Euro 2012 Semi-Final Preview

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bill-swift - June 27, 2012

And then there were four. The quarterfinals have finished and gone are France, Greece, England and Czech Republic. We are now left with the world champions Spain, a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal, the ageless Italians and reliable Germans.

Each of these nations have performed wonders to reach this stage of the tournament and it's now anyone's guess who ends up lifting the trophy on Sunday night in Kiev.

Euro 2012 has proved to be both a controversial and engaging event, with UEFA having to hand out a plethora of fines to teams from around the world due to racist chanting and other bad fan behavior, but this has been negated by the fact that we have had only one 0-0 game so far.

So with there only being four nations left, who is actually going to win Euro 2012? I've taken a guess as to how it might pan out and having got only one prediction wrong last time out, I'm in a very confident mood.

Spain vs Portugal

Spain's reputation has been severely dented over the last few weeks with many football critics now criticising the current World and European champions as turgid dullards. Their 2-0 victory over France was frightfully trite with the Spaniards passing their way around a lacklustre French team, who had been torn about by infighting. However, the amount of talent that they possess with the likes of Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas excelling so far, means that they are still favourites amongst most many football aficionados.

Portugal have been superb as a counter-attacking team and manager Paulo Bento has secured a sensational balance to his team with Cristiano Ronaldo finally living up to his billing as the second best footballer in the world, behind a certain Mr. Messi. Defeating the Spaniards would be their greatest acheivement and I believe CR can help inspire his cohorts to a 2-1 victory.

Germany vs Italy

This repeat of the 2006 World Cup semi-final in which Italy defeated their northern European rivals 2-0 after extra time, is delightfully poised. Italy have grown in confidence with each passing game and Andrea Pirlo has dictated proceedings from his deep midfield position in the same way that a quarterback does an American Football encounter. Of course, the Italians also possess the enigmatic Mario Balotelli who has looked dangerous without actually scoring, but defeating a rigorous England side on penalties after 120 minutes of domination might have taken it out of this aged side.

Germany though, look peerless and have truly been the standout nation of Euro 2012. They appear to have no weaknesses and Joachim Low was even able to rest several key players against a timid Greece side and still see his team score 4 goals. Once again, that kind of efficiency will see the Germans through with a 3-1 victory and we might even be about to see the beginning of a new footballing dynasty.

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