Euro 2012: Why you should be excited
- Posted by Mark Booth
We know only too well how draining a nine month domestic campaign can be on football supporters, so it’s understandable if enthusiasm for the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament is in short supply.
However, with the tournament set to kick off in just nine days, we think it’s time to dust ourselves off and hunker down in front of the TV for a three-week feast of international football.
Here are five reasons you should be excited for Euro 2012.
1. It's explosive
The tournament is a short, sharp burst of football that’s all over in three weeks, meaning there’s little chance of armchair fatigue before the tournament is done and dusted.
This is the last 16 team tournament before it reverts to a 24 team format at France 2016, so it's your final chance to watch the European Championships in all of their undiluted glory with no weak links in any of the groups.
This is a hugely significant competition for City’s representatives with all nine having realistic chances of playing key roles for their countries. There’s some great storylines waiting to be played out in the next few weeks featuring our boys.
Can Mario Balotelli win Cesare Prandelli’s trust? Will Joleon Lescott usurp John Terry as England’s go-to defensive general? Will David Silva force his way in between the Catalan midfield monopoly? Is Nigel de Jong going to meet Xabi Alonso again? Can Gael Clichy oust Patrice Evra to become France’s starting left-back?
3. Rivalries renewed
Germany v Holland, England v France, Italy v Republic of Ireland – and that’s just the group stages. There’s also the prospect of England v Ireland and Germany v Poland quarter-finals as well as a 2010 World Cup final rematch between Holland and Spain.
4. Miracles can happen
You only have to look back to 1992 when the Danes triumphed or 2004 when Greece battled their way to glory to see that this is a far more open competition than the World Cup.
Think of that: a small and written-off country taking home the silverware – it’s enough to give Roy Hodgson some giddy dreams…
5. Armchair scouts rejoice
The World Cup and European Championships have always been proving grounds for young players to come to the fore and force chairmen to get their chequebooks out. In 2008 there was Andrei Arshavin, Giorgio Chiellini and a certain Mr David Silva – who will it be this time around?
Take a look at our 16 players to watch photo gallery to find out who we’re tipping to have breakthrough tournaments.
Stay tuned to the Manchester City website to keep up to date with all the happenings from Poland and Ukraine, including match reports and reaction from of all of our representative's matches.