Euro 2016: The Mystery Of Football- Squire Readen
As the football world edges towards the end of June and by implication football season, we look forward to another tantalizing football tournament capable of setting the world ablaze.
As most of us know, different continents of the world, through their respective continental tournaments, usually choose the best out of the lot. The African continent seeks for a champion with the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Asians through the Asian Cup, South Americans through the Copa America, North Americans through their CONCACAF Gold Cup; Oceanians through their Oceanian Nations Cup and Europeans too, through the European Championship to search for the best team that could represent them at the World level, that is the Intercontinental Football Tournament (Confederations Cup).
Europe and South America arguably have the best teams on the planet, a fact that has been backed up by their respective triumphs in various local tournaments and those involving the world as a whole. Their top positions on recent FIFA rankings, occupying the first ten positions (five from each continent) and their involvement in the world's biggest stages: 2014 World cup and 2013 Continental finals.
As Euro 2016 approaches, many bookmarkers and football pundits would see the German National Team as favourites to replicate the feat they achieved in the last World Cup Finals where they conquered the world. If they were able to conquer the world, what then is Europe?
Taking a distinct look at the German squad, one won't expect them to perform at the top level they did during the last World Cup finals due to the drop in form that has eclipsed the season of their stars. Even though players like Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels, Manuel Neuer and some few others still sustain the top form they took away from the World Cup. Many others have experienced a drop in form: from the injury that has hacked down Ikay Gundogan's season to the tactical indecision the wretched football played by the secretary of football's team that has been imposed on Bastian Schweinsteiger to the incapability of Mezut Ozil to repeat last season's assist success at Arsenal not to talk of the lack of playing time experienced by their top striker, Mario Gotze.
Other teams have also been tipped to excel in the competition, the experience of the Spanish team cannot be overlooked neither can