The past one month was really thrilling as it was the time of UEFA Euro 2012. Many of us used to stay up late at nights to watch those exciting matches. We all had favorite teams and players. We used to pray for them so as to see them performing well and scoring goals. We saw many amazing goals been scored which contained superb headers, stunning goal saves, highly talented players and really cunning coaches. So let's have a quick review through all these.
For the purpose of UEFA Euro 2012, altogether 8 stadiums of high standard quality were built and taken into use. It was hosted by Poland and Ukraine. Sixteen teams took part in this tournament. The kick-off was done on June 8 in National Stadium Warsaw, Warsaw in Poland between Poland and Greece.
The group stage matches began from June 8 and continued till June 19. The first goal of Euro 2012 was scored by Robert Lewandowski [Poland]. The first yellow card and red card was given to Sokratis Papastathopoulos [Greece]. The first penalty was taken and however missed by Giorgos Karagounis [Captain-Greece]. The group matches also saw the miraculous performances of Cristiano Ronaldo [Portugal] as he led the team from the front and Mario Gomez [Germany] carved Germany's way easy into the Quarters. As he played powerfully, German coach had to make their super striker Miroslav Klose as substitute. The highest score of the group matches was found when Spain fought with Republic of Ireland [4-0] and the second high score was found when Russia took on Czech Republic [4-1]. However at the end of the group stages the greatest overturn was that the well played and dominating Russia lost to Greece [0-1] and missed their entry ticket into the last eight. Also Netherlands, World Cup Runners-up who showed a poor performance was also a sadness as they were no more for the Quarter finals. There were also some more great players who couldn't play the Quarter finals because their team as a whole was not strong. And some of them were Zlatan Ibrahimovic [2 goals-Sweden] and Andriy Shevchenko [2 goals-Ukraine].
After the group stages, 8 teams entered the Quarters of Euro 2012. The four Quarters were between Portugal-Czech Republic, Germany-Greece, Spain-France and Italy-England. The highest score among the Quarter finals was found in the third quarter when Germany eased through Greece [4-2]. The first penalty shoot-out of Euro 2012 was between Italy and England as the full time and extra times ended in goal-less draw. In the penalties Italy defeated England of the score 4-2 as defender, Ashley Cole and midfielder, Ashley Young failed to strike for England.
After the Quarters Portugal, Germany, Spain and Italy flew into the Semi-finals. Thus Portugal-Spain and Germany-Italy were set for their Semi-finals. In the exciting Semi-final between Portugal and Spain, both the teams fought their maximum. At last it led into the second penalty shoot-out of Euro 2012 as none of them were able to score even a single goal. During the penalties though both of them missed their first chance, Spain was able to score in the rest of the kicks they took. While Portugal did not as Bruno Alves hit the cross-bar leaving Cristiano Ronaldo unable to take even the last penalty [4-2]. And in the second Semi-final between Germany and Italy, it was Italian domination that took the match. Mario Balotelli [Italy] scored twice in the first half to secure the victory for them. And hence the long term run by the powerful Germans thus came to an end.
The greatest sporting event of Europe was fixed to see the last and final battle between Spain and Italy. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti were present to witness the majestic final. Though in the beginning both the teams fought well, then after it was Spain who took control of the driving seat. They started their goal attacks right from the 14th minute itself. It was David Silva [Spain] who scored his side's first goal. From then they scored goals at regular intervals. Four minutes before the closing of the first half, Jordi Alba [Spain] scored their second goal. In the second half it was too easy for the Spanish. They made use of every false committed by the Italians. Within minutes from his entry, substitute Fernando Torres [Spain] scored their third goal. After 2 minutes Fernando Torres set up the fourth goal for fellow substitute Juan Matta [Spain]. Finally the referee blew the final whistle and Spain had won the match.
There were many specialties for this win because Spain became the first European team to retain the Euro Cup, it was there third European Championship Trophy as they leveled this record along with Germany, the score [4-0] of this final is the highest among previous Euro Cup finals, it was Iker Casillas', Spanish Captain's 100th international win in soccer and Fernando Torres became the first player to score goals at two consecutive finals.
Euro 2012 witnessed 75 goals which were scored by 53 players of the various 16 teams. Fernando Torres who scored 3 goals was awarded with the Golden Boot as he played for just 189 minutes while Mario Gomez [Germany] who also scored 3 goals played for 280 minutes. There were 4 more players who scored 3 goals each. They are Alan Dzagoyev [Russia], Mario Mandzukic [Croatia], Mario Balotelli [Italy] and Cristiano Ronaldo [Portugal]. Even though Andres Iniesta [Spain] didn't score any goals, he was selected as the Best Player of the Tournament. He was selected as he made effective passes and stunning forward movements.
Behind all the success and progress of Spain there was one cunning man who made various choices and taught them tricky movements. He also tried one new method which no other teams had tried before, 'Striker-less Method'. Throughout the tournament they played without a professional striker as David Villa [Spain], their striker was injured. And that man was their coach, Vicente del Bosque.
Now Spain will represent Europe in the upcoming Confederation Cup 2013 which will be hosted by Brazil.
Disclaimer: Statements and opinions expressed in the article are those of the authors and written by them; the author is solely responsible for the content in this article. IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility for them.