Which Nation Will Win Euro 2012?

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bill-swift - June 11, 2012

The 2012 European Championships kicked off on Friday evening with a 1-1 draw between Poland and Greece.

Of course before this pulsating 90 minute encounter the opening ceremony took place and was populated by some singing children, woeful dancers and a pianist trying to do kick-ups. Trust me, you missed nothing, although watching a classically trained musician attempt to compensate for his lack of football skills by spinning the ball on his finger in front of 60,000 drunk Poles was quite amusing.

But with the competition now in full swing which nations are the main contenders to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy, the formal name for the cup, in Kiev on July 1st?

Euro 2008 winners and current World Champions Spain are heavily fancied, the Netherlands have only improved since finishing as runners up in 2010, France are unbeaten in 21 games and Germany are, well, Germany.

Here is a run-down of the favourites for Euro 2012! The less said about England, the better.

Spain - Rightly lauded as one of the greatest national sides ever assembled, Fernando Torres' and Andres Iniesta's goals have helped the financially blighted country pick up the two most coveted trophies in world football. But now that everyone is gunning after them will they still be able to perform? Also Vincent Del Bosque has recently embraced a 4-6-0 formation that is deceptive in it's offense and with players like the aforementioned Iniesta and Torres joined by the likes of David Silva, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Llorente they will definitely be there are there abouts.

Italy - Italian football is currently going through a little bit of a dark spell. Hundreds of Serie A footballers have been indicted in another match-fixing scandal only 6 years after the last one hit. However, the Italian national team responded to this disgrace by lifting the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Will they be able to repeat this triumph? Well, once again the Italian side is a mixture of experienced pros, reliable defenders and Mario Balotelli and so they will be looking to the unpredictable forward to be their talisman.

Germany - The bloody Germans. It's impossible not to be envious of their efficiency. After wowing everyone at the 2010 World Cup with their young team getting all the way to the Semi-Finals before being defeated by eventual champions Spain, Joachim Low's side are many peoples favourites for Euro 2012. And you just know that when it comes to penalties they are gonna simply slot their's away with ease. The bastards.

Netherlands - With Robin Van Persie scoring with almost every touch of the ball this year for Arsenal you have to believe that Holland will be contention come the first day of July. Wesley Sneijder will no doubt pull the strings for RVP and Arjen Robben with the likes of Nigel De Jong and Mark Van Bommel bruising those who dare threaten Stekelenburg's goal. Their weak defence could be their downfall though.

Portugal - For Portugal it's quite simple, if Cristiano Ronaldo delivers they'll have as good a chance as any other team. If he doesn't, they won't. Easy.

England - Right, where do we begin? Their new manager, Roy Hodgson, has been branded a racist for dropping Rio Ferdinand, their best central defender, John Terry, has been charged with racism, Wayne Rooney, England's talisman is suspended for the first two group games and over the last few weeks several key players have been forced out with injury. Still, you just never know with England. Their golden generation of players have dispersed so maybe they can prospere with expectations so low.

France - Laurent Blanc's men are the form nation coming into the tournament having not been beaten in 21 matches and the former centre back has helped the team recover after a tumultuous 2010 World Cup campaign that saw in-fighting destroy their efforts. Blanc has now assembled an even side with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery the main culprits to inflict pain.

Winners - Spain but each of these teams will feel that they have as good a chance.

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