First, went Poland. After two ties, the host lost to Czech Republic and was knocked out of the Euro 2012 Football Championships on its own stadium in Wroclaw. This has certainly upset overzealous Polish fans who placed wagers on their team via one or more online sportsbooks in Poland.
The second host, Ukraine, also hoping to advance beyond the group stage, had its dreams crashed by an English striker, just coming out of the UEFA-imposed two match ban, the bad boy Rooney. It is worth pointing out that Polish gambling laws allow for sports betting, while Ukrainian laws are mostly against.
So, the tournament has ended for the hosts early on. Yet, there were some neighboring countries from a place called Central and Eastern Europe (some of which are actually part of the European Union) who had hoped to do well. One of these was Russia. Yet, the team didn’t advance. Another strong team from the neighborhood, Croatia, also ended in the group stage.
Then, there was only one Slavic brother left in the Euro 2012. The Czechs made it to the quarter-finals…only to lose the match to Portugal 0-1. It is worth nothing that despite economic crisis in southern Europe, the so-called (in economic circles), PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) are all in the top eight teams in Euro 2012. That certainly gives hope and inspiration to some of their compatriots.
In one of the quarter-finals, Germany is playing Greece. The experts agree: Germany will eat Greece. The lion will break the spine of the poor rabbit it has fed so far. (Indeed, German media come with sarcasm related to the match against Greece, basically stating that Germans can’t bail out Greeks this time. This refers to the German bailout money powering up the Greek economy.)
This certainly makes the proud Greek team want to fight them Germans hard. Let’s go Greece!