On Friday the members of UEFA will get together in Kiev to make the draw for the upcoming Euro Soccer Finals in June. I say they can forget with the tawdry sideshow and ludicrous concerts, and just leave it to me. I will save a worldwide audience of boredom, malaise and general malcontent by simply doing the draw right here and in doing so, giving the football faithful a tournament they will surely remember. So without further ado, here is my Euro 2012 draw.
Group A: Poland, Russia, Greece, Czech Republic.
Call this the Communist group. OK so communism died 20 years ago and Greece never fully embraced Karl Marx’s theories but this is as close as you can get to reliving the heights of socialism. On the sporting side, Poland are the weakest side even though they are co-hosting the tournament. And no Grzegorz Lato isn’t coming out of retirement to lead the tournament in scoring like he did for Poland in the 1974 World Cup. Russia would top this group with the Czechs and Greeks quarrelling for the second quarterfinal spot.
Group B: Holland, Italy. Croatia, Denmark.
No fancy moniker or no rhyme or reason for this quartet. The Dutch are still smarting from their loss in the 2010 World Cup Final so expect the Clockwork Orange to be a favourite in this group. A group stage match between Holland and Italy would most certainly generate interest. The Azure are going through changes and will bring more youth this tournament. Don’t discount Croatia and Denmark. Two sides that are proud and formidable. I would enjoy the matches in this group.
Group C: Spain, England, Portugal, France.
The Group of Death. Spain, the current European Cup and World Cup holders. England, the inventors of the sport who fascinate and disappoint at the same time. Portugal, the enigmatic ones led by the brilliant yet mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo. France, the most unpredictable side in this tournament. This group would have plenty of intrigue, drama and hostility. Spain vs. Portugal is a border war with plenty of firepower. England vs. France is timeless. England vs. Portugal have no love loss thanks to fixtures in 2004 and 2006 which still leave the English aghast. Spain vs. France would be a return of the 1984 final which the magnificent Michel Platini led Les Bleus to triumph. The possibilities are endless. This must happen.
Group D: Ukraine, Germany, Sweden, Ireland.
The Mannheim Steamroller group. How Germany steamrolled its way to the quarterfinals. OK, maybe it won’t be that bad but the Germans should see through atop and unchallenged. Ukraine, as co-hosts would be no easy task for anyone. The Irish are always a tricky and stout foe. Sweden would be languishing at the bottom.
There you go. This is how my Euro tournament would shape out. Tell me what you think and see for yourself on Friday how close I am to the actual draw. Just be prepared to sit through a lot of tedious “entertainment”.
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