Thursday, 10 July 2008

After the joys of Euro 2008 - sorry UEFA EURO 2008™ - I thought I might experience withdrawal pangs, but the translation work has been coming thick and fast these past two weeks, so I've had little time to dwell.

But now I would like to allow myself just one more postscript.

First, the quality of the football during the tournament was very good, except when Greece was playing. I wouldn't go as far as saying that it was the best tournament ever. I remember Euro 2000 was also praised to high heaven. Perhaps we'll have a better idea of how good it really was when we look back on it in a few years' time.

Second, I suppose Turkey's performance has to go down as the main surprise. I quite warmed to them in the end, and they were a touch unlucky against Germany.

Third, here's a short list of players who particularly caught my eye or surprised me:
Arda Turan (Turkey) - electrifying whenever the manager let him play
Ümit Korkmaz (Austria) - ditto
Hamit Altintop (Turkey) - played at right back early on, then as the second striker in the second half versus the Czechs, then in midfield against the Germans.
Yuri Zhirkov (Russia)

Actually, that's just four players, but I don't mean players that whose good performances weren't necessarily a surprise, e.g. Arshavin, Villa, Xavi, Sneijder, Modric.

Actually, Lukas Podolski was also a surprise, in that he spent the whole of the 2007/2008 season on the bench at Bayern, yet then goes an scares the life out of defenders like Carvalho and Bosingwa. Same applies to Schweinsteiger to a certain extent, I suppose.

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