Monday, June 30, 2008

Spain is the Champion of Euro 2008

Spain has become the champion of Euro 2008. This is their second triumph in European Championship since their first victory in 1964. Spain defeated Germany 1-0 thanks to a first half goal from Fernando Torres.

The first half was very exciting as both the sides went for attack. In fact, it was full of attack and counter attack. Both sides created some good chances. Initially, Germnay seemed to be more attacking but, with time progresses Spain came out and went for attack. Spain got a good chance in the 15th minute which could be an own goal for Germany. The ball being deflected off Christoph Metzelder, was going towards Germany goal post,e but goalkeeper Jens Lehmann saved it for a corner. Then in the 23rd minute, Fernando Torres headed to a cross from the right side, but it hit the side bar. Just 10 minutes later, Fernando Torres put Spain ahead in the match. Receiving the ball from back, Torres had to defeat Philipp Lahm and German Goal keeper to send the ball into the left corner of the post. The goal came as a confidence booster for Spain as they created some more chances immediate after the goal. German Captain Michael Ballack’s half volley was saved by Spanish defense.

Germany started the second half with attacking mode. However, gradually, Spain came out and created more chances than Germnay in the second half. In fact, the second half was as exciting as the first half, though I will put the first half ahead of the second half. Spain created some crucial chances from counter attack. However, overall Spain was better side in the match and I think, they deserve the victory. Spanish midfielder Marcos Senna missed an easy chance eight minutes off the match. Germany also created some good chances, but Spanish goal keeper Iker Casillas continued his excellent job in the goal.

I think, the match was enjoyable, if not excellent or classic. It is a great night for Spain as they recaptured the European Championship title after 44 years now. It is all about Spanish celebration both in Austria and Spain.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Top Goal Scorers in Euro 2008

Euro 2008 will come to end with the final match between Germany and Spain tomorrow. Football world is waiting for an excellent finish of Euro 2008, even though the tournament was full of excitement and presented with some classic matches from the group stage. A couple of teams indicated that they have enough talent to be the emerging side in world football. Very few expected Turkey and Russia at the semi final of the tournament. However, the two sides showed enough talent and skill impressing the football fans as well as the pundits.

A few players also emerged from this tournament who could be the future star of world football. Two Russians Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko, Hakan Yakin, Arda Turan, Nihat Kahveci are in the short list of new stars. Here, I am giving the list of top goal scorer of Euro 2008 tournament.




No. of Goals Scored

1st Place

David Villa



2nd Place

Lukas Podolski



Roman Pavlyuchenko



Hakan Yakin



Semih Senturk



3rd Place

Ivan Klasnic



Michael Ballack



Bastian Schweinsteiger



Miroslav Klose



Ruud van Nistelrooy



Robin van Persie



Wesley Sneijder



Andrei Arshavin



Dani Guiza



Zlatan Ibrahimovic



Arda Turan



Nihat Kahveci



David Villa might not be able to play in the final even though he is currently at the top of the goal scorers’ list with four goals to his credit, followed by German forward Lukas Podolski with three goals. Podolski could surpass Villa in the final match with a couple of more strikes. Except the German, there is no other active player in the second position who could challenge Villa’s four goals. Now, let us see if David Villa can walk away with the title of tournament’s highest goal scorer, even though he is most likely to miss the final due to thigh injury.

Related article:


Spain vs Germany: What will be the Score?

This is the match which is going to bring the attention of whole football world at one point tomorrow. The final match of Euro 2008 between Spain and Germany is now the centre of all attention in world football. The million dollar question is that who are going to win the Euro 2008 title through the final match on Sunday.

Well, that is a very big question to answer. Both the sides have been in excellent form in the knock out stage. Germany defeated Turkey 3-2 to reach the final, while Spain demolished Russia 3-0 in the semi final. I think, both the teams will start the match a bit safe, and will come into attack with time approaches. I think, German defense was not up to the mark in the semi final, but they were excellent in the midfield and in the attack.

