james debate
james debate

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Well the big tournament, Euro 2008, is now over, and I am pleased to say that even with no England team involved this year it was still mildly entertaining. Now, as per usual, I have compiled a team featuring the most impressive talent on show this year. Enjoy!

Goalkeeper- Iker Casillas- Forget anything you read in the news about Spain's amazing championship winning team being all down to their 'attacking flair', they won the tournament largely because of the heroics of this man. The same goalkeeper who since the age of 20 has been carrying the defense of Spanish giants Real Madrid has now done the same for his country.

Right Back- Sergio Ramos- Solid at the back, and swashbuckling going forward down the side of the pitch, Sergio Ramos showed in this tournament exactly how a fullback should play the game, and still such a young man for a defender he can only get better from here.
Centre Back- Pepe- Of all the brightest teams in the early days of the tournament, Portugal can probably boast being the only one to have an imperious defense to match the marauding attack (let down by their goalkeeper sadly) and much of that came from Pepe, scorer of Portugal's first goal in this tournament.
Centre Back- Carlos Marchena- A leader in the title winning Spanish team this year, Marchena outshone his bigname partner Puyol and truly commanded his team's backline.
Left Back- Giovanni Van Bronckhorst- Former Arsenal flop, shipped off to Barcelona and went through his own personal renaissance, turning his career around and becoming a European champion for Barcelona. However, he has never played with such energy and confidence as he did in this tournament and was a shining light in an impressive Dutch team.

Right Winger- Wesley Sneijder- Even though he played as a central midfielder for Holland, he was far too good to leave out of this team so i've done a Benitez and stuck him on the side of my four man midfield. Sneijder was very impressive. Always sharp, inventive, near flawless with his touch and technique, the key man for Holland, following a similarly impressive season for Real Madrid.
Central Midfield- Michael Ballack- Need I comment on this midfield general again? might as well go look at my last team which also has him on it. A hero for the Germans, he led his team through injury and difficulty all the way to the final, and walks away with a runners up medal. There's no shame in that!
Central Midfield- Xavi- It was a surprise for many in England to see Barcelona playmaker Xavi picked in the Spanish midfield ahead of Arsenal's Fabregas. However at the end of the tournament, in which Xavi picked up the official best player award, we can now see exactly why he was there. Flawless on the ball, comfortable and assured in possession, and a player with a gifted eye for a pass, Xavi was absolutely key for the Spaniards this year.
Left Winger- Andrei Arshavin- The revelation of the tournament. A few months ago no one had ever heard of this man, and now he's one of the hottest properties in Europe, supposedly being courted by Barcelona, having led his Zenit St Petersburg team to Uefa cup glory he now impressed for plucky underdogs Russia.

Striker- David Villa- For a few years now he has been a hot property in Europe, and this is the tournament he has been waiting for, the chance for him to really shine and impress all of Europe's biggest clubs. Having ended the tournament as top scorer, he has definitely done that.
Striker- Ruud Van Nistelrooy- RVN looked almost past his sell-by date a few years ago, degenerating from top forward player to someone who's only talent was to hang around the box and goal poach. Then he moved from Man United to Real Madrid and since then he has been reborn and regained his tip top form. This was especially apparent in this tournament. Not many people who were used to his premiership performances would have expected to see him running, and holding up the ball and playing the ball, beating defenders and using his strength and speed so effectively as he did here.

Newer Post Older Post Home