Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Euro 2012 live blog

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Click on the link below to join Reuters for the three-week European soccer party.

http://live.reuters.com/Event/Euro_2012_soccer_championship

Our live blog will be running constantly and will bring you all the latest news, goals, photos and video.

It is easy to comment with no registration needed. Whether you are a fan of England or France, Denmark or Spain, Russia or Netherlands, our live blog is the place to follow all 16 teams in Ukraine and Poland. Our roving reporters will be at all the  training camps and matches.

Greg Rusedski blog: Tough Wimbledon in store for Murray

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This year’s Wimbledon draw has worked out very well for the defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are in the top half of the draw. They should breeze through the first week.

Djokovic will most likely face his first test in the quarter-finals against  Richard Gasquet. While Federer’s first test could be Janko Tipsarevic in the quarter-finals as well; expect Djokovic and Federer in the semi-finals this year.

Another one gone in a shootout

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By Phil O’Connor

So that’s it from me from Euro 2012 – by the time this post makes it to Left Field, I’ll be back in Stockholm gearing up for another European championships, this time in athletics.

Three weeks in Kiev at Euro 2012 flew by.

In any city hosting a major event there are hundreds of stories to be told, from security and commerce to politics and people, as well as football, and we did our best to tell as many as we could. Long days and nights followed, and I enjoyed every second of it. 

from Photographers' Blog:

Faces of football

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By Kacper Pempel

Three weeks of the Euro 2012 adventure are already behind us. Three weeks of hard work, meeting thousands of people, driving thousands of miles and shooting thousands of pictures.

As a photographer based in Poland, I was assigned to cover not only matches but also news stories in Polish cities like Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk. So I had a chance to meet people from many different parts of Europe who made the journey here for the soccer fiesta. They were genuine football lovers and real soccer fans.

Expanded Euro 2016 could be a blessing, not a curse

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During a so far excellent Euro 2012, there have been rumblings of discontent over the expansion of the tournament to 24 teams in four years’ time.

The big football nations of Europe will in all likelihood dread playing an extra game en route to the latter stages of what will be a month-long Euro 2016, if they don’t get knocked out by one of what will be a pack of success-hungry underdogs. 

from Photographers' Blog:

Covering the U.S. Open (and Tiger)

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By Jeff Haynes

The U.S. Open is always one of the toughest events of the year to work. As photographers working a golf tournament we have to deal with more challenges during a week of golf than we might during the whole rest of the year. Weather, Tiger, blisters, Tiger, hills, Tiger, tight leader boards, Tiger, long days, Tiger, a sore body, Tiger, fog, Tiger, marshalls, Tiger and 155 other golfers not named Tiger.


REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Working with three outstanding Reuters’ photographers - Robert Galbraith, covering what he figures is around his 80th Major Golf Tournament dating back to the 1982 U.S. Open where Watson and Nicklaus battled at Pebble Beach, Matt Sullivan and Danny Moloshok - made this a very enjoyable week. Each day these guys came up with amazing photographs telling the story of the day.

from Photographers' Blog:

To my friend Vladimir Lenin

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By Charles Platiau

When I arrived in Donetsk, southern Ukraine, two weeks ago I didn't think you would be one of the best friends I made during my stay. Nobody speaks English here, even if my hotel is called "the Liverpool hotel" and plays Beatles music all day long everywhere except, thoughtfully, in my room. I don’t speak Russian either, but I soon learned Vladimir Ilyich is how locals fondly refer to you, Mr Lenin. Your statue dominates the landscape of this city's downtown. You remain in full view in contrast to the advertising you stand opposite; maybe people even remember what you stand for.

It's hard to judge a place in such a short time but I wonder what Donetsk looks like when there isn't such a big event in town. The city is quiet, very clean and there are more advertising boards than in most western countries. All the ugliest buildings are now covered with banners to advertise Japanese goods or to hide the worst aspects of the city.

from India Insight:

Defying Hitler and jostling for Goering’s autograph

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    The Dutch broke his stick hoping to find a hidden magnet The Japanese suspected his stick was coated with glue Cricket legend Don Bradman gushed -- "He scores goals like runs in cricket" Adolf Hitler was so impressed with him that he offered him German citizenship and a post in the army

If an athlete's greatness is measured by the number of apocryphal stories about him or her, hockey wizard Dhyan Chand is in a league of his own.

Before every Olympic Games, India indulges in nostalgia about its hockey heyday and revisits the folklore around arguably the greatest hockey player ever.

from Photographers' Blog:

A pitch-side soaking

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By Yves Herman

Picture five photographers and one technician traveling together between the cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk in Ukraine, at an average of 38 degrees C (100 degrees Fahrenheit) with air humidity of more than 50%. Eastern Ukraine is definitely not a fresh or cool place to stay during this EURO 2012 soccer championships. Nevertheless, it is our job to be there and it is a pure pleasure to be sitting alongside the pitch and taking photos of Europe's best soccer teams. On that journey a cooling rain would have been most appreciated.

Alessandro from Italy, Felix from Spain, Michael from Switzerland, Vasily from Belarus, our technician Rod from Washington DC and myself, based in Belgium, hit the road early on June 15 on our way to Donetsk. An eagerly anticipated match between Ukraine and France was to take place that day at the famous Donbass Arena in front of more than 40,000 fans.

Swedes must match England’s fighting spirit – Hysen

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By Phil O’Connor

Former Sweden defender Glenn Hysen is at Euro 2012 as a fan and he told Left Field that his nation will have to “show some balls” if they are to match England’s fighting spirit in their Group D clash in Kiev on Friday.

“It’ll be tough, but if the players show that they have balls we can do it,” said Hysen, whose son Tobias is part of Erik Hamren’s Sweden squad.

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