Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks
Out of the sixteen teams that participated in Euro 2012, only four are left, three countries whose economies are in a shaky shape, Portugal, Spain and Italy and the country that has been laying the golden egg for the European Union, Germany.
England, Russia, Greece, Poland, Ukraine, Croatia, the Czechs, Netherlands, France, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden have all made a less than gracious exit.
Holland was in the final of the World Cup in 2010 but failed to advance out of the first round.
England and France managed to get out of the first round but did not deserve to be in the semi-final. The teams that have become proficient in the modern game have qualified for the semi-final. All of those teams not only have down pat the pass and more game but have nurtured creative players.
Spain is the defending champion of both the Euro and the World Cup. But defeating Portugal will not be an easy task as their creative players like Ronaldo and Nani will find a way to be on the scoreboard.
Germany’s football has stepped up. They are not just a disciplined team but have now produced a new crop of creative players like Ozil, Muller and Khedira. The European recovery is dependent on Chancellor’s Merkel’s largesse. I suspect that the Germans will topple the Spanish from their soccer perch. The Spanish banking system is in some disarray but their soccer prowess is not in doubt. Nonetheless, I pick the Germans to emerge as European champions in 2012.