total oblivion.
*end counter jinx alert*