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And The Winner Is.....

With the European Championship getting underway Saturday, I'd like to know who you think is going to win the title. Cast your vote and then explain your choice in the comments section.

By Steve Goff  |  June 5, 2008; 10:24 PM ET
Categories:  European Championship  
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I always pick Italy, how can you go wrong with Italy.

Posted by: Harpo | June 5, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: moreno4prez | June 5, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I had Italy for 2006 world cup, but don't see them winning without Cannavaro. Portugal for me.

Posted by: Garret | June 5, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Italy? Well, I can't stand them, so I'm hoping they won't win. Of course, that never seems to stop 'em.

Germany? My Dutch neighbor informs me that Germany is in a kind of rebuilding phase so I'll trust him.

Spain? I don't know enough about them to have anything educated to say, but based on their lackluster finishing against the U.S. the other night and iffy D, I'm not confident in them.

Netherlands? Dutch neighbor says they have a dreadful D and keeper, so I'll trust him.

France? Eh... Much as I'd like 'em to win, I don't see it.

Other? Much as I love the underdogs, I don't think we're likely to see a repeat of Greece this time. I dunno, maybe the Czechs finally pull off a big one?

Portugal is my pick. I hate Ronaldo, but he is the ultimate game-changer and the rest of the team seems pretty loaded... So that's my pick.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 5, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

As much as it kills me, I'm going with Germany. I would love to see my Azzuri win, and even more so I would love for my school year home (Switzerland) to do well. France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, even Germany are all playing poorly in the run up friendlies. My mind says Germany, my heart says Italy/Switzerland (well I can't pick between the two, I live in Lugano)

Posted by: ReadingfromCH | June 5, 2008 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I simulated the tourney with UEFA Euro 08 on my Xbox, and Portugal won. Portugal will win.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Spain´s attack finally shows it´s potential and the defense will step up when it counts. Torres scores many goals.

Posted by: Mike B | June 5, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

NO love for defending champs Greece? Germany has a cakewalk through the first round with Poland, Croatia, and Austria. They have to be the favorites.

I would have picked Babel, Van Nilsteroy, Van Persie, and Robben to honor the 20th anniversary of VanBasten/Gullet/Rijskard's victory over the USSR, but with their injuries and the draw of what is possibly the worst group of death of any in history, the Dutch will be lucky to get out of group play.

My dark horse pick is Sweden. Never take them lightly. But they are unfortunately another "Other."

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | June 6, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

France looked sharp in the World Cup. For all I know, everyone on that team has retired, and now they suck, but I'll go with them.
Allez le Blu!

Posted by: David | June 6, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Also interesting to note that as of now, some 186 people have voted, but only 8 have posted comments. Makes me wonder how many read the blog, but never pipe up. Goff -- do you have any numbers on that?

Posted by: David | June 6, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Portugal is gonna win, stacked team and they are getting a little old so i think that this is their tournament

Posted by: xiopik | June 6, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Germany- they were great at the WC. I know they lost their coach and won't be playing at home this time but they are playing in a friendly backyard with their old coach's understudy and have two more years of experience. Losing Cannavaro hurts Italy too much.

Posted by: Capitol Hill | June 6, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse


No, I'm not joking. Were I joking, I would have said Austria.

Posted by: B.A. | June 6, 2008 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Azzurri are deadly but I think it's the year of the Czechs.

Posted by: Sean G | June 6, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Both Iberian teams are loaded. While it's hard to pick against Ronaldo, I give the nod to Spain on superior goalkeeping. Still, I root for Les Blues....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't England on the list? I left the team in good shape....

Posted by: Sven | June 6, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Alan | June 6, 2008 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Germany. They only played poorly in the qualifiers after they had wrapped up their qualification. To win a cup you need to be a steady team that always plays its best. Italy also does that, but they are a little dinged up. Spain and Portugal both play on emotion and each of them have players that, at some point, will melt down and start bickering with teammates on the pitch.

Posted by: 9 | June 6, 2008 3:52 AM | Report abuse

if I were betting and these were the choices, I would bet on "other". Yeah, the big shot glamour teams are listed individually, but "other" teams often sneak in. Greece is the reigning champion, Denmark won in 92 when they didn't even qualify for the tournament. "other" teams include Sweden, Czech Republic, Turkey, Poland, Greece, Russia, and Romania. That's a hell of a group. If Rosicky weren't hurt, I'd even consider the Czech Republic a favorite.

