Euro 2008: A French tail to drag, and A Turkish tale to tell
Take on Euro 2008 Round One
I held the phone in my hands buzzing my favorite alarm tune and flashing “Alarm 4:30 AM” not remembering how it got there. As I struggle to make sense of it all, the sound suddenly stopped and I automatically got out of my bed, towards the light switch. I switched on the TV and swiftly set up my laptop to connect to my favorite website and sat
in bed waiting for the buffering to end. As I sat under the covers, laptop in bed, TV in front, all tuned in to watch two matches in one shot, I realized Euro 2008 is the second biggest joy of my life after the World Cup.
This tournament, teams were not judged by how they played but in which group they played. While the Dutch clutch chewed on the rest of the death group, pampering Portugal did not pay off in the last game when they lost for the sweet Swiss. Marco made a promise in 2006, and crushing Italy and France is his way of saying he is keeping to his promise.
I tucked myself further down the pile of sheets, and a red card was flashed as the Italians performed a French disconnection, shattering any hope of saving face. With a lot of luck, the French finally dragged their tail between their legs out of this tournament, bringing to memory a similar disgraceful Italian victory against Australia in 2006. Nothing to worry about, the man of the show is still in business proving that he is the best goal keeper in the world. Gigi’s save against Romania would have had no significance any other day, but it had secured them a place in the next round of this tournament.
Watching Germany’s fingers-crossed match against Austria, I could not help but recall the song by Ahmad Abanda: Dagg Almani, right after Ballack hammered his German-made goal in the net. That was the only thing that kept me awake that boring
morning. With their one-man-show performance in mind, I dozed off wondering if they could hold up against Portugal; if Ballack had any chances against Ronaldo.
Spain fell in the lazy group and did a less-than-impressive job against the Greek, who have obviously been tipped off about how to lose a Euro title in three matches. Italy had not lost to Spain in a long time, now they have a chance to settle a score. Hiddink, oh Hiddink was a star, period. To Russia with love!
No one caused more damage than the Croatians who continue to impress. No one has ever been called the “surprise” of the event more than Croatia, but they are about to taste a bit of a Turkish delight.
Keeping an eye on Portugal’s game, and both eyes on Turkey’s, I could not believe any of those eyes, when the cruelty of football brought the Czechs to their knees. I watched the screen of my phone as it said “7 AM”, not remembering how it got there. Pulling the covers over me as I went back to sleep, I thought: there’s a Turkish tale to tell, about what football is all about.