Euro 2008: For the anoraks, it all points to Germany
Sat with my anorak on in Vienna in the Reuters Euro 2008 office I spent much of the week in the build-up to Euro 2008 buried in weird and wonderful statistics … and a lot of them point to Germany winning.
For example, the last time the Germans played on the second day of a European Championship final tournament was at Euro 96 in England. They beat the Czech Republic 2-0 at Old Trafford, Manchester and went on to lift the trophy for the third time.
Here, at Euro 2008, they play Poland on the second day of the tournament.
During qualifying for the Euro 96 finals Germany won eight matches, losing just one in a group featuring Wales.
In qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals Germany won eight matches and lost one in a group featuring? You guessed it, Wales.
And also Germany/West Germany won a European Championship eight years after Belgium had hosted the competition, which they last did in 2000 – eight years ago.
Throw in the fact they scored the most goals in qualifying, are the most experienced country (in their 10th European Championship), and have an in-form global star in Michael Ballack, I think the other teams might as well just go home now. What do you think?
PHOTO: Michael Ballack pauses during a news conference in Tenero June 6, 2008. (EURO 2008 Preview) REUTERS/Alex Grimm