So, last night, Euro 2008 ended on a crescendo last night, with Spain beating Germany 1-0 in the final. So much of the tournament was fascinatingly watchable, with shocks, fantastically watchable games, end to end moments, comebacks and plucky countries.
Some of the great moments were Turkey coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 within 10 minutes. Holland’s decimation of world champions Italy and runners up France in the group of death. Austria being the plucky underdog and not looking anywhere near their 92 world ranking, outshining their neighbours the Swiss. We head some classic and memorable goals such as Wesley Sneijder’s sweeping volley against the Italians being top of my list. We’ve seen passion, which have translated well in the tournament.
I think what made this tournament so special was the distinct lack of home interest. It began terribly, a few dud games before getting starting, and it showed. People were talking about “If England were there”. Well they weren’t, and I think the lack of self promotion and constant biasedness to our green and plesant land made this tournament just watchable. In the end, whilst the tournament began with referencing England’s failure being unjust and that they should be there, overly English commentators were suitably humbled and they were never mentioned again.
So, would I be happy never to see England in a major tournament again? Definitely. With the lack of England car flags, the papers dominated by Coleens, Gerrards, Lampards and Metatarsals, and the enevitable riots when England get eliminated. This summer has been peaceful, and – with no England – we saw some fantastic football. Don’t get me wrong, some of the classic moments would have still occurred if England were in the tournament, but I feel they would’ve been swept under the carpet with our nation’s press focussing on Wayne Rooney’s pug-ugly face.
Wales on the other hand? Well, I’ve already got my ticket for Durban in 2010.