Back in England a week on from the end of Euro 2008, the tournament still looks as impressive as it did in the Alps. I am not relishing another stolid European club season, dominated by the tawdry money of the big teams, so for the last time, I am looking back on what was a refreshing festival of football, the sort of which comes around only every few years:
How was the play?
Very good, on the whole, refreshingly adventurous and attacking. Only France v Romania seemed to have come from planet boredom. The French Judi Poker Uang Asli appeared to have a cloud over them all tournament, while Romania strangely failed to turn the screw when they needed to in their final group game, so deserved to leave early, too.
Croatia v Turkey was not easy to sit through for two hours, but that was rather down to one team buttoning down the hatches and trying to frustrate another which was playing with winning ambition.
The Dutch were irresistible for two games, while Spain danced their way to the trophy delightfully throughout.
Portugal were also great to watch and Croatia were not bad, while even minnows like Austria and Switzerland showed enough fighting spirit to commend their efforts. Turkey’s late-late comebacks were thrilling, making up for a lack of the beautiful game with exciting attacking.
That leaves Poland and the Czechs as fairly forgettable, although they did at least play to win. Germany, as always, never dazzled but dazed as they ground out more impressive results to add to their endless roll of honour, while Greece could not make lightning strike twice with their safety-first and negative game plans. In their defense, one might argue that Greece were only making the …