With the European Championship (Euro Cup, Euros) 2012 starting in just 9 days, I decided I need to highlight the nations that will participate in this prestigious tournament.
Poland, one of the 2 nations hosting this tournament will start us off.
Poland has seen more success in the Olympics, rather than in any FIFA related tournaments, that doesn’t not mean it isn’t a strong team!
They held England to a draw, qualifying them for the 1974 World Cup which saw them progress to 3rd place with a 1-0 victory over Brazil with one of their own, striker Grzegorz Lato winning the Golden Booty (top scorer) for 7 goals. In 1982 they beat France, 3-2 winning third place again!
In 1972, they won the gold medal in the Olympics in Munich and silver in the 1976 (Montreal) and 1992 (Barcelona) Olympics as well.
In 2008, they made history by finally qualifying for the Euro Cup, and due to co-hosting with Ukraine, are automatically qualified this year.
The first one I notice is Wojciech Szczęsny (not sure about the first name but I believe you say Chesney for the last), goal keeper from Arsenal FC in London.
A few other players in the 23-man squad come from the German League and Cup winners, Borussia Dortmund, as well as other notable teams in Germany.
Find their names and domestic teams here.
Who will they compete against?
In Group A we have:
Greece (2004 Euro Champs)
Russia (1960 Euro Champs, 2nd in 1964, 1972 and 1988 and 3rd place in 2004)
Czech Republic (3rd place in 2004 and 2nd in 1996 Euros)
What cities will host in Poland?
The National Stadium in Warsaw (capital) will host 3 Group A matches (Poland vs Greece will open the tournament Friday June 8th at 6pm, I believe 9am Eastern US?), a Quarter-final and a Semi-final match.
The PGE Arena in Gdańsk will host 3 Group C matches and a Quarter-final match.
The Municipal Stadium in Wrocław will host 3 Group A matches.
Finally, The Municipal Stadium in Poznań will host 3 Group C matches.
What about the other Groups?
Oh? You want to know who else is in this competition? AWESOME
Group B (known as the group of death) will have these powerful teams:
Netherlands (2nd in the 1974, 1978 and 2010 World Cups as well as 4th in 1998. 3rd in the 1976, 1992, and 2000 Euros, 4th in 2004 and winners in 1988)
Denmark (4th in 1964, 3rd in 1984 and champs in the 1992 Euros)
GERMANY (In the World Cups, they were 3rd in the 1934, 1970, 2006, 2010, 4th in 1958, 2nd in 1966, 1982, 1986, and 2002 and winners in 1954, 1974 and 1990! In the Euros they were 3rd in 1988, 2nd in 1976, 1992 and 2008, and won in 1972, 1980 and 1996, WOW!)
Germany holds the most titles, with 3, Spain is the current champion (beating Germany in 2008) and have won it twice.
Portugal(4th in 2006 and 3rd in 1966, World Cups. They made it to the semis twice in 1984 and 2000 and lost to Greece in the 2004 final in the Euros).
I will tell you the other 2 groups NEXT WEEK!
These are exciting times here in Kiev, Ukraine, you should see what preparations are being made in this city. Everyone is exciting for the first Central/Eastern European hosted European Championship tournament!