The Top 5 2012 UEFA Euro Cup Favourites
With the Euro Cup beginning soon, many wonder who has the best chance to win? Well, here are in my opinion the top five favourites for what should be another fantastic Euro Cup:
Every World Cup or Euro Cup there seems to be a dark horse that makes it rather far. In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa it was Uruguay. In the 2004 Euro Cup, Greece went all the way. This year I have a funny feeling Russia can emulate some of those dark horse teams’ success. They are in an absolutely pitiful group (no offense, group A), where I would be shocked if Russia does not become the clear cut winner of it. In the quarter finals (if Russia happens to win group A) they would have to face the runner up of group B, the group of death. It’s quite obvious that would either be the Netherlands, Germany, or Portugal. If they somehow manage to make it past that match, they could go all the way. Bottom line, the main reason I have picked Russia is because they have a massive chance to win their easy group. They are much better than Poland, Greece, and Czech Republic.
You would call me crazy by choosing all three teams out of the group of death, but in reality, whoever wins that group has a chance to win the Euro Cup. Portugal, Netherlands, and Germany are three of the four most talented teams in the tournament this year. Portugal has also been my dark horse pick most years. Many analysts thought they would succumb to Ivory Coast and Brazil in their group in the 2010 World Cup. They made it out unscathed. They unfortunately had to face eventual winners in Spain in the next round but put up a better fight than most remember and lost by a single goal. Before that in huge tournaments, Portugal went very far in the 2006 World Cup and should have won the 2004 Euro Cup (what an epic choke). They have Nani playing this time, and if Cristiano Ronaldo steps up, this team will perhaps not only upset Germany and the Netherlands in the group of death, but they will also go all the way.
Yes, another group of death team in the Netherlands. The general consensus is that it should be the Netherlands and Germany getting out of group B. This is a fair assessment due to many reasons. While I think Portugal is a threat, the Netherlands have been on fire for a while. They have an all-star packed squad; the same squad that went all the way to the finals in the 2010 World Cup. With some of the best defense in the world, an insanely good offense, and a squad that seems to be able to play well as a team, the Netherlands are going to be a tough team to beat in this year’s Euro Cup. If Robben and Schneijder play as unreal on offense as they have lately, this team is a good pick to go very far in the tournament despite the scary group of death.
You could toss a coin that determines who is the favourite for this Euro Cup between Germany and Spain. Yes, the same final that decided the 2008 Euro Cup in which Spain won. Germany was a big underdog in the 2010 World Cup; however, their young squad impressed many spectators. With a very stacked offense and one of the world’s best defenses, like the Netherlands, they are speculated to go far. If they could play as unreal as a squad as they have been lately, Germany may not only win this year’s Euro Cup, but also the 2014 World Cup. They have more potential with their young squad than most of the countries/squads combined in this list to be a huge threat for years to come.
With the injury of David Villa, one might start to wonder if Spain is the true favourite. I still believe they have a right to be declared as the number one pick to win the 2012 Euro and the safe bet. There is no team in the world that has better chemistry or a passing game than Spain does, as made evident in the 2010 World Cup (which they won) and the 2008 Euro Cup (which they also won). They have the best defense in the world and the best goalie in the world as well to add to that. They may not be as heavy favourites as they were going into the last World Cup, however Spain might do what no other country has done; win three back to back major championships.