The game makes me sad. Italy played a fantastic game, especially Buffon and...the guy who scored (forgot his name, but beautiful technique!). I would have loved to see an epic showdown at the end, but the referee turned out to be an idiot.
Also, watching British commentators is far better than their German equivalents, it's really quite hard to go back to Bela Rethy and Mehmet Scholl.
Not bothering to watch the final now. Hate Italy and the Spanish are boring like Bolton or Chelsea.
I still want Spain to lose. The thought of that lot winning a third major title in a row just makes me nauseous.
Also, Mehmet Scholl is better than Alan Shearer. He's at least capable of making interesting comments. German TV could do with a larger rotating panel in the studio, though. It's always Scholl on ARD, Oli Kahn on ZDF.
Love how Shearer constantly says, "and he done that", no Alan, he 'DID' that.
Pretty happy Germany went out. Supporting the match fixers over the Germans is a tough call but I'm afraid the fixers win.
You can bash Italy as much as you want but they played better and more entertaining football then Germany today,and i was for Germany! They deserved to go to the finals,now if only Spain didn't won portugal,they got so lucky with the last penal ..freaking faggots.
Italy have really surprised me this tournament. I was generally in agreement with the consensus that they weren't the best Italian side to have graced a major championship but not only have they made the final but they have done so in a much more attacking and entertaining style than many Italian sides of the past.
Pirlo has to be the player of the tournament so far, he has barely put a foot wrong.
I feel the final is too close to call, they were evenly matched in their group game and I suspect this will be the case again in the final.
Also in regards to Wimbledon was a massive shock that Nadal went out (unfortunately I missed all of the match). People will say the draw has opened up for Murray but I felt before the tournament that he had one of the toughest draws and while I still expect to see him in the semis I'm sure there will be some nervy moments on the way with handy grass court players like Cillic and a few other big servers potentially in his path. Plus his likely semi final opponent is Tsonga, who may not be Nadal but is also exceptional on grass and is on good form having been oh so close to beating Djokovic in the French. Still I'm sure Murray will be glad to see Nadal out.
I'm also happy to see Heather Watson progress further into the tournament than media darling Laura Robson as I've always felt she was the more accomplished player. Still tough task ahead of her against world number 3 Radwanska and I suspect before long Murray will be in his usual position of only Brit left in the tournament.
In yet more sport, The Tour starts this weekend. Really looking forward to settling down to ITV's rather excellent highlights package (which has done a hell of a job over the past few years of explaining what the hell is going on to a cycling ignoramus like myself). Not to mention it's brilliantly cheesy "it sounds French, non?" theme tune!
Alright, maybe I should start eating my own words when I said Germany will ravage Italy to everyone else
Surprised but not especially disappointed that Italy beat Germany. If they play more like that than their performance against England then they could well beat Spain. And as detailed above, I hope they do. Also glad that Balotelli didn't finish like that against England or it could have been a fucking massacre.
After a day to reflect and sulk, I am now going to back Italy against Spain. I still don't like them but their last two matches they have been very entertaining and watching Spain has been like watching George Graham's Arsenal before Ian Wright played for them. Spain have world class midfield but no strikers. Plus Roberto (Judas) Martinez is Spanish so i will never support them ever again.
So what's everyones team of the tournament?
Mine would be:
Lahm (two footed), Pique, Terry, Alba
Ronaldo (dick), Iniesta
Much as I hate to admit it, Schweini was poor in every game except for the one against Holland. He just wasn't fully fit.
I would have Neuer in goal, though. You can argue about absolute technical skill, but he's certainly the most entertaining goalkeeper, never afraid to run out to the halfway line when necessary, or just when he's bored like against Greece.
Let's see, 4-2-3-1...
Lahm - Pique - Hummels - Cole
Pirlo - Fabregas
Iniesta - Özil - Ronaldo
EDIT: On second thought, Fabregas is a bad choice for that position, since he hasn't played it at all in this tournament. Maybe Khedira or Moutinho then.
Very much off the top of my head.
Hart (I can't think of any keeper that's been particularly outstanding)
Lahm Pepe Hummels Coentrao
De Rossi Moutinho
Balotelli (Has to be, really)
Hmm, I think for me a 4-1-4-1 might look something like:
Johnson - Pique - Pepe - Balzaretti
Kuba - Hubschman - Schneider - Reus (or maybe Pilar)
Edit: I'm intrigued to see you've all gone for Balotelli, I guess largely on the strength of last night? I guess that shows how no striker has really come to the fore, hence my somewhat cheaty sticking Ronaldo up there
Edit 2: Actually I might ditch Schneider for Scotty Parker as Pirlo is all the creative player I need :D
Yeah I was tempted to put Ron upfront because Balotelli hasn't really been consistent. But it's hard to argue with a performance like last night.
I think Cassano has been a highlight for me, especially considering his fitness. The only striker Prandelli has started every match. I think a lot of the control and threat Italy have in attack comes from him as much as Pirlo. His vision and ability on the ball mean they can play at a fast tempo knowing he'll happily take the ball under pressure and pick a pass.
Not bothering with formation really.
Lahm - Ramos - De Rossi - Alba
Busquets - Pirlo - Khedira
Ozil - Cassano - Iniesta
Honourable mentions in teams that didn't get v far: Hubschman, Mandzukic, Pilar, Gusev.
Lahm - Pepe - Lesscot - Cole
Pirlo - Parker
Shevchenko - Gomez - Carroll - Balotelli
Interesting that you all seem to be picking Lahm as RB, has he actually played there in the tournament?
He's a great player undoubtedly but I dont think he's really shone at this tournament.
I'm not a big fan, as I think he tends to waste the ball a lot, but I genuinely thought Glen Johnson was England's best, or at least most consistent, player at the tournament.
It pains me to say but I reckon even Arbeloa has been a better player than Lahm
Also, regarding Cole, I think he was excellent in the warm ups but nowhere near as impressive in the tournament - although to be fair to him that was partly the fault of the anonymous Young in front of him.
It was mostly just he's been solid, and it's a bit of a cheat bunging him in at right-back. But thinking about it, I'd probably put Balzaretti in there for Lahm.
The thing is, there haven't been a lot of really consistent players. Ones that have been dominant from start to finish. Even Pirlo had a duff match against Ireland.