The Euro Zone


A Soccer Miscellany

“In your job, when you get old, if they gave you a pension and say ‘go’ without respect, what would you think? Its not loyalty only, its correct.” – Giovanni Trapattoni (possibly) explaining why he stuck with the tried and tested at Euro 2012.

Highs and horrors:  après-match thoughts

CRISTIANO RONALDO is not the second-best player in the world, he is the 12th.

“The first 11 are the Barcelona players.

– So said Sandro Rosell … Barcelona president. He must have missed the Portugal v Netherlands game.

It is just a normal game against Greece and nothing else.

– Germany coach Joachim Loew – with a straight face.

The day he realises that no one is trying to hurt him and we all want him to do well, he will make progress.

– Italian coach Cesare Prandelli still trying to deal with the conundrum that is Mario Balotelli. The pair are pictured in conversation yesterday.

The match played out like an Alfred Hitchcock film.

– Spanish paper El País on the tension of their game against Croatia. They really do define “horror show” a bit differently to ourselves.

Croatia fined: Uefa in dock

UEFA HAS risked the anger of anti-racism groups by fining Croatia less for monkey chants at Mario Balotelli than the Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner was for displaying a sponsored pair of underwear.

The Croatian Football Federation was docked €80,000 for offences which included the racist abuse of the Italy striker by between 300 and 500 of the country’s fans during the Group C game in Poznan on Thursday, which was also dogged by accusations that a banana had been thrown on to the field.

The fine was significantly lower than the €100,000 punishment and one-match ban dished out to the Denmark striker Bendtner.