Euro 2012 We are down to the last four usual suspects who will lift the trophy on Sunday?
16 teams made the Euro 2012 finals, but after competitive group stages and quarter-finals, four footballing heavyweights remain. Spain,Portugal, Germany and Italy are all dreaming of glory in Ukraine andPoland, as Soccerlens examines their campaigns to date.
Holders Spain entered the tournament as favourites, and rightly so after their successes in 2008 and 2010. Vicente del Bosque’s men are unbeaten and have only conceded one goal, with a 1-1 draw with Italy followed by wins over Republic of Ireland and Croatia in the pool and a 2-0 triumph over France in the last eight.
Expectations of Portugal ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament were low, after a mediocre qualifying campaign was followed up by poor friendly results and rumblings of player discontent. Add to this inclusion in the group of death and an opening day defeat to Germany and things were not looking good for Paulo Bento’s men.
Germany have been one of the favourites since a perfect qualifying campaign, and the side have lived up to expectations with four wins so far in Ukraine and Poland. Joachim Low’s men steamrolled the group of death without ever really looking under pressure, with Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark all succumbing to the attacking prowess of their opponents.
Similar to Portugal, not much was expected of Italy at Euro 2012, but those that discounted the Azzurri did so at their peril. A 3-0 defeat to Russia in their last game ahead of the competition, amid another betting scandal in the country, meant that Cesare Prandelli’s men were being written off…Iker Casillas
Spain captain Iker Casillas can become the first player to notch up 100 victories in international football if his team beat Portugal in Wednesday’s Euro 2012 semi-final.
To do so, on his 136th appearance for his country, the Real Madrid goalkeeper will have to thwart his club team mate and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who has three goals at the tournament and has been on scintillating form. Eliminating the Portuguese, who have only beaten their Iberian neighbours once in seven competitive games, would give Spain a chance to become the first nation to win back-to-back continental titles with a World Cup in between…
ITALY star Andrea Pirlo last night rubbed salt into England’s wounds, insisting he broke the Three Lions’ spirit with his cheeky penalty.
And the Juventus playmaker claimed Roy Hodgson’s side never tried to win their quarter-final, aiming to go through in a penalty shoot-out…
Mario Goetze has said he wants to feature more for Germany, but coach Joachim Loew has told him to be patient.
The Borussia Dortmund youngster made his first appearance of Euro 2012 when he came on in the closing stages of his side’s 4-2 quarter-final win against Greece…
Ajax captain Jan Vertonghen says he does not expect the club to reach an agreement over his proposed transfer to Tottenham…
Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas has warned his team-mates of Portugal’s quick counterattacks ahead of Wednesday’s Euro 2012 semi-final…
Rafael van der Vaart has insisted that he has not had any contact with Hamburg, despite continuing speculation linking them to him…
Raul Meireles is reluctant to be drawn into a discussion regarding his future while he remains involved in Portugal’s Euro 2012 campaign.
Ivica Olic has set himself a target of 15 goals with his new club Wolfsburg next season to regain confidence after a difficult year…
Everton defender Joseph Yobo hopes to complete a permanent move to Fenerbahce in the near future…
Antonio Cassano’s agent has reassured AC Milan fans the Italy striker will not leave the Serie A giants this summer…
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