I think, the match could go into extra time, or even on penalty shootout after a goalless draw. Why? Well, in the first hand, I would like to mention that Spanish striker David Villa and German playmaker Michael Ballack might miss the final match in what it would affect the attacking prowess of both the sides. Moreover, I think, both sides may not go for all out attack unless they concede any goal because knowing the fact that taking a bit of risk at this level of the tournamnet could cost either side heavily.

Whatever the score is, I think, both the sides have chance to win the title of Euro 2008. Let us just hope not to experience a dull match in the final of the tournament.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Germany vs Spain Preview and Live Score

If you are interested to get the live score and updates of Germany vs Spain Final match of Euro 2008, then visit the following link:

Germany vs Spain: Live Score and Updates

What is the coming attraction in the football world? I think the answer of the question is even easier than the answer of another question: how many players a soccer team consists of on the field. Yes, Germany vs Spain final match of Euro 2008 is the latest catch in world football with supporters of both sides eagerly waiting for a classic match. The match will take place at the Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna in Austria on 29 June 2008. Not only the European fans, but also football fans across the world have kept an eye on this match to know the next European champion.

Match: Germany vs Spain, Final Match, Euro 2008

Date: 29 June 2008, Sunday

Venue: Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna in Austria

Kick off: 19:45 (British Standard Time)

Three times Europe Champions Germany and the winner of Euro 1964, Spain are the two football powerhouses. There is no doubt; both Germany and Spain were among the favorites of Euro 2008 tournament before the kick off of the tournament. Both teams showed some excellent piece of football in their way to the final. Germany seemed to be out of track after losing to Croatia in the group stage, but they came back in style defeating Austria, Portugal and tournament’s surprise package Turkey. Spain, on the other hand, is unbeaten in the tournament.

Spain is now dreaming of winning their second Euro title after 44 years as Spain won the title of 1964 European Championship. The last time Spain reached the final of a Euro tournament was 24 years back in 1884 European Championship where they were beaten by host France in the final. Since 1984, Spain did not reach the semi final of any tournament of Euro before the ongoing Euro 2008. So, in Euro 2008, Spain has already earned something that they did not earn for the last two decades. Thus, Luis Aragones boys seem not to be under pressure because they have already achieved something to cherish about. However, it does not mean that Spain will leave even a slightest of ground for Germany in the final. Rather, I guess, Spanish players are gearing up to win the title of Euro 2008 tournament.

Germany, in contrast to Spain, is the most successful team in the history of European Championship with three titles to their credit. Moreover, Germany holds the record of highest 10 times appearance in European Championship. Last time Germany won the Euro title was in 1996. However, since then their performance was poor being knocked out of the previous two tournaments from the group stage. Coming into Euro 2008 in the back of disappointing performance in the previous two tournaments, Germany was ready to take any challenge up to prove their ability once again in European Championship and they did it pretty much successfully, despite the blow received from Croatia in the group stage. Now, Germany is also look to win their fourth Euro title. Germany won Euro titles in 1972, 1980 and 1996, besides two runner-up titles in 1976 and 1992. So, Germany has quite a lot success stories in the tournament to take inspiration from ahead of the final match.

Germany vs Spain: Road to the Final
The road to final was different for Germany and Spain. When Spain reached the final with 100 percent winning record, Germany had to face some problem in securing a spot in the quarter final stage. Germany started the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Poland. However, Germany suffered a blow in the second match being defeated to Croatia in the second match leaving Germany in a must-win match against Austria in the final group match. Germany won the match 1-0 and won a quarter final place as the group B runner up.

In the quarter final, Germany faced in form Portugal and football analysts were skeptical about Germany’s progress to the next round ahead of the Portugal match. However, Ballack and his team mates outclassed Portugal 3-2 in an entertaining match in the quarter final. Germany faced Turkey in the semi final and knocked them out 3-2 showing excellent performance throughout the match. Thus they reached the final and waiting to face Spain in the tournament final.

Spain started Euro 2008 campaign in style by defeating Russia 4-1 thanks to the hat trick from David Villa, tournament’s current top scorer. In the second match, Spain defeated Sweden 2-1 and confirmed their entrance in the quarter final as the Champion of Group D. Thus Spanish coach featured a second string side against Greece in the last group stage match that Spain won by 2-1 after coming back from 1-0 down in the match.