Posted by: 9 | June 6, 2008 3:58 AM | Report abuse

by the way, nice new toy Goff! did some IT guy show you how to put the polling tool in the blog? you should make this a regular feature. How about, "who will commit the stupidest foul to cost their team a game" (my choice is Spain's Xavi) or "which fan base will get the most air time during stoppage of play?" (my choice is Sweden).

Posted by: 9 | June 6, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I picked Portugal because Ronaldo is the best player right now, but I think it's wide open. Spain did not look good against the USA, but on paper they might have the strongest team. France has trouble scoring, and Italy is old and lost Cannavaro, and being in the Group of Death does neither of them any of favors. And Germany still has Lehmann in goal, otherwise I might pick them. Besides Austria, I wouldn't be surprised to see anyone else make a run.

Posted by: Rich C | June 6, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Would like to see Real Madrid ... er Man Utd ... striker Ronaldo make a clean sweep of the hardware this year but Germany with Podolski, Klose, Ballack, Frings attacking will prove to be too much.

Posted by: Hmmm | June 6, 2008 6:45 AM | Report abuse

France. Too much talent, and a hunger given their falling short in WC06. Spain is my sentimental pick, but they'll fall short yet again (their 1-nil vs. our red white and blue was not a good sign).

Posted by: Mixter | June 6, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

As Ballack goes so does Deutschland. With him in top form from the Champions League and Germany having the easiest group play of the other powerhouses, they should go deep into the tournament and win it all. Look for Klose to have a monster tournament.

Posted by: EFeige | June 6, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

agree with Mixter re: France.

Posted by: downtown | June 6, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I can see Italy and Germany going to head to head but in the end I see Italy winning. They both do well in big tournaments. I like Portugal or Spain to win but I don't see them going too well in huge competitions. Even though Ronaldo is the best player in the world right now he alone can't do too much without the rest of the team stepping but they do not.
Spain has the most youg talented players but they might choke and won't play smart wining games. There is always a surprises but Italy and Germany always play games that are not insparing and not too beautiful but in winning styles.
I can't believe the whole tourmanent tickets have been sold out in advance. I wish I was there but at least thanks to teachnologies we can watch them live except ESPN Classic stupid. Why they show on classic where not many people do not have.

Posted by: arlington for United | June 6, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

sorry type them really fast and saw a lot of errors up in my post.

Posted by: arlington for United | June 6, 2008 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Germany's team is stacked. Germany is efficient. Germany will clean house.

Posted by: jleppig | June 6, 2008 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Spain. Because I like Spain.

Posted by: Kire | June 6, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I voted Spain.

I watch a lot of La Liga and see plenty of players throughout the season who have a lot of potential.

I can see Germany going far.
I want Italy to be out early.

What about Srdan's team?

Posted by: Blancanieves | June 6, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I have two teams to root for - Germany and Switzerland.


Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | June 6, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Zee Germans will win it. They are stacked with quality and are mad efficient. Plus they DON'T have...

the bullseye that Italy will be wearing,
the unbelievable choking ability of Spain,
the massive Man U/Real Ronaldo (melo)drama that is Portugal,
the unbelievable disappointing ability of the Netherlands,
the lack of Zizzou that France never quite overcame.

That said, I will no doubt enjoy a dark horse from the "other' category making a run and causing some problems for the "big" teams. I shall enjoy this tournament very much.

Side debate? Which is the better tournament - Euros or World Cup?

Posted by: Kosh | June 6, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Germany is my pick too. Their playing style really should neutralize the attacking-football type teams. The guys with a lot of flair (Ronaldo, Figo, the Spanish too) should have trouble getting through Germany.

Germany is incredibly well-balanced. They can possess the ball. They can move forward with numbers easily. They play sound defense. As simplistic as that sounds, it's a recipe for winning.

I think we could end up seeing Italy meet Germany (not exactly going out on a limb with that one! haha).

