Friday, June 8, 2012

Euro all begins today

Getting started after a long gap.....this was deliberate. While, I had IPL-5 to cover, I decided against it, as I was writing too much on cricket....there were other topics on my mind, but somehow, mundane work took center stage.....fingers twitched on the keyboard of my Dell Inspiron....thoughts kept good company....words found rhythm....but somehow I resisted the pull.
Meanwhile, monsoon seems to be slowly cascading over the city skyline, as the denizens of Mumbai heave a sigh of relief. It has been rather scorching over the past couple of weeks.....& add to that, taps running dry at home.....making one feel greasy & dirty at not being able to get a decent shower...phew !!!! The water scarcity still a serious problem at quite a few pockets of the metropolis. Juggling timelines to secure a bucket of water...nightmare of sorts. 

Amidst all of this chaos, starts the Euro 2012 of the most grueling sporting tournament, capturing viewership across the globe. 16 teams slug it out across the next three weeks.....some playing breathtaking beautiful football, while some play with brute power...whatever be the trend, its going to be fascinating for sure. 

For the first time since the tournament started in 1960, its being held behind the Iron Curtain....hopefully in much better spirits & bonhomie in the stands.....much lesser on the turf !!!! sure is going to be a stiff competition. 

Defending Champions, & also the World Cup holders, Spain start as clear favourites....the nucleus of the team has been intact over the last few years, as the team has grown into believing in their abilities. The team is spoilt for riches in talent....One of the best midfield in Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas & Silva, with Torres upfront, not to forget the defence of Xavi Alonso, Ramos, Pique, Busquets along with Casillas manning the goal line. Whatever be the outcome of the game, it would be simply awe inspiring to watch the Spaniards....While they will miss Puyol in defence & David Villa upfront, they have all that it takes to retain the title.....& if they do Spain would be the first ever European team to win three major championships in a row....
Germany look the next best team in the fray. With average age pegging at around 24 yrs, its a fighting bunch of players. Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Badstuber, Boateng, Ozil, Podolski, Muller, Klose, Lahm, Neuer.....all match winners in their own rights.....the capability reminds me of the Luftwaffe Bombers.... bunching together to create havoc on the turf. They may not be the best team to watch for the machine like disposition on the ground, but their sheer iron will to win, makes them a superb unit. This particular team seems to be lean & hungry & I would be surprised if they dont make it to the last four at least.....after that it could be anybody's game. 

Among other teams, it would be Netherlands with their free flowing game, Croatia with their ability to surprise, Portugal, the mercurial non achievers, France & Italy the heavyweights, while England, mostly faltering. Teams like Russia, Denmark & Poland could spring in a couple of surprises.

For me, like millions across India, & surely across the world, it would be a football feast for sure......the body might ache, the eyes may become bleary, the shoulders may droop through the day,.....all due to fatigue, but am sure it will be worth all the trouble.

Look out for this space to cover the tournament.......