By JAMES CLARK
Friday, June 06, 2008
Italy to win Euro 2008 ... maybe ????
By JAMES CLARK
Euro 2008 starts Saturday, and the pundits are tripping over themselves to figure out which underwhelming side will emerge victorious. The sexy pick is Portugal, the sensible ones Germany or France, the smart one Germany and the unconventional ones Russia or Croatia. And, what do I think ... as if any or all of you all care ?!?!?! (Ha, ha, ha, ha !!!)
To me, this tournament has shades of Euro 2000 written all over it. That was when a France team, which improved itself, via selection, over the squad that won the FIFA World Cup '98 on home soil. I believe, despite Fabio Cannavaro's absence due to injury, that the Azzurri -- including Marco Materazzi (pictured), who famously shouted, "Ragazzi! Ragazzi!" in the dressing room after winning the FIFA World Cup '06 ("My (the) Boys!, My (the) Boys!,") the ultimate Italian calcio compliment/sentiment) -- will do what they do best. They will outlast, outwork and out-guile the teams that come between them and the trophy. And they will join France in 2000 as the only side to be joint-holders of the World Cup (or, Copa Mundial) and the European trophy. Internationally, I support -- in order -- the USA (the land of my birth), England (the land where my boys hold a passport) and Italia (the land from which my Roman grandmother touched down Stateside in 1913, hence the Lazio connection). Come on, Italy. Let's get the job done.