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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I think I'll drop in regularly during the tournament. Looking forward to it, yeeee haw.

Anyway, to the point. Those of you talking up Germany, speculating about Spain being fatigued, wondering about the impact of Villa and Puyol missing... let's lay all these things to rest once and for all.

We're witnessing the best Spanish NT ever in 2012, and one of the best NT in the history of the sport.

Football is a funny old game, where anything can happen and anyone can have a good or bad game or even a good or bad tournament - that's one thing we love about the sport, and you German, Dutch, French etc supporters should be more grateful about it than ever. For if this were another sport, like Baseball or Basketball, where the quality of a side's players is the defining attribute, then it would be a simple cakewalk.

Let me debunk one by one the tired arguments used by the heart to try and convince the head.

Spain will be fatigued. Bollocks. Why would Germany, the favorite of so many, be any less fatigued? I don't quite understand why. Did the German season end months before the Spanish season? No. Did not a German team (providing a host of players for the NT) play until the CL final? Did said side not also play the entire German cup? Did not the other side providing most of Germany's players also have a long league campaign and play the final of the cup? If you argue Real Madrid and Barcelona had long seasons, why not Bayern and Dortmund? And there are two probable starters for Germany who play for Real Madrid. If you were to go over the numbers I'd be surprised if Spain's players played many more matches than Germany's. It's a ridiculous argument.

Spain are getting old. Germany/whoever are young and eager.
Bollocks part II. Germany has the youngest team in the tournament, true. An average of 2.2 years younger than Spain. You discount Spain's goalkeepers - all at or over 30, and this negligible difference is reduced even more. In fact, Spain's average age is 26.7, which makes it the 6th youngest team in the tournament. In the 2 years since WC 2012 Spain's squad has on average aged only 1 year. They are far from old, they're in their prime. The only reason they aren't younger is because the very young players such as Muniaín, T. Alcántara, Beñat etc - many of whom would get into any other NT - have been left at home because Spain simply has so much talent aged 23-30. Truly a golden generation.

Spain won too much, they aren't as hungry as Germany/whoever. Infantile argument. It's funny to see people, even professional sports pundits, make the following self-defeating argument: Bayern players finished 2nd in the league, lost the cup final, and lost the CL final. They will be hungry for success. Barcelona players finished 2nd in the league and were eliminated in the CL semis - they are burned out. Barcelona not winning any major titles this year (for me, there are only 2 major titles a club can win) should serve as a bit of a wake-up slap in the face for their players, which is good news for Spain. And on top of all that, this side has the opportunity to be the first in the history of the game to win 3 major tournaments on the run. I.e. to go down in history as the best of the best. How's that for motivation? In 2008 Spain were good, but they were bottlers. In 2010, Spain were good, but no European team could win outside of Europe. In 2012 Spain were good, but no team has ever won 3 in a row.

No, Barcelona (and Real Madrid) players will be very hungry for success indeed - as hungry as anyone else, and with the confidence to back it up.

Spain will suffer, it lost two vital players in Villa and Puyol.
Erroneous. About their defense, S Ramos has evolved into a world class centerhalf, after a stellar year. Pique also seems to be on the up after a dip in form this year, just in time for the Euros - I'd take a Pique-Ramos central pairing over, well... any other pairing in world football right now.

But if Ramos is in the center, what about the fullbacks?
If anything the only player ever approaching average in Spain's previous tournament-winning sides was Capdevila, though he did his job, while Ramos excelled at right back - this year his equivalent could be Arbeloa, a solid if distinctly unspectacular player, but Jordi Alba is a marked improvement, so Spain is more or less where it was before. And there's also the possibility of playing Javi Martinez at center-back, and moving Ramos back to the right. A back four of J. Alba-Pique-J. Martinez-Ramos? Don't mind if I do...