Spain faced Italy in the quarter final and outclassed the current world champions 4-2 in penalty shootout after the goal less 120-minute action. Spain then defeated in-form Russia 3-0 in the semi final to reach the final or Euro 2008. Now, Span is gearing up to claim their second European Championship title in this tournament.

Germany vs Spain: Head to Head and Recent Form
Germany and Spain faced each other four times so far, with both teams winning once each and other two matches ended in draw. Last time, the two teams met was in a friendly match in 2003 where Spain defeated Germany 3-1 which came three years after Germany’s 4-1 triumph in another friendly match in 2000. Out of their four meetings, three were in friendly matches, while the only match held between Germany and Spain in a competitive tournament came in 1994 world cup, where the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

So, in terms of head to head performance, both sides have similar success. However, if you look back to their recent performance, Spain is way ahead of Germany. To be honest, Spain holds a seemingly incredible form of recent with 21-match unbeaten streak in which Spain won all of its last 11 matches in all competitions.

Germany, on the other hand, won five out of their last seven matches besides a defeat and a draw. So, their performance is not flawless. However, I think, Germany has been in an excellent run at this moment after three straight victories at the crucial stage of the tournament. So, I do not think that, Germany’s recent form could give any indication of relax for Spain, while Germany even does not need to worry about the excellent form of Spain because it is going to be a different match. In fact, Spain and Germany will not bother about their past, rather they will emphasize on the match.

David Villa Out of Euro 2008 Final against Germany
It is really bad news for the fans of Spain as in form striker David Villa is facing a thigh injury and could miss the action of final match against Germany. Though Spain coach Luis Aragones earlier said wrote off his chances of playing in the final match due to a thigh strain, Aragones later on admitted that he would again assess the condition of Villa before keeping him out of his plan for the final match. However, the striker is disappointed with his injury, but happy with team’s success. If David Villa can not be fit in time for the final match, Cesc Fabregas is expected to be in the starting line up of Spain. The centreal midfielder could be vital for Spain in the final.

Sky Sports reported:

"I injured myself first of all while sprinting, but the pain got worse and it went when I took the free-kick," Villa told reporters.

"At the start I was really upset because I knew it was going to be very difficult to play in the final if we got there. But after the way the team played in the second half I cheered up and now am really happy despite everything.

"I just want to enjoy Sunday and celebrate winning the European Championship with everyone else.

"This is an achievement for the whole squad and we want to take the glory on Sunday."

Germany coach Joachim Low Praises Spain
Joachim Low praised Spain for their scintillating performance in the 3-0 victory over Russia in the semi final. The Coach indicated Spain’s continuous performance in tournament. Low gave special attention to the Spanish midfielders and was full of praise for the Spanish midfielders.

Sky Sports reported:

"The Spaniards put in an impressive performance," Low told the DFB's official website.

"They have played the whole tournament at the highest level and have been technically very good.

"They proved in impressive fashion that they were the better team against the Russians and they have a more varied game than the Portuguese.

"Their midfielders constantly change positions and keep getting forward - all of which makes them hard to work out."

So, it is pretty clear that Low will have special plan for the midfielders like Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández and Cesc Fàbregas in the final match.

Christoph Metzelder: The Spanish Spy for Germany?

The defender plays for Spanish club Real Madrid in club football. However, ahead of the final match against Spain, Christoph Metzelder has come into lime light linking his connection with Real Madrid. Reports have it that the defender could provide important information regarding Spanish football from his own experience. He might know very well how to defeat his Real Madrid team mate goal keeper Iker Casillas. Terming Casillas and defender Sergio Ramos as a good colleagues, Metzelder said that his relationship with Casillas and Ramos will be put aside for the match.

AFP reported:

With Real team-mates goalkeeper Iker Casillas and defender Sergio Ramos in the Spain side, Metzelder says his friendship with them will be put on hold for the final's 90 minutes.

"They are good colleagues and I am looking forward to talking to them after the final, but for those 90 or 120 minutes, we will put our friendships aside," said Metzelder.

