Love it or hate it, for the next three weeks the television schedule will be bombarded with wall-to-wall coverage of the nation’s favourite sport. Yes, it’s that time again when we pretend that we’re world beaters just before a nil-nil draw with Sweden. It’s time for football (or soccer for our friends across the pond).
As giddy as we are to discuss the merits of the Greek defence and to complain about how the Spanish always try and walk it in, we realise that not everybody shares our passion, and that this is, after all, Collar & Elbow Wrestling. With this in mind, we’ve decided to try and make 2012 Euro Championships a little more wrestling-fan- friendly, by trying to help you choose which team to support. Here goes…
Choosing Your Team
There are sixteen teams in Euro 2012, and only one of them is England. Do not make the same mistake as my girlfriend and think that anybody who plays in England also plays for England. When the inevitable happens, and England fail to make it past the group stages, you’re going to want somebody else to cheer to stave off your Emmerdale Farm withdrawal symptoms. But who should you chose? Well, it’s really quite simple. All you have to do is think of your favourite wrestler. I’ll give you a moment to decide…got it? Good.
If You Like John Cena, You’ll Love Spain
They’ve always been an attractive, charismatic team that didn’t quite have what it took to “main event”, but that all changed when Spain finally won the big one at Euro 2008 and followed it up with a World Cup win in 2010. Now after so much success in so little time, “Super-Spain” are entering the backlash period. Star Striker Fernando Torres has had a lacklustre couple of years, stuck in a heatless feud with Didier Drogba, yet still gets picked. They’ve been accused of becoming somewhat predictable, but on the day, can deliver like no other nation can. They also sell a hell of a lot of shirts.
If You Like Dolph Ziggler, You’ll Love Italy
Italy are always the tournament show-offs. With their flair and ability tempered by a strong grasp of the basics, Italy are the sleaze balls we love to hate. Their defence isn’t as strong as it once was and they lost more than they won last time around. They’re nobody’s favourites to win the Euro’s, but there’s no doubt that they will provide plenty of drama and look great in defeat. They are the best at selling in the business, as anybody who saw Marco Materazzi’s bump off Zidane’s headbutt can attest to.
If You Like The Undertaker, You’ll Love Germany
The dominant force in world football for as long as anybody can remember. Germany are rarely beaten when it matters on the big stage. They have changed with the times too, evolving from a methodical brute of a team to a more well rounded, modern unit. Their reputation often precedes them, such is the aura that surrounds these evergreen giants of the game. They have a manager called Joachim Low, which sounds a bit like The Undertaker’s first manager, Brother Love.
If You Like Jack Swagger, You’ll Love Greece
Unfashionable Greece had the run of their lives in 2004, beating crowd favourite Portugal in the final and clinching the European title. Who cares that they were probably the most boring team in the tournament that year? They had a great manager, fierce discipline and amazing fitness and self belief. Perhaps the least likely champions of the last twenty years, nobody can deny that at one time Greece were the champions, even if not many are quick to remember their run at the top.
If You Like Kofi Kingston, You’ll Love The Netherlands
Holland have all the skill in the world and are well known for their crowd pleasing attack, yet when it comes time to transferring that potential into big wins they have found themselves lacking. Nobody can quite put their finger on why this is but many point to a lack of team togetherness that has seen their feet cut out from under them time and time again. They are sure to entertain, but will behind-the-scenes antics derail them once more?
If You Like The Miz, You’ll Love France
France are fairly recent winners, taking the title on home soil back in 2000. They’ve had a decent run since then, mixing it with the big boys on occasion, but their recent decline has been rapid. Underlined by a lot of backstage politicking, the France team found itself future-endeavoured early on in the 2010 World Cup, and the infighting continued to disrupt the team. Undoubtedly talented, if a divisive figure, France could go far…or they could be bumped to the youtube preshow.
We hope this helps you some way to picking a team to support at this months European Championships. I’m sure there are more comparisons to be made. Feel free to add your own to the comments section below!
In the meantime, enjoy the football, and if you can’t enjoy the football, the Emmerdale Farm omnibus is usually on a Sunday afternoon.
This article was written by Chris Pilkingon.