Saturday, 14 June 2008

Vote 'yes' to Europe

Well the Irish voted 'no' to the Lisbon Treaty but outside of politics it has to be a resounding 'yes' to Europe. Well, to the European Championships at least. I can not remember an international tournament of this quality. Both European Championships and World Cups have been a bit of a let down for some time now in terms of footballing quality. The class of 2008 is not disappointing, however. There must be ten players of transcendent quality in this tournament. About four of them play for the Netherlands.

France were blown away 4-1 by the Netherlands and I can not remember a better 45 minutes of international football than the second half last night.

The highlights are available here.

The move that led to Van Persie's strike was mesmerising. Van Nistelrooy has become a complete player since joining Real Madrid and his quite stunning swivel and flick that set up the attack demands to be watched again and again. Then to top it off Robben and Sneijder's strikes were two of the best goals you will see.

Admittedly, the French side does seem to be well past its sell-by date, with Makelele and Thuram in particular struggling to keep pace, but they were annihilated by the quality of the orange attack.

I'm sticking with my original prediction of Spain for now but, at the top of their game, the Netherlands are going to take some stopping.

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