Posted by: Dave | June 6, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Spain is a habitual underachiever, yes, but this is the point where they break thru. A lotta solid talent, some flair and industry....they'll pull it out. Espero que si.

Posted by: 22206 | June 6, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I gotta go with the Schweizer Nati...

OK, maybe they have no chance - but that Tranquillo Barnetta is $$$! And they're hosting.

Posted by: DE | June 6, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Other. Because the big guys can't seem to win this tournament lately.

Posted by: Joe Doc | June 6, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

World cup the best, euro the second best, uefa champions league the third best sporting events on the planet.

Posted by: arlingtonforunited | June 6, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Spain, though I do not subscribe to John Harkes's ridiculous theory that they are this year's Greece, an analogy and comparison so wrong, I don't know where to start (I expect that kind of crap from Wynalda, but not Harkes).

Posted by: Chase | June 6, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Side debate? Which is the better tournament - Euros or World Cup?

Posted by: Kosh | June 6, 2008 8:35 AM

Has to be World Cup, due to the stakes and history. However, to be fair, the recent African Cup was vastly more entertaining than the last World Cup.

Posted by: edgeonyou | June 6, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

My hunch says Spain with this being Cesc's international coming out party but they seem to under perform as a team, so I'm going with Germany.

Posted by: Gooner | June 6, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Germany in a rout.

Posted by: Real New York FC | June 6, 2008 9:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm going with Germany. They're good up the middle, Ballack's in good form, and Klose is still the most underrated striker in Europe. Plus, matches in Austria are the next best thing to home matches for Germany.

Posted by: Jeff M | June 6, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Spain because I want to be Spanish - to place my emotions in the team's barrel and have it carried speedily on the water, only to plummet over the waterfall and be smashed on the rocks below.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 6, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I have two teams to root for - Germany and Switzerland.
Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | June 6, 2008 8:29 AM

Only two? And you call yourself American (sneer).

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 6, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Deutschland will win. It's practically a home-tournament for them, plus they have a huge mannschaft.


Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | June 6, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Safe money ALWAYS goes to Italy and Ze Germans...

Spain may have the most talented team, but they ALWAYS choke in the tournaments somehow. Can't sleep on Portugal either. The dutch are stacked but often fail in these tournaments.

Best Teams: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Holland

Poor tournament history: Portugal, Spain
Great tournament teams: Germany, Italy

Dark horses: Croatia, Czech

Won't win a game: Austria, Switzerland

Poland won their qualifying group but have been putrid ever since.

Chalk Final 4: Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal (Italy in group of death - Holland or France could show here. Germany and Spain almost a lock. Portugal could lose out to Czech.)

Best chance for a Cinderella in the final 4: Turkey

Winner - Germany. Easiest road in. Italy with too much to do.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse


Easy group, they should finish 1st. Then get the 2nd place team from Group B, maybe Czech Rep. if all goes as normal and Portugal wins that group.

Might have to face Portugal in the semi's which will be tough, but I'll go with Germany as long as they get a grip on midfield in that game.

Italy, France or Netherlands will be out in the group phase. Spain will be Spain, get to the second round and lose to either Italy, France or Netherlands.

Greece wont repeat.

I wil say the final is Germany v. France/Italy.

Of course, Germany is terrible vs. Italy, so who knows? Then again, Greece won 4 years ago, whoever bet on that one made mad bank on the wager.

Posted by: Vic | June 6, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I am still puzzled as to how Greece won last time. As for Italy, they won't make it out of group stages, sorry. The Orange and French Blue will make it out. I am so looking forward to Monday 2:45 ET.

Posted by: NFeKPo | June 6, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I am still puzzled as to how Greece won last time.

Posted by: NFeKPo | June 6, 2008 10:10 AM

They defended wonderfully - and Portugal bottled it BIG TIME.

Posted by: Kev | June 6, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Croatia, baby

learn to fear Modric

Posted by: d, dc | June 6, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Two solid reasons why the World Cup is definitely better than the Euro Championship:

1. Brazil
2. Argentina

Honorable mentions: the sub-Saharan African teams, and the USA and Mexico (for local interest, at least).

The Euro tournament can produce exciting games, but soccer is part show business, and the World Cup is the bigger spectacle.

