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Ericandblueboy

UEFA European Championship (1960) - the 2016 Euros Hosted by France, and Featuring Two-Time Defending Champion Spain

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The Euro 2016 hasn't been all that exciting.  In the group stage, teams seemed more focused on defense, as some of the third place teams will make it to the knock-out stage. And there are more shoddy teams this year so the groupings aren't particularly exciting. I'm all for Iceland (and other teams) making the Euro for the first time but they simply don't have much talent. And has any country ever had a significant portion of their population travel to a foreign sporting event (I think entire Iceland has 300,000, and it seems like most of them are in France for Euro 2016).

What about all the flares thrown on the pitch and the clash of fans? 

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Today Spain will play Croatia.  The Spanish midfield and backfield are mostly Barcelona players, which makes them the best  in the world in those areas (in my opinion).  What the Spanish team lacks are elite strikers.  Without Messi, Suarez and Neymar up front, Spain has had most of the possession but not enough goals.  Nevertheless, they're now the favorites.

Croatia arguably has the second best midfield, with Modric and Rakitic.  They also don't have any world-class forwards. 

Maybe Spain will edge Croatia, but a draw is more likely.

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The Bracket of Death is forming.  The big names in European soccer are all ending up on the same side of the knockout round bracket:  Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and England.   

For Spain to repeat as Champions they would need to beat Italy, and then potential beat Germany and host France.  And that's just to get to the Finals. 

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The dirty little secret of soccer:  England just aren't that good.  Haven't been for a while.  It was a team ripe for taking.  

Iceland are playing well, have beaten a number of good teams recently, and are riding a ton of momentum.  If they take down host France in Paris this weekend, that will be a true upset.

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It was a great run by the plucky team from Iceland. But beating the host nation France, in Paris, wasn't happening. 

The semifinals are now set:

Portugal v. Wales (Wednesday)

France v. Germany (Thursday)

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Iceland's success has overshadowed that Wales was also a long-shot underdog, and is in the semis. And Portugal is very beatable.

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It's the showdown of the two Real Madrid forwards - everyone suspects that Ronaldo really wishes that Bale would get hit by a bus, and who knows what Bale thinks.  

 

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29 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

How exactly does this thread relate to the UEFA Champions League 2015-2016 Thread?

It doesn't.  UEFA Champions League is a club tournament played annually.  The last winner was Real Madrid (a team in the Spanish La Liga), which has on its roster Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Euro is a country tournament (except in the case of U.K., it actually has 4 teams, Scotland, England, Wales, and northern Ireland) played every 4 years.  The star of Portugal is Ronaldo.  The star of Wales is Bale.  Ronaldo does not like to be outshined, even if it means that his team wins. 

The Euro is played during the Summer, after the regular league season and the Champions League season ends.

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