Group D Analysis3rd Jun 2016 |
Group D is one of two groups that consist solely of football veterans. By that, I mean that all teams have participated in the UEFA Euro previously, and some that have even done quite well. Group D consists of Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia – Spain are the favourites by far. They are the third best team in Europe if you believe the FIFA rankings, and sixth in the world at the moment. And if we look back at the last UEFA Euro, in 2012, they were (by far) the best team in the championship. Actually, they did not lose one single match during the tournament – including the qualification! And I am sure that you remember the embarrassing final, where they humiliated Italy by scoring 4 goals in the net of Buffon.
The Czech Republic has a long tradition of football, and they have participated in the UEFA Euro since the very beginning – with much help from the former USSR. They became champions of Europe in 1976 and finished second in the World Cup in ‘34 and ‘62. I have paid close attention to the Czechs over the last year, and, to be honest, have not seen anything particularly amazing about their team. They make silly mistakes and are only confident after scoring a couple of goals. However, they never lose big – many thanks to their legendary keeper, Petr Cech.
Turks are well-known for their football-mania. Plenty of Turkish players are showing awesome skills in Europe (just to mention Mesut Özil, even though he is a German national), and their national squad is very strong at the moment. Croatia, on the other hand, has few internationally known players to boast of, but the two great players they have could prove to be game-changing; Mario Mandzukic and Luka Modric could well carry the team into the knockout-round. Group D is one of my personal favourites, because of the strength of the teams.