Euro 2008 Closing Ceremony: A Glittering Event Waiting for the Football Fans
No doubt, there will be some eye-catching performances by the local performers as part of the tournament’s closing ceremony on Sunday at the Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna in Austria before the match kicks off. Reports have it that, fans will be entertained by the performance of 400 performers in the closing ceremony of Euro 2008. The closing ceremony will take 10 minutes of amusing performances. The official song of Euro 2008, “Can You Hear Me” will be performed by Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias. Football and the 16 participating nations will be focused in the closing ceremony. The trophy will be presented in the VIP tribune, in stead of on the pitch, unlike to the last two Euro tournaments. A Basel-based organization, Uniplan Switzerland will add some special effects in the trophy-presentation ceremony.

Germany vs Spain: Online Live Score and Updates
I think, most of the football supporters from around the world are now planning to watch the match on television. However, it is also true that some of them will be fortunate to watch it on television due to the inaccessibility to the television channel the match will be shown live, or due to the personal or professional works. However, you don’t need to put your head down because you can still get the online live score and updates of the match from different live score websites. Here, I am giving some names of the online live score sites:

Live Score


Euro 2008


Sky Sports


You can pick up either Germany or Spain as the favorite for the match from your own point of view. However, considering the stage of the tournament and the ability of the participating teams, I am not going to find out who is favorite in the match. The two teams play different style of football and if the two sides can really stick to their own style of football in the final then I think, it will only make the match more competitive and enjoyable in what has an indication of experiencing a classic final in Euro 2008 tournament.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Spain Reached Euro 2008 Final Beating Russia 3-0 in the Semi Final

Spain has reached the final of Euro 2008 thanks to three second half goals from Xavi Hernández, Dani Güiza and David Silva. By this victory, Spain confirmed their first appearance in a final of European Championship since 1984. Spain will bid for their second European success, first after 44 years, in the final against Germany on 29 June 2008. Spain was excellent throughout the match and created a number of good chances. If Fernando Torres did not miss a handful of chances, Spain could have won the match by 5 or six goals.

In the first half, Spain played well, but could not totally dominate over the Russian side, what they did in the second half. I hardly found any good attack from Russia in the second half except one which Spanish goal keeper Iker Casillas saved magnificently in the closing minutes of the match. In the first half, both Spain and Russia created a number of chances, but the match remained goal less. Spain did not give much room to Andrei Arshavin, Russia’s hero in their triumph over Netherlands. That was very important for Spain and they did it pretty much effectively.

From the very beginning of the second half, Spain started dominating over Russia and in the 50th minute, from Xavi Hernández brought the lead for Spain. The midfielder found a cross from the left and just tapped it into the net. As I mentioned earlier that Fernando Torres missed a lot of chances in the match. The striker was taken out of the field in the 69th minute and Dani Guiza came in place of Torres. Guiza took only four minutes to justify the Coach’s decision by doubling Spain’s lead in the 73rd minute thanks to an excellent goal. Conceding two goals, Russia went for all out attack, which often made their defense too much exposed. Spain confirmed their victory when David Silva scored in the 82nd minute of the match.

There is no doubt that Spanish fans are now celebrating this historic victory in Vienna in a befitting manner, but the only bad news for them is that striker David Villa picked up a minor injury and was substituted by Cesc Fabregas in the first half. Fabregas appeared with his real form in the second half guiding many attacks of Spain. However, two players: Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta- impressed me most throughout the match. Both the players were in excellent form in the match. Iniesta has been man of the match, but Ramos was more impressive with his superb run across the field. I see a future Roberto Carlos in Sergio Ramos who can go up and come down swiftly depending on the situation of the match.

Now, it is a big question if Spain can really stave of the challenge of Germany and take away with their second European title this time around. They are well known as an underachieved team and this is a good chance to come out of that bad patch and justify their worth as a football powerhouse.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Russia vs Spain Preview and Live Score

To get live score of Spain vs Russia Match, follow this link:

Russia vs Spain: Live Score and Updates

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of Germany vs Turkey first semi final match then visit the following link:

Euro 2008: Germany-Turkey match Live Updates

Russia and Spain are going to take on each other in the second semi final of Euro 2008 tournament on 26 June 2008, Thursday. The match will take place at the Ernst Happel, Vienna in Austria, where the final match of the tournament will also take place. To be honest, after experiencing Russia’s performance in their previous two matches, I think, Spain is perhaps going to face the toughest challenge from Russia in the second semi final, even though Spain demolished Russia 4-1 in their first match of the tournament.

