Sunday, June 29, 2008

Spain Wins! Spain Wins!

The "Cubs of International Soccer" have finally broken their curse. Despite consistently fielding among the most talented teams, and despite administering perhaps the world's strongest national league, the Spaniards have come home empty-handed in every major international tournament in 44 years. But today they broke that curse in the Euro 2008 finals against the team that not only boasts the most Euro Cup Titles in the tournament's history (3), but also fields the player with by far the best name (midfielder Torsten Frings). ¡Felicidades, España!

And, oh yes...who called it? Who correctly predicted, one week ago, how every game over the tournament's last week would play out (see comments at 2:29pm and 2:30pm here)? Granted, only one of those games might have been considered an upset, but I'll take credit for the amazing feat nonetheless.

And just one more thought - I think the Germans may have lost because they didn't take the game as seriously as they should have. Now, I'm no master soccer tactician, but in the photo below, take a close look at the German player in white to the right...I'm pretty sure that when the ball and an opposing player are that close to your goal, of the many defensive stances players are taught to assume, "standing around picking your nose" isn't one of them:

(click image to enlarge)

10 comments:

kensai said...

That last picture was well after Torres chipped the keeper though. He was running away for his celebration by then. :o

Eric Karros said...

That may be true, but he should have been penalized as he's clearly using his hands.

Steve Sax said...

EK, I'm waiting for the next puzzle to be UEFA Euro-tournament related. Clearly, our readers expect us to have insight on soccer as well...

cigarcow said...

"The Dodgers of International Soccer"

Steve Sax said...

Ouch, that hurts, cigarcow.

Though the Dodgers and Spain seem to score at about the same levels.

cigarcow said...

Yeah, that wasn't fair to Spain.

karina said...

Dodgers need 24 more years of usefulness to match Spain.

That comment was very mean, cigarcow.

However, Spain has two sides in the qualifying games of important soccer tournaments:

a) Pretty dominant, though they always lose or tie with teams from small countries, like Luxembourgh, therefore losing points and maybe getting second in their group.

b)Terrible, but they qualify in the consolation round, which it's ironic, because those teams from small countries always end up playing that round.

karina said...

Eric, if you're going to make next puzzle related to the EuroCup, please don't make it related to the incapacity of italian players (sometimes, the best of them) to score penalty kicks. Those are real painful memories.

Steve Sax said...

I thought the Italians had nothing on the Dutch, penalty-kick-shankers extraordinare!

Steve Sax said...

Whoops, here's the link about the Dutch and their inability to convert the penalty shot.