Just like my girlfriend’s pregnancy, this post was not planned, but you know what they say – every good trilogy must have a fourth chapter. Or, well, A chapter. I simply had another influx of random thoughts about the Euro tournament, and hey, why should I be the only one to suffer from them?
- The France-Germany semi-final was THE BEST match of Euro 2016, hands down. The matches that get remembered from tournaments usually come from the knockout stages, and this was one for the ages. In fact, all of France’s matches in this Euro’s knockout stage were really enjoyable (and the knockout stage in general delivered big-time, after the somewhat less attractive group stage). From the 2-1 vs. Ireland, through the 5-2 vs. Iceland and now that match against Germany. All-out action from the 1st minute, superb plays, drama, what can we ask for more?
- This is actually something that I thought about after the Iceland match, but is Hugo Lloris the best GK who concedes the highest amount of goals? I mean – if we were to plot a graph with the goalkeeper’s ability on the x-axis and the amount of goals he concedes on the y-axis – would Hugo Lloris cover the biggest area? For example – Neuer is a better goalkeeper, but he concedes far less goals. Out of all the world-class goalkeepers I think Lloris concedes the most.
- And speaking of Neuer: I have never seen, in the 20 years that I follow and watch football, a goalkeeper score a goal. I mean – you know how, when a team is down by one goal and has nothing to lose then it’s goalkeeper joins the attack, especially if his team has a corner or a free kick? This is one of the most exciting moments there could be in a match, because on the one hand – the goalkeeper can score a goal, and on the other hand – his team’s goal is wide open and it can lead to a very exciting last-minute spectacular goal for the other team as well. But I have never yet been able to see a goalkeeper score a goal in these situations. I do hope to see one before I die.
Anyway, if I was told to bet on any single goalkeeper who can make my wish come true and that I would get to see him score in a situation like this – I would have bet on Manuel Neuer. He’s the most logical choice! I mean, he already plays as a sweeper, he takes active part in his team’s play, he has some great foot-work and I bet he has good kicks as well. I was hoping to see such an opportunity come to play in the semi-final, but alas – it was not meant to be. Neuer did sort-of joined the attack, but Germany didn’t have a corner kick in the last minutes. All in all, he didn’t score and I was disappointed once again. Thanks a lot, Manuel…
- What is the deal with this fucking dab? Like – seriously. A dance move that imitates sneezing? What the actual fuck? And why the fuck Pogba is playing along with it?! Why is he using this stupid motion to celebrate his goals?!
- Cristiano Ronaldo did not have a very good game against Wales in the other semi-final. But hey, he scored a goal and now he has 3 in total in the tournament, plus he equaled Platini’s all-time record of 9 goals in the Euros and his team is in the final, and hey – it’s Cristiano Ronaldo. So he’ll obviously be named to the tournament’s Best XI. Although in my opinion he really doesn’t deserve it. He had one great game against Hungary and one decent game against Wales, but otherwise he played really bad. True, it all can change in the final if he plays really well, scores a hat-trick or something and leads Portugal to victory, but as of now – he doesn’t deserve a place in the Best XI.
- We have so many similarities to Euro 2004! I mean, look:
- The hosts (France\Portugal) are hot favorites to win the final against a pretty unimpressive underdog team (Portugal\Greece).
- Portugal and Cristiano play in the final.
- In Portugal, a young kid (Renato Sanchez\Cristiano) shines and steals some of the thunder from the team’s main star (Cristiano\Luis Figo).
- Italy plays Sweden in the group stages.
Ok, now I’m just pushing it. Let’s stick to the first three similarities. I just hope the outcome will be different. I do know one thing though – in 2004 I was soooo sure Portugal would win. I really counted Greece out. However, I’m not repeating the same mistake again. France are the favorites and I’m supporting them hard, but let’s not write Portugal off.
- 107 were scored in Euro 2016 so far, for an average of 2.14 goals per match. However, if we want to reach the numbers of Italy 90 – the worst World Cup evar in terms of goals average (2.212), we need to have 6 goals in the final. Let me make a wild guess that it won’t happen. And may I be wrong!
In fact, I don’t know why I keep making comparisons to Italy 90. The 1996 Euro was far worse, only 2.065 goals per match. If we want to avoid that we need to make sure that in the final there will be no less than (-2) goals. I hope it won’t happen, but we can never be sure. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Allez le blue!