Match: Russia vs Spain, Second Semi Final, Euro 2008

Date: 26 June 2008, Thursday

Venue: Ernst Happel, Vienna in Austria

The way Russia outclassed the tournament favorite Netherlands in the quarter final, Russian fans now have enough ground to hold their hope high ahead of the Spain encounter. Spain, in the same way, has achieved something to cherish so far in the tournament and knocked out reigning world champion Italy in the quarter final. I think, in Euro 2008 Spain has a very good chance to get out of the bad patch of falling short of expectation of the fans in major football tournament. Spain has been playing consistently well so far in the tournament and Spain is the only semi finalist of Euro 2008 who progressed to quarter final as the group winner.

The last time Spain played in the final of a major football tournament was in Euro 1984 and since their appearance in the final of that tournament, this is going to be the first time Spain has reached the semi final in a Euro tournament. Spain’s biggest achievement in football came 44 years back when Jose Villalonga’s Spain won the title of Euro 1964. However, for Russia, this is the first time they progressed to the semi final of a major football tournament. However, success is nothing new to the Russians. In fact, before the break up of the Soviet Union, the former USSR had some notable successes in the 1960’s. USSR won the first tournament of European Championship in 1960. Four years later in 1964, USSR became runner up in European Championship being lost to Spain in the final. They continued their success in the next two tournaments as well reaching the semi final and final of 1968 and 1972 tournaments respectively. USSR also reached the last four of 1962 world cup tournament.

Russia vs Spain: Road to Semi Final

Both the teams faced each other in their tournament opener and Spain emerged winner in style thanks to the hat trick by David Villa. However, ahead of a rematch in the semi final, it is also true that Russia will not leave any stone unturned to win the match this time around in what it would be a revenge of their humiliating defeat in the group stage. After their star striker Andrei Arshavin came back in action against Sweden in the last group stage match, Russia started appearing with their prime form and the presence of Andrei Arshavin has boosted up the confidence of the whole Russian team.

Russia bounced back in the second match to win over defending champion Greece thanks to the solitary goal by Konstantin Zyrianov. Even with that victory, Russia needed to win over Sweden in their final group stage match. Arshavin-inspired Russia pulled off a superb 2-0 victory over Sweden to reach the quarter final of the tournament. In the quarter final, Russia faced mighty Netherlands, who outclassed the world cup champion Italy and world cup runner up France in group stage. Going into the match as an underdog, Russia started off well in the match and from the very beginning started attacked. Two strikers- Roman Pavlyuchenko and Andrei Arshavin- appeared as constant threat to the Dutch defense and continued doing that throughout the match. As a result, Russia defeated Netherlands 3-1 in the match. I think, the victory was less important than the way they outplayed seemingly formidable Netherlands in the match.

As I mentioned earlier, Spain started the tournament defeating Russia 4-1 in style. Striker David Villa scored three goals becoming the first hat trick man of the tournament. In the second match, Spain defeated Sweden 2-1 and confirmed their place in the quarter final, leaving Coach Luis Aragones in a state to consider giving rest to some of his regular players for the last group stage match against Greece. However, Spain won 2-1 against Greece after coming back from a goal down in the match and it once again showed the strength of Spain squad because many of their regular players were rest against Greece and many reserve players stepped in the starting line up. So, Spain progressed to the last eight as the winner of Group D.

Spain encountered Italy in the quarter final of Euro 2008 where they defeated the world champions 4-2 in penalty shootout. As the 120-minute football action remained goal less, the match entered into the penalty shootout and Spanish goal keeper Iker Casillas saved two shots to lead Spain to the victory. The goal keeper played excellently well in the match and became the man of the match.

Russia vs Spain: Head to Head and Recent Form

The two teams faced each other on four occasions so far including their group stage meeting. Out of four encounters, Spain emerged winner thrice and the other match ended in draw. So, Russia does not have any victory over Spain since the break up of former Soviet Union. However, it does not mean that Russia will come into the match as an underdog. Russia won all of their last seven matches except the defeat to Russia. It shows the level of confidence Russia holds ahead of the match.

