Thrill, excitement, drama, agony, frustration and determination is what we have seen so far in Euro 2016, and as the extravaganza is heading towards its conclusion, the show is getting intense and more nerve-wracking. The quarter-final stage is over and we have our last four guardians of the trophy lined up, with their eyes set on the accolade. The journey of each team has been remarkable and it remains to be seen who will it be: the Welsh Warriors or the Portuguese, the host French or the exceptional Germans? Each team has stuck to its game plan to get a step closer to be crowned the undisputed European champion.
It has been one of the most entertaining European Cup so far and has witnessed matches that have been a treat to watch. It was the first time that 24 teams competed for the cup and some of them were the debutants. The giants collapsed, the minnows outclassed the mighty, and the conviction stayed at the top. Undoubtedly, the teams that have qualified for the semis have showcased the most beautiful, exciting and brilliant football and truly deserve to be in the semis. We hope you have been in complete touch with the tournament but for your ease let’s just analyze the last four and their journey so far:
The Unpredictable Portuguese
Call it a fairytale or luck but Portuguese are in Semis. They haven’t lost a game yet but were unable to win any in the allotted time. In the group stage, they finished third in their group with 3 draws and were tied against Croatia in the last 16. The pundits thought their journey will end after they meet Croatia but their luck started sparkling again and they got the better of Croatia in the extra time. Similarly, in the last 8, the tie was a draw till the allotted time and the result was gathered after the penalty shoot-out, which they won 5-3. Nothing exceptional, nothing exciting and their big guns like Ronaldo are still silent but the fact is they are in the last 4 and will be hoping to capitalize on their luck.
The Welsh Dream
First appearance after decades and they have sealed their first semi-final appearance. From despair to here is what defines the journey of Wales so far. They topped the group despite losing to England in a competitive tie. They had a tough stay in the round of 16 against Northern Ireland but demolished one of the favorites to win the match, Belgium 3-1 in the last 8. With 47% possession and 10 goals so far, Wales has the best conversion rate so far. They have played beautiful football so far. Let’s see whether they are able to continue the dream run and make history or fall at a touching distance.
The Mighty Germans
Germans landed in France as World Champions and the top ranked side, favorites to steal the prize. The Germans are known for their tactics, skills, unbeatable attack and astonishing defense, which they have showcased in the tournament so far scoring 7 goals and conceding just once. The Germans have won the tournament thrice and have their eyes set on winning the glory for the fourth time. They topped the group with wins over Northern Ireland and Ukraine and drawing with Poland. In the round of 16, they had a relatively easy task against Slovakia, which they surpassed easily but in the last 8 they were tied against Italy who proved to be a tough cookie to crack.
The Azzuri’s were a surprise package and had never lost against Germans in a major tournament. The Germans had a challenge ahead of them with the history not in their favor. The match ended in a draw and the tie was settled on a penalty shoot-out. It has been a smooth story so far for the Germans and nothing exciting has yet appeared but two steps away from the glory, you can expect anything from the technically sound Germans.
The French Aptitude
The host, France has previously won the tournament twice and is one of the toughest competitors on home soil. Their journey so far has been nothing less than exceptional. A newly compiled team with lots of new names, nobody expected them to reach the last 4. However, still unbeatable in the tournament, the French have been exceptional at attack. They demolishing defeat that Iceland suffered at the hands of France gave an alarming call to the Germans that it won’t be easy against the French. With 11 goals so far, three Germans are competing for the golden boot with Antonio Griezmann topping the table with 4 goals.
It will be exciting to see Ronaldo against Bale and the German defense against the French arsenal. Whatever the result will be we hope that we get to witness exhilarating and thrilling football and hope that the best team wins. The semi-final bouts are scheduled for July 06 and 07, till then just sit back, relax and catch all the live action with a Sports VPN.