Weak up front without Villa? Spain in my opinion was never particularly well-stocked - it is a team that has never needed a truly world-class striker on top of his game, a la fat Ronaldo, to win the game for them, although Villa occasionally had his moments (normally fizzing out at the business end of the tournament). Torres has been absolute crap for Spain since long before the last World Cup so that's nothing new, Villa's form had been dipping prior to his injury (he is 30, and we know strikers have shorter shelf-lives), whereas Llorente has made massive strides since WC2010, and Negredo had a fantastic run-in to the season and arrives in fine form.

There's very little difference between this Spain side and the side 2 years ago, in fact, Spain is arguably stronger than in 2010. Many of the key elements are still performing at a very high level: Xavi, Iniesta, Casillas, Ramos, Xabi Alonso; others seem to be recovering form after previous dips or injuries: Pique, Pedro, Torres; and others who were only bit-part players or not involved in 2010 have improved enormously: Llorente, Javi Martinez, Jordi Alba, Juan Mata, David Silva.

And finally:

Germany/Netherlands will be looking to get revenge against Spain. Yeah ok. Did you see the last games they played? Germany played off the pitch in successive matches? Netherlands only avoiding humiliation thanks to the most permissive ref a major tournament final has ever seen? Think again.

Anyway, it all kicks off tomorrow, and over the next few weeks we'll see some stellar matches: Spain-Italy, Germany-Netherlands-Portugal playing each other, France murdering England, and of course the knockout rounds, etc. Fantastic stuff I'm sure.

So may the best team win!! And by that of course, I mean Spain.
 

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Cachorro
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It's a good thing proclaiming your team's favoritism before a tournament has even begun never backfires, heh? :hmm:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just calling a spade, a spade
 

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Spain will suffer, it lost two vital players in Villa and Puyol.[/I] Erroneous. About their defense, S Ramos has evolved into a world class centerhalf, after a stellar year. Pique also seems to be on the up after a dip in form this year, just in time for the Euros - I'd take a Pique-Ramos central pairing over, well... any other pairing in world football right now.


Posted like a true Real Madrid fan.

Ramos is nowhere near the influence that Puyol showed down the years so consistently. Nowhere near.

Spain can still win the euros but let's be clear Ramos is not in Puyol's class in regards to influence on a team.
 

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The 12th Player
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im sorry but germany are the true favourites, by far.
germany has perfect defence, perfect mf, and perfect fowards. unlike spain who suffer from lack of defence, fowards,negredo and pedro aint good enough.
 

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10'un Adi Lefter
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Also, Benat isn't really young (25).
 

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I don't think many of the defences look that great tbh.

The team that wins euros won't be winning it because of how good their defence was you would think.

Possibly Italy could be an exception to that. If they can find a system and a few players to hit form to go along with Chellini but they are not as good as Italian sides in the past defensively. Italy will try to rely on being sound defensively at least.
 

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10'un Adi Lefter
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Neuer
Lahm - Hummels - Howedes - Schmelzer
Kroos - Schweinsteiger
Reus - Ozil - Gotze
Gomez

Just ridiculous.
 

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You know Hummels goes on walkabouts don't you? :D

Howedes is unproven really at this level of competition.

Mertesacker isn't getting any better.

I don't see any really good defences in this tournament.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Posted like a true Real Madrid fan.

Ramos is nowhere near the influence that Puyol showed down the years so consistently. Nowhere near.

Spain can still win the euros but let's be clear Ramos is not in Puyol's class in regards to influence on a team.
You're comparing a player whose best years are still ahead of him with a player whose best years are behind him. 8 years between them. And Ramos has the experience and titles Puyol could only dream about at his age. Talking about -influence- is an unfair comparison.

Also, I don't see what me supporting Madrid has to do with it, I think I've been as equanimous as anyone regarding the Spain players. Perhaps I should ask you: Spoken like a true Barça fan?

Puyol is still a very good player, don't get me wrong - but we also shouldn't paint his absence as a killer blow to Spain. It isn't, not in the slightest, thanks to the depth in talent they have.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Also, Benat isn't really young (25).
He's younger than the average and if Spain didn't have such depth would probably have been included based on his performances this year. The example still suffices.
 

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He makes some pretty good points. People are playing down Spain's chances too much, in general.

This Euro tournament is interesting because there are more candidates, yes, but Spain hasn't weakened quite as much as many make out.
 

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You're comparing a player whose best years are still ahead of him with a player whose best years are behind him. 8 years between them. And Ramos has the experience and titles Puyol could only dream about at his age. Talking about -influence- is an unfair comparison.

Also, I don't see what me supporting Madrid has to do with it, I think I've been as equanimous as anyone regarding the Spain players. Perhaps I should ask you: Spoken like a true Barça fan?

Puyol is still a very good player, don't get me wrong - but we also shouldn't paint his absence as a killer blow to Spain. It isn't, not in the slightest, thanks to the depth in talent they have.
No I'm comparing Ramos to Puyol because you stated that Puyol will not be a miss and you've just said it again and I think you are wrong.

Ramos is like a child on the pitch compared to Puyol.

But as said don't think defences will be the major factor in who wins this euros. So Spain could succeed even with that downgrade.
 

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The best Spanish side ever

All thanks to Barca.

Bravo Barca!:proud:
 

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Ramos has improved no doubt and he is a good defender in certain aspects.

But Puyol was one of the modern great footballers. Of course he will be a miss.
 

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Neuer
Lahm - Hummels - Howedes - Schmelzer
Kroos - Schweinsteiger
Reus - Ozil - Gotze
Gomez

Just ridiculous.
:howler:

At least get it right. Hummels, Schmelzer, Howedes, Kroos, Gotze, and Reus aren't going to start the first match. It will be something like this instead;

Neuer
Lahm-Mertesacker-Badstuber-Boateng
Khedira-Schweinsteiger
Muller-Ozil-Schurrle
Gomez​

There, your fantasizing is over. You're welcome.
 

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Posted like a true Real Madrid fan.

Ramos is nowhere near the influence that Puyol showed down the years so consistently. Nowhere near.

Spain can still win the euros but let's be clear Ramos is not in Puyol's class in regards to influence on a team.
He doesn't even mention that though. All he says is that a Ramos-Pique is perfect at this point for Spain and that he wouldn't take any other centerhalf pairing in the world at this point.

Puyi's influence will be missed for Spain but I don't know where you got that from his post about Ramos being just as influential.
 

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The competition is in Poland & Ukraine.

germany will feel like they are visiting historical neighbors, Spain will feel they are in another world.

Germany got this locked up.

They start on first gear, then put second, third, fourth, fifth and then in the final it will be the 6th gear of a Mercedes, Porshe (take your pick)

Any good side to put a safe bet on them?

As england are bowing to the Ewos, i want to cash in on this OBVIOUS choice.
 

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The competition is in Poland & Ukraine.

germany will feel like they are visiting historical neighbors, Spain will feel they are in another world.

Germany got this locked up.

They start on first gear, then put second, third, fourth, fifth and then in the final it will be the 6th gear of a Mercedes, Porshe (take your pick)

Any good side to put a safe bet on them?

As england are bowing to the Ewos, i want to cash in on this OBVIOUS choice.
Beemer.

But yeah Germany gonna win it.
 

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He doesn't even mention that though. All he says is that a Ramos-Pique is perfect at this point for Spain and that he wouldn't take any other centerhalf pairing in the world at this point.

Puyi's influence will be missed for Spain but I don't know where you got that from his post about Ramos being just as influential.
He clearly stated that the point of Puyol not being around any more and those making a point that the Spanish will be inferior in consequence in a certain department was wrong. Erroneous as he put it.

Spain will be a lesser side without Puyol no two ways about it. But they are capable of overcoming that handicap.
 
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