The Euro Zone
Compiled by MARY HANNIGAN
Dutch turn: On Afellay
So, has everything calmed down in the Netherlands after the team’s early Euro 2012 exit? Yeah, right.
Johan Derksen, former player and now a journalist, in a chat with Voetbal International: “Gregory Van der Wiel was working on everything except football. He has his own clothing line and was working too long on it. Plus he was working on hip hop music and was getting his hair done every day. Players hardly saw him without headphones on.”
Everyone else fully committed, though? “From day one Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Afellay were not part of the group. Afellay is hated in the Dutch camp. He came across as ‘I play for Barcelona, who do you play for?’ He was very arrogant. When it was someone’s birthday, he wouldn’t even chip in €10 for a gift.”
Other than that, Johan had no complaints.
Portugal's: Favourite son
Looking at the front pages of the Portuguese papers yesterday it was hard to figure out who exactly they’re crediting with their Euro 2012 success.
(In case you think, like we did ourselves, that ‘Poderosos’ is a type of foot illness – it means powerful).
Head for history: Maradona does the maths for Greece
“If 300 Greeks were able to hold off 10,000 Persians at Thermopylae, then 11 Greeks certainly will have a chance against 11 Germans.”
– Diego Maradona, in his wacky Times of India column, trying to give Greece a bit of hope before last night’s tussle.
“He’s ungrateful. Capello made himself understood and respected. Football has only one language: the ball.”
– Italo Galbiati, Fabio Capello’s ex-assistant, after Wayne Rooney hinted most of what the former English manager said was lost in translation. Galbiati’s prediction for tomorrow? “Italy to win 1-0.” No love lost, then.
“I think we can give people delight at a difficult time – but we are not a solution for the country.”
– Spanish coach Vicente Del Bosque trying to remind anyone who’ll listen that it’s only a game. Good luck with that, Vicente.
Ronaldo: Gets the message
Naughtiest banner from the Portugal v Czech Republic game? This one. Poor Cristiano, there’s just no escaping the Barca fella.
Ad of the tournament?
Well, this one is hard to top (which says: Messi is still better).