Posted by: SSMD | June 6, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Side debate? Which is the better tournament - Euros or World Cup?

Posted by: Kosh | June 6, 2008 8:35 AM

I've watched almost every match of both since Mexico Ochenta y Seis. The WC knockout rounds are always much to defensive. The groups historically are better at Euro's due to better parity than at the WC. The most entertaining to me have always been the Olympics. Usually more goals are scored there, and you get to see the breakout players before they've had to endure 10 years of hacking by English and Italian defenders.

Posted by: LeesburgSoccerFan | June 6, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Kev, what Portugal did in the finals does not account for how Greece got there in the end.
Side note: WC is by far the best, euros 2nd, south american cup 3rd, and I can't believe I am saying this but based on last years performance (not including the finals) the African Cup of Nations a very close 4th.

uefa champions league is great don't get me wrong but something about nations competing and the atmosphere that it brings just sets international competitions apart.

Posted by: NFeKPo | June 6, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The Olympics are way to hit or miss, some teams don't even send their A squad, to be deemed a great soccer tournament.

Posted by: NFeKPo | June 6, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

plus they have a huge mannschaft.


Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | June 6, 2008 9:46 AM

It's gross :-)

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 6, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Holland will win.

Posted by: Goudaface | June 6, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

goan: half portuguese, half indian

viva portugal!!

Posted by: goanpride | June 6, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Also interesting to note that as of now, some 186 people have voted, but only 8 have posted comments.
Posted by: David |

in traditional internet fashion, perhaps those eight posters voted a couple dozen times! ;-)

Posted by: 9 | June 6, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Germany? Are you kidding?

viva la furia rojaaaaaaaa

Posted by: Spain | June 6, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Spain and Portugal are going to rip this tourney apart.
Spain's midfield is top notch, though they have a tendency to fall apart in tournaments. But they have players who can score (Villa and Torres), world class play makers (Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Alonso) great defenders and Casillas is fantastic.

Portugal is heavy in the midfield, and that will make them very fun to watch.

A word to the wise, keep a close eye on Joao Moutinho. I believe he is wearing #10 for Portugal. he is 21 and plays for Sporting Lisbon. Think of him as Deco's heir. Wenger has shown interest in him.

But then again, the Czechs and Croatians play beautifully. And the Dutch are always a sure bet for an exciting game.

So much to be excited about. This will be a good month.
Here's hoping that Italy bombs.

Posted by: bribri | June 6, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Germany!! (a totally biased pick, of course since my family is from Stuttgart). As a second (and less emotional choice, I wouldn't be surprised to see Spain finally win it all.

Posted by: Throwin | June 6, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Too bad ESPN2 is showing Euro games Sunday afternoon but relegated US v Argentina to ESPN Classic.

Just to be contrary I'm going to root for the team with the hot new Swedish coach to win Euro 2010.

Viva Mexico!!!

Posted by: garbaggio | June 6, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I agree, the World Cup is tops. But have you noticed how funny the group stages tend to be in WCs? WCs hosted outside of Europe tend to have more minnow upsets than those hosted on European soil. So that fluctuation tends to diminish the perceived value of the group stage matches from time to time (depending on who you ask). BUT once you get to the money rounds, I still think the WC is tops, because of the COMNEBOL giants. Plus nowadays you have to seriously consider the CAF sides (who I think are getting closer and closer to winning one).

The Euros come in 2nd for me as there is much more quality from the get go (group stages) than a WC.

For me though, I rank the Champions League third (one small notch above Coppa America). The reason being, is that the COMNEBOL giants tend to sometimes kill the Coppa by sending B or C sides when it's hosted in less than desireable places.

I did not get to see AC (thank you COMCAST) but from what I heard this year's tourney was something special.

Posted by: Kosh | June 6, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, AC = ACN (African Cup of Nations). My bad.

Posted by: Kosh | June 6, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Croatia, we have homefield advantage, and that includes playing against Austria Sunday :D

Posted by: Srdan, La Barra | June 6, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Of course the Dutch will win; too many ways for them to score goals. While the group looks tough on paper, Italy has an untested back line and France has the worst manager in the competition (how Domenech has kept his job is beyond me).

The one team that may surprise eveyone is Russia. Hiddink is simply the best manager tactically and he always gets his player up for matches.

Posted by: Orange14 | June 6, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Portugal. just a gut feeling - they've come so close, they've got to win sometime. and C. Ronaldo's the one to lead them to victory where so many have failed before. if he can keep a lid on the diving.

Posted by: dan boleo | June 6, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

IMO, the Germans are in for it, they have the least question marks of the major nations and a less demanding group stage.

I also think Podolski, with something to prove to Bayern, is going to have a monster of a tournament.

Posted by: Max J. | June 6, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Torres....enough said. Viva Espana!

Posted by: Green Hornet | June 6, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The Italians can't win w/o Canavaro.

The Germans are overated.

The Dutch can't finish.

The French haven't regained their form.

The two teams that stand a little above the rest are Spain and Portugal.

Portugal is loaded, and while the "Golden Generation" is now in their golden years, the Portugese youngbloods will be the ones to carry the team to final round. However, I don't think Portugal will win. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Ronaldo will get injured or choke and leave the door open for another team... but who?

While Spain is notorious for under achieving, this year will be different. I'm predicting a Spanish victory. Viva La Furia Roja!

Posted by: Dan Z. | June 6, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

after a disappointing world cup at home, germany is going to take the Euro2008 pretty decisively in the second friendliest venue possible. Look for Klose to earn another golden boot for his troubles while riding a fantastic defensive effort.

Germany rebuilding? i guess you can call it that, because they are fielding 8/11 of their world cup squad.

Posted by: DudeAbides | June 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Final Four:
Czech v Germany
Italy v. Netherlands

Germany v. Italy

Winner: Germany (and it kills me)

Portual and Spain both come out of the round robin but falter (again) in the first round.

The defence hold for Italy, yet again, but the loss of Cannavro dooms the Azzurri against the German attack.

Fozza Azzurri!

Posted by: AzzurriCampioni! | June 6, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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I like C.R ,He is not sexy,but funny,so he is very popular in a famous dating site for tall singles and tall admirers,"~~~~~ tallchat com ~~~~~".There are full of super models on that site.

Posted by: jane | June 6, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

after a disappointing world cup at home, germany...


huh?? getting to the semis was considered a success at the time. the german populace was very happy with that perfomance. most thought that the "young, living in california dude" klinsman would bottle it..


WC >> EUROS/CAF >> COPA/Champions league

There will be plenty of tix for the next CAF tournament(angola). throw in a safari and a bout of malaria and the trip will be well rounded..


Posted by: mizage | June 6, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Germany will win. They are sick. Although Podolski is a punk coward who flashed the Nazi salute in the World Cup during a game after he scored. What makes that more ridiculous is the fact that he is from Poland, the first country to get invaded by Hitler.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I know its hard to see the Nazis losing this one but Euro is always the venue where less hailed, passionate teams can make a play. Im gonna throw my lot in with the Russkis because of the Gus Hiddink factor. Theyve stopped the Germans before and can do it again!

Posted by: Mayor Of NW | June 6, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I love Spain, it is the best country outside of the USA. They play great futbol, but they just are not winners. The people there don't expect to win.

Posted by: Bob | June 6, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I picked Netherlands, but think Germany will win in the Final.
Too bad Scotland didn't qualify, or Ireland for that matter.

Posted by: Dadryan | June 6, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Germany will win. They are sick. Although Podolski is a punk coward who flashed the Nazi salute in the World Cup during a game after he scored. What makes that more ridiculous is the fact that he is from Poland, the first country to get invaded by Hitler.

Posted by: Fred | June 6, 2008 1:42 PM


Are you the only person that remember's this happening?

Germany vs Poland was a compelling game, much commented upon and watched by many millions like myself. Seems like it might have generated some memorable controversy at such a media-saturated event.

Posted by: garbaggio | June 6, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

BBC is reporting that Euro 2008 will be broadcast in 200 countries and will be viewed by approximatly 8 billion people. Wow. Can't wait to go to the bar and watch it because of the stupid espn classic. I don't why they scheduled a game on a channel that not many people have.

Posted by: td | June 6, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I will go with the sauer krauts.

Posted by: MR Caretaker | June 7, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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