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and the winner is...

well not me, that's for sure. if i'd attached any money to my euro bracket, i probably wouldn't have been able to afford the tasty drinks and noms that we enjoyed today at the olde orchard pub [downtown location] as we watched the final of euro 2012. if i wanted to seem like i was at all clever, i wouldn't have posted my selections on this blog just to show how damn wrong they could get.

after all, i'd picked spain to win every major international tournament since the 2006 world cup [when they were bounced from the round of 16 by france, who, against all odds, came within a hair's breadth of winning] so most people would likely have assumed, in the absence of me mouthing off, that i was betting on them again. in fact, i had thought that they were likely to have become a bit complacent with everyone favouring them for an easy win again and i bet that the germans would finally have figured them out, after years of having been stymied by the iberian express. well heck, maybe if they'd ever played each other [which i'd bet would have come about in the semis], that might have happened.

instead, the germans mailed one in and let italy, who seemed stronger than they actually were because other teams played them as if they were weaker than they actually were, slide through to the final. those of us who were assuming that the tale of the tournament would be one of spain and the two teams it had bested in the last euro and world cup- germany and the netherlands respectively- were proven decidedly wrong. but sometimes being wrong can be really fun. [alternately, being right can suck donkey balls, like when i was right about italy defeating england in the quarter finals.]

i'm always kind of hypnotised by how, when they're on top of their game [which they hadn't been for the entire tournament, until today], the spanish national team play like there's no one else on the field. it's like watching them practice, with a number of interlopers running through the passes. today was an example of what that looks like at its best. even when the italians looked like they were threatening, i felt like the spanish were never threatened. the shots that were on target seemed to placidly tumble into the keeper's oversized mitts, or get scooped up by defenders as they floated across the pitch in a zen-like trance. seriously, the italians had to feel a bit pissed because they had put on a strong showing and yet they were being treated as if they were incidental to what was going on. the spanish players generally couldn't even be bothered roughing them up- the fouls called against them were pretty suspect. sadly, it sort of erased the fact that a italy really toughed it out and had a great tournament. because after today, i guarantee you nobody's remembering that bit.

in the process of this afternoon's/ this evening's ass-handing, the spanish team not only won their third major international title in a row, but set a record for the most lopsided euro finish in history. dom had a very good point: their strategy of hanging back and playing an almost defensive game before letting loose at the end was stretched over the course of the whole tournament, rather than just a single game.

nonetheless, it was a very pretty finale. if you're a potential international opponent, it has to worry you just a bit that the spanish team seems to be getting stronger- to say nothing of the fact that a disproportionate number of them play together in the professional leagues as well as in international play.

for someone like me, who just likes to follow the fun [and get righteously pissed when games are decided on penalty shots which is absolute bullshit and should never happen], now is the time when i  feel a little bummed because there's nothing to follow in the soccer world. while there are teams i support more than others, i just enjoy the whole process. because for me, the joy of watching is really all about the beauty of the sport.



yeah, that's it. the sport.

the rest of you can have your olympics. i've had my fun.

Comments

Laura D.P. said…
ahahah the picture of Balotelli is really funny to me! Anyway, Spain was really too strong for us.. but I hoped Italy would have done one goal at last!
Biba said…
I've had my fun too.
morelikespace said…
xasperadastra- Italy has nothing to be ashamed of. Spain were playing below par the entire tournament, but when they're on- which they were during the final- they're pretty much unbeatable at the moment.

Personally, I've never been interested in the summer Olympics. I think because it's always the same countries getting medals, it's not that exciting.

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