Spain To Win Euro 2012?
The European and World Football Champions are heading to Poland and the Ukraine to defend the title they won four years ago in 2008... and everyone from the bookies, to the man on the calle - and even Michel Platini - has them as favourites to retain the trophy. Asked recently who he thought could win Euro 2012 and the UEFA president only named two teams of the 16 competing:
"In terms of favourites, I always make the difference between those who can win and those who are difficult to beat. I would put Germany and Spain in the first category. Spain has huge experience. They would like to retain their title with an outstanding generation of players."
Spain head to Eastern Europe having won all of their pre-tournament friendlies, albeit not always in super-convincing fashion (it took a goal six minutes from time to see off China, 1-0), and with a squad in decent condition. Of those ruled out through injury though, Carles Puyol and David Villa are big misses. The latter in particular is worry for Spanish fans - he is after all the country's all time leading goalscorer, with 51 goals! Nonetheless with able deputies in the form of Pedro, Torres and Llorente and enough world class midfielders to put out two teams, Barcelona Life is putting their 50 cents on Spain making it three major trophies in a row for this incredible team.
Spains' full squad for Euro 2012, reads:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina, (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla)
If you're stuck in BCN (poor you!) during the tournoi, here's a list of great bars where you can watch Euro 2012 live on TV.