However, Spain looks formidable in terms of their recent form. I think, no other participating team of Euro 2008 has as impressive recent record as Spain has to their credit. Spain is now on 10-match winning streak and the team is now unbeaten for the last 20 matches in all tournaments. So, their recent form is really pretty much impressive and it is clear that the current Spain squad is full of confidence in the back of such an impressive recent performance. However, it may not help Spain against Russia who has nothing to lose in this match; rather has everything to win against Spain team.

Russia Coach Guss Hiddink Hopeful for a Surprising Victory over Spain

Guss Hiddink has nothing to prove as a coach, but has something yet to win on pen paper which he will cherish for the rest of his life. Well, the coach is well-known for bringing successes to whatever the team he managed in his career. The Dutch coach lead South Korea to the semi final of 2002 world cup, and this time it is Russia and the tournament is Euro 2008. Well, the truth is that Guss Hiddink could not yet win any title in any major football tournament with national teams, except the fourth place title of 2002 world cup with South Korea. So, if Russia can defeat Spain to reach the final of the tournament, then at least a runner up trophy will be added to Hiddink’s cap.

Now, ahead of the match, the coach is looking for a surprise win over Spain, even though he admitted the strength of Spain. While talking about Spain’s advantages, the coach said that Spain had a strong league and their players had been together for a long time. However, still Guss Hiddink is hoping for a victory over Spain in the match.

dw-world reported:

Hiddink said that Spain "like to play like we like to play."

"I don't think we are fitter when I see the Spanish team play. It is not just fitness that will determine it," he said.

Spain, moreover, had the advantage of having players that had been together for a longer time, Hiddink said.

"Besides, they are playing in a league which is very strong, whether it is the English or Spanish, plus they play Champions League in between, which gives them a lot of potential," he said.

"Our players don't have that, but I hope I will be surprised."

Andrei Arshavin: New Star of Europe Attracting the Big Clubs

The Russian striker has become the center of attention of the big clubs from Europe like Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona. With his excellent performance in the last two matches, he could attract the clubs and it is possible that the striker could move to England or Spain next season. Currently he is playing for Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. Chelsea’s Russian owner has recently shown interest on Andrei Arshavin and asked his newly appointed coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to bid for the striker. However, Andrei Arshavin himself has expressed his wish to move to Spain and indicated Barcelona as his favorite place to go. No doubt, it will inspire the striker to continue his impressive form against Spain in the semi final.

Andrei Arshavin vs David Villa

You know that Andrei Arshavin and David Villa are the mains strength of Russian and Spanish attack. So, there could be a competition between the two strikers as well. Though their face to face encounter will be with the opponent defenders, there could be a competition between the two strikers. Villa is currently the highest goal scorer of the tournament with four goals to his credit, while Arshavin has two goals to his cap. So, Arshavin has a good chance to become the highest goal scorer if he could lead his team to the final. There is no doubt, the opponent defense will definitely have the plan to stop the two strikers. In fact, Andrei Arshavin and David Villaake could make the difference in the match.

Russia vs Spain: Online Live Score and Updates

I know that many of you are now eagerly waiting for this seemingly exciting encounter of Euro 2008 and planning to manage your time to enjoy the match on television. However, it is also true that some of your might not be that much fortunate to be able to watch the match live on television due to personal or professional works, or inaccessibility to the channel the match will be shown live. If this is the case, then do not put your head down. You can get the online live score and updates of the match from different online live score websites. Here, I am giving some links of some of the online live score sites from where you can get the online live score and updates of the match:

Live Score
Euro 2008
Sky Sports

I would not like to pick up a favorite team for a match at this stage of such a big tournament, when both the participating teams are at their prime form ahead of the match. Russia vs Spain semi final encounter has exactly what it takes to be a classic match. I would not be surprised if the match wins the ‘match of the tournament’ status at the end of Euro 2008. Now, let us hope to see an entertaining and mind blowing match at Ernst Happel in Vienna.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Germany vs Turkey Preview and Live Score

If you are interested to get the online live score and updates of Germany vs Turkey first semi final match then visit the following link:

Euro 2008: Germany-Turkey match Live Updates

All of the four quarter final matches of Euro 2008 have already been completed with only three matches left in the competition to decide the new champion of Europe. In the first semi final, Germany will face Turkey on 25 June 2008, Wednesday at the St. Jakob-Park, Basel in Switzerland. Germany was pre-tournament favorite and naturally they were expected to come to this stage, but Turkey’s progress to semi final has been quite unexpected. It does not mean that Turkey does not have the ability to come to this stage. In fact, Turkey has received enough respect for their mental toughness and already earned the reputation of a come-back side, following three come-from-back victories in the last three crucial matches.

Match: Germany vs Turkey, First Semi Final, Euro 2008

Date: 25 June 2008, Wednesday

Venue: St. Jakob-Park, Basel in Switzerland

Germany vs Turkey: Road to Semi Final
Neither Germany nor Turkey could easily progress to the knock out stage, requiring the result of their last group match to go in their way. Germany started the tournament with an easy 2-0 victory over Poland. However, it was against Croatia in the second group match where Germany suffered a heavy blow after losing the match 2-1, which left Germany on the verge of elimination from the group stage. Germany needed a victory against Austria in final group match and a superb free kick goal from Captain Michael Ballack clinched a 1-0 victory for Germany ensuring a quarter final berth. Germany progressed to the quarter final as the runner up of Group B.

Germany faced another tournament favorite Portugal in the quarter final. Given their recent form, Portugal was slightly favorite in the match, but an inspired German team outclassed the Portuguese side and won the match 3-2. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Klose and Ballack scored for Germany, while Nuno Gomes and Postiga scored the two goals for Portugal in the match. Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger was elected man of the match after showing an excellent performance before being substituted by Clemens Fritz in the 83rd minute.

Turkey, similarly, saw a hard competition for securing the second place in group A. Turkey started the tournament with a 2-0 defeat to Portugal and was not impressive in the first match. Turkey went in to the second match against co-host Switzerland knowing a defeat would seem them eliminated from the tournament. However, an injury time goal thanks to Arda Turan clinched them a 2-1 victory over Switzerland. Still, Turkey did not have a strong ground to progress to the quarter final ahead of the final group match because Turkish side needed a victory over strong Czech Republic side. However, confident Turkey team overcame Czech challenge setting one of the best come back victories in the history of European Championship. Turkey was trialing 2-0 with 15 minutes left in the match against Czech Republic, and at that time even a die hard fan of Turkey could not dream of a 3-2 victory that was actually materialized thanks to a 75th minute goal from Arda Turan and two goals from Nihat Kahveci in the 87th and 89th minutes of the match, giving a thrilling end to the game. With that inspirational victory Turkey progressed to the last eight as the Group A runner up behind Portugal.

Turkey faced Group A winner Croatia who defeated Germany in the group stage. So, to some analysts, Croatia was a bit ahead of Turkey before the match. Fatih Terim’s boys continued their impressive run picking up a 3-1 penalty shootout victory after the 120 minute action ending in a 1-1 draw. Croatia also experienced the mental toughness of Turkey after conceding an equalizer in the injury time of the second half of extra time, just three minutes after Ivan Klasnic had put Croatia ahead in the match.

Germany vs Turkey: Head to Head and Recent Form
Germany and Turkey faced each other on four occasions so far, with Turkey winning twice and Germany once, other match ending in a goalless draw. So, you can see that Turkey is not less impressive against Germany. Their last meeting came two years back in 2005, when Turkey defeated Germany 2-1. The recent form of both the teams is pretty good. Both Germany and Turkey won five out of their last five matches in all competitions. However, Germany lost only one match against a draw, while Turkey lost two matches.

Well, one thing is for sure that both the teams are in impressive form at this moment given their performance in the quarter final matches in evidence. So, both the teams will go into the match full of confidence and would look to show their best to reach the final of Euro 2008.

German Midfielder Torsten Frings Fit for the Turkey Encounter
It is good news for the German teams that they are getting their experienced midfielder Torsten Frings for the semi final match against Turkey. Frings missed the quarter final victory over Portugal with fractured rib that he had suffered during Germany’s 1-0 victory over Austria in the last group match. However, Frings’s recovery from injury has come as a welcome-worry for German coach Joachim Loew. In the absence of Frings, the German coach changed his formation to 4-5-1 for quarter final match and played Thomas Hitzlsperger and Simon Rolfe in the centre midfield and both the players were excellent in the match. Now, Joachim Loew is in dilemma whether to stick to the winning combination or include Frings in the starting line up. However, the coach is very happy to get all 23 players fit ahead of the semi final match.

Reuters reported:

"I'm fortunate to be able to say that all 23 players trained today and are fit," Loew said at a news conference.

"Torsten trained completely normally, but with a protective bandage. He said he had no major problems. He will have to live with a nagging pain but as things stand he could play, yes."

"Frings is an important player and could return but, you know, we also say you should never change a winning team. I haven't put my mind to the lineup yet," said Loew.

Turkey Missing Key Players due to Injury and Suspension
Turkey has showed impressive performance in their last three matches and naturally, they can be hopeful once again ahead of Germany encounter. However, Turkey is suffering from injury and suspension that forced at least nine players out of their semi final match against Germany, leaving Coach Fatih Terim to pick up 11 players out of only 14 available players for the starting line up. This is definitely a big blow for Turkey. Striker Nihat Kahveci has been left out of the remaining tournament with thigh injury. Emre Gungor has also been out of the tournament with calf injury. Servet Cetin (hip and knee), Tumer Metin (groin) and Emre Belozoglu (hamstring) are doubtful for the semi final match.

I think, Turkey won’t mind with the absence of no. 1 goal keeper Volkan Demirel, who was sent off during Turkey’s 3-2 victory over Czech Republic in the final group match and missed the quarter final match and still has a match left to come out of the suspension, because experienced goal keeper Rustu Recbar who was excellent against Croatia in the quarter final match.

Turkey will also miss Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Emre Asik who are on suspension after being shown yellow card in two back to back matches. The only good news for Turkey is that defensive midfielder Mehmet Aurelio will be back for the semi final match after spending one-match suspension. Despite the injury and suspension problems, UEFA said that they would not allow Turkey to call up more players as it is out of their rules. So, it seems to be a very tough task for Fatih Terim to cope up with the situation and lead Turkey to continue their superb form against Germany.

Joachim Loew Full of Praise for Turkey
Germany coach Joachim Loew has praised Turkey for their excellent performance so far in the tournament. Indicating the mental strength and self confidence of Turkey, Loew termed Turkey as an uncomfortable opponent. He admitted that Turkey has some technically strong players and can always strike back.

BBC reported:

"After winning two or three games, the euphoria is huge and Turkey are extremely convinced in their ability," he stated.

"They have been an uncomfortable opponent throughout this tournament and have some technically strong players.

"Turks have a remarkable mentality, are self-confident and can always strike back."

Reports also have it that the coach considered resigning following Germany’s 1-2 defeat to Croatia in the group stage. However, he himself turned it down thinking of giving a flair of optimism to the team.

Germany vs Turkey: Online Live Score and Updates
There is no doubt, fans on both sides are eagerly waiting for this match. I think, many of you are already planning to watch the match on television, but some of you might not be that much fortunate to watch the match on television due to inaccessibility to the channel the match is being telecast on or lack of enough time. However, you can get the online live score and updates of the match even when you are on the go from different online live score websites. Here, I am giving some links of online live score websites:

Live Score
Euro 2008
Sky Sports

There are many who think Germany is favorite in the match. Yes, Germany is favorite on pen and paper, but I would not like to put any team ahead of their opponent before the match kicks off, considering the confidence of both sides ahead of the match. Though Turkey is missing some key players for the match, their main strength lies in the team unity, and Germany can not afford to take Turkey lightly. Similarly, Turkey will find it very difficult to break Germany as they did against Croatia and Czech Republic. In fact, both the sides have equal chance in the match. I just hope, players of both the sides will live up to the expectation of their fans showing their best possible performance in the match in what it could be another classic match.