Euro 2012 preview (part 2)
Kick-off is just 10 days away
Warsaw National Stadium will be the location of the first clash in the group stage, between hosts (Poland) and Greece, the former champions (2004) who left Georgia, Croatia, Latvia, Israel and Malta on the way.
In the past days we gave you a first preview with some of the stars to follow on this tournament and a brief explanation of what is at stake. Now we give you the venues, an insight look to the teams who can give a pleasant surprise and the fans.
Poland, host of the opening ceremony and first match, has 4 different stadiums, the Arena Gdnansk, the Municipal Stadium (Poznan), Municipal Stadium (Wroclaw) and of course, the National Stadium. Arena Gdansk is among the 5 stadiums built from scratch for this tournament. It was completed in 2011. The exterior is designed to resemble amber, which has long been extracted along the Baltic coast. The Spain – Italy match on June 10th will take place there, as well as two other group matches and one quarter-final.
The Municipal Stadium (Wroclaw) officially opened with a George Michael concert in September, 2011. The first international goal was scored by Mario Balotelli in the match between Poland and Italy. This venue, as well as the Arena Gdansk has a capacity of a little over 40,000 seats.
Kyiv will host the final match on July 1st; the Olimpiyskiy Stadium, home of the Ukrainian national team is the largest venue of Euro 2012, with a capacity of 65,000 seats.
On the other hand, the Arena Lviv, constructed specifically for the finals is the smallest venue with a capacity of almost 35,000 seats. This two-tiered stadium offers perfect sightlines for viewers as it is specially designed for football. The Germany – Portugal match will be the first one of the final rounds to be held there.
Which team will be the revelation?
You might be thinking Spain will get the trophy home, again. With a team forged out of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona most valuable assets, such as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi Hernández and David Villa ‘La Roja’ supporters might think they will get the Euro for the third time, however, we’re kind of hoping things will not be so easy and other teams will fight for the right to rise as Europe champions.
Czech Republic has just confirmed the roster for the finals; with highly renowned stars such as Petr Čech, Tomáš Rosický and Milan Baroš, the Czech squad must not go overlooked and must be deemed as extremely competitive in Group A, where they will face the hosts, Poland, as well as Greece and Russia.
Petr Jiráček will have his chance to bring the spark in the midfield, and work with the team for the ticket to the next stage.
Germany, lead by Joachim Löw, is another squad to follow. Löw recently confirmed just three forwards will be joining Die Mannschaft: Miroslav Klose, Łukasz Podolski and Mario Gómez.
However, if you take a look at the midfielders available, you know the apparent shortage of forwards might not be an issue. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Mesut Özil (among others) will be in charge of keeping the midfield strong… I’m sure they will not make it easy for Portugal, Denmark and the Netherlands during the group stage.
Germany, with three UEFA Euro titles and second place in the 2008 final, are surely a team to follow with great expectations.
Well, there is not much to write/read about the fans, you’d better take a look:
May 29th, 2012.