For starters, EURO 2012 is a group + knockout tournament (4 Teams in 4 Groups Each) played once in every 4 years amongst European Countries and is a tournament organized by the European Football body, UEFA which also organizes the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League in Club football. Similar to the World Cup, the EUROs happen once in every 4 years and give every European country a good chance to participate and prepare for this grand tournament. Since its origin, Spain and Germany have been the countries to have won it the most with Spain winning the most recent one (EURO 2008) in Vienna by defeating Germany. Even though the tournament has often been criticised for being heavily one sided (just like the La Liga), the 2012 competition somehow promises to be quite exciting considering the strength of many teams giving way to the Underdog term as well. Let’s look at 4 such teams that possess the ability to shock the top class teams like Spain, Germany, England, France, Netherlands etc and can even knock them out of the tournament.
Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland hasn’t really proved its mettle in all the Euro Competitions it has participated in. Till date it hasn’t managed to go past the Qualifying Round of the Euros too. But taking into account the current squad of Ireland, one cannot deny that they do have a fair chance to beat good teams and make it through. With the striking force of Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle and a brilliant goalkeeping ability of Shay Given followed by other power players like Kevin Kilbane, J. Mccarthy and John O Shea, this team does have the firepower to pull out a surprise and beat the odds. The fact that they haven’t lost their last 10 matches makes it even more exciting for the Republic of Ireland.
Poland has the biggest advantage of being an underdog considering they are the host team this time as well. The team has come a long way in 4 years especially after being only a Group stage team since the previous EUROS. The current squad of Poland has been praised by many coaches as one of the most technically gifted squad with players like Wojciech Szczęsny( The Goal Saving Machine of Arsenal), the experienced Ebi Smolarek and the recent claim to fame wonder kid Robert Lewandowski . The team has a good home advantage plus a fairly competitive group to reach the Knockout stages as well.
Shocked? Surprised? Felt a glitch when you read England? Especially after knowing that the team has players like John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney? Well don’t be surprised because there’s no doubt that England is a world class team with the best players from England especially the Premier League being a part of it. But when it comes to International Competitions especially the World Cup and EUROS, the National Squad just doesn’t seem to deliver. Even the like of Fabio Capello and Roy Hodgson(New Manager of England) have already called the team as a dark horse and an underdog in the competition. Considering the fact that they have never won the EUROS, somehow managed to qualify for this year’s Euro’s and their group which has teams like France, Sweden and Ukraine(host team) , it remains to be seen how they kill their chokers tag and emerge victorious by not only advancing to the knockout stages but also not succumbing to the bigger teams like Spain, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands etc later on.
Denmark is undoubtedly the biggest and the most obvious Underdog team and a must watch team in this competition. The first reason for this is the fact they are placed in a group with teams like Netherlands, Portugal and Germany!. It can easily be said that they don’t stand a chance at all to even advance but if you glance at the squad and the talent it has, you will admit that they can give a strong competition to the power house teams too. The team has a defensive barrier of Nicolai Boilesen(a promising young talent, rated by EA Sports Community as the best Young Defender in the World) , Daniel Agger(Captain and current Liverpool player) as well as Cristian Eriksen, a midfielder dreaded by many and considered to be as one of the world’s top five midfielders at present. Also with a talented attack of Dennis Rommedahl and Nicklas Bendtner(the confused Arsenal player) , the team surely has a formidable force in itself to knock the finest teams in the competition.
So folks, gear up for 8 June to witness one of the most anticipated Football Competition after the last World Cup and get set to see some shocks, some surprises and some unheard Players to rise to fame in this 23-day Tournament scheduled to happen in Poland/Ukraine. Euro 2012 indeed promises to be bigger, better and more competitive than ever!