Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Photographers' Blog:

Shooting practice

By Petr Josek

Yeah, yeah, yeah 4-1 loss for the Czechs against Russia in Wroclaw. The Russian fans left the city for Warsaw after that and ended up fighting Polish supporters. Wroclaw is calm and quiet. Here the fans like each other and the city center is calm and full of friendly faces. The spotlight moves on, but there is still work to be done.


After the next round the Czechs became a decisive opponent for Poland in advancing from Group A. Its a championship and the teams need to keep sharp, away from the headlines, and for photographers there are images to be made that tell the story. Eyes on the prize.

As in previous EURO competitions I've been assigned to cover the team, and shooting training is a hell of a lot of work, even when everyone else is looking elsewhere. Let's see what they look like even when there is "No Coverage" in the picture planner.

You come to the stadium and wait for the heroes or losers, depending on what happened on match day before. Several hundred people including school pupils are there to see their next opponent.

Twitter tells Sweden’s Lustig to “hold the post”

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By Phil O’Connor

Sweden defender Mikael Lustig will have no excuse for forgetting to hold his position against England in Euro 2012 - his mistake on the post for Ukraine’s second goal in Kiev has sparked a tactical Twitter meme that will take a long time to live down.

With the scores level at 1-1, Ukraine won a corner and Lustig took his place on the goal-line defending the near post. 

Ukrainian protesters stand up for their four-legged friends

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By Phil O’Connor

Ukraine has been getting a lot of stick in the run-up to Euro 2012 as protesters hop on the football bandwagon to try to make their point.

On Saturday, it was the turn of Kiev’s dog-lovers to call for a boycott of the soccer tournament as they stood up for the interests of their four-legged friends.

Who will win Euro 2012? It is anyone’s guess

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The bookmakers might say Spain again and people who think they are in the know might say Germany, but really no one is sure who will triumph in the finals in Ukraine and Poland.

Netherlands reached the World Cup final but with Germany in their group, could they become a cropper early doors? France are on a good run but have they got the firepower and defensive stability needed?

All is not well between the sticks in Denmark

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Phil O’Connor

Perhaps understandably, nowhere in his writings are his views on international football recorded. 

 But recent events echo the words of William Shakespeare in Hamlet - all is not well in the state of Denmark. Especially between the posts.

Sweden hope Ibrahimovic can sparkle now Milan are out

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Phil O’Connor

There was one soccer coach just as happy as Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola on Tuesday when his side knocked AC Milan out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

That man is Sweden coach Erik Hamren.

With Euro 2012 approaching fast, Hamren will be quietly pleased that top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic won’t be involved in the final in Munich on May 19 and can instead avoid injury and stay fresh.

Bad boy coming of age as Bendtner buries Liverpool

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By Phil O’Connor

A contract running out, in trouble over drunken behaviour and a country qualified for Euro 2012 – whatever one thinks of Sunderland’s on-loan Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, his life is far from boring.

With the clock ticking down on an Arsenal deal that is highly unlikely to be renewed, Bendtner hit the headlines this weekend as he struck his second goal in two games to all but end Liverpool’s hopes of a shot at next year’s Champions League.

What can England achieve at Euro 2012?

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Whoever takes over from Fabio Capello either as a caretaker manager or a long-term replacement faces the dauting task of living up to somewhat unrealistic hopes that England will land their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Let’s face it, the Three Lions have entered every tournament since, bar Euro 1996 on home soil, as one of the dark horses to bring the silverware back home but never as the top contenders among a plethora of more talented if not more resourceful nations taking centre stage either in European Championships or World Cups.

Mumbling Capello never at home in England

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By Mitch Phillips

Fabio Capello arrived in London four years ago with a sparkling CV but for all his club success he departed still barely able to speak English and with his adopted country frought with division and long shots for success at Euro 2012.

It is ironic that his tenure was effectively ended by an interview given in his native Italian, when he said he disagreed completely with the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the England captaincy.

Should Terry go to Euro 2012 at all?

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So now we know. John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy (again) but is available for selection for Euro 2012, which ends days before the start of his trial for alleged racist abuse.

Of course, Terry is innocent until found guilty and most fans would agree he should not be dropped from the team because of a so far unproven allegation, which he denies.

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