Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Euro 2012 live blog

Photo

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.

Another one gone in a shootout

Photo

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:

A pitch-side soaking

Photo

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.

from Photographers' Blog:

It’s been a hard day’s night… and I’ve been working like a ‘tog

Photo

By Darren Staples

You off again?" people say. "Ukraine? The Euros? You've got the best job in the world haven't you?"

So here I am, the man with 'the best job in the world', about to have a needle stuck in my backside by one half of the Mario brothers.

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

Photo

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

Photo

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.

from Photographers' Blog:

Finding Funtik

Photo

By Will Webster

Who could have foreseen what the late Paul the Octopus started when he began picking the winning teams at the 2010 World Cup? Presumably he could have, he was clairvoyant. But he may have struggled to predict the psychic circus that has appeared in the last week before the opening of the EURO2012 championship:  Fred the ferret, an elephant called Chitta and Kiev’s very own Funtik the pig.

Animals predicting the outcomes of sporting events are all part of various big competitions now, Sonny Wool the sheep had a good run during the rugby world cup in 2011, so it’s easy to take it all with a pinch of salt (we’ll talk about local eating habits later.) However, using animals to predict the future goes back to biblical times, doves landing on the arc gave Noah a hint of better times.
Sitting in Moscow, my first view of Funtik was Gleb’s picture of a rabid and vaguely scary looking beast. Fred the Ferret from Kharkiv has a much more furry and cheeky appeal, so why did Kiev go for a pig? 

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

Photo

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?

Euro 2012 playoffs renew recent rivalries

Photo

 By Zoran Milosavljevic

The Euro 2012 two-legged playoffs should offer plenty of action and eight entertaining matches, with the last four berths in next year’s finals up for grabs.

While Ireland will start as strong favourites against Estonia, the other three ties appear set to be nerve-jangling affairs in which two former Yugoslav repubics will be eager to avenge painful defeats against their respective opponents, while another is aiming to make history in only their second tournament as an independent nation.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Euro 2012 qualifiers – live

Photo

We're following all tonight's Euro 2012 qualifiers live. Join us here for updates, comments and pix ... and details of all the goals as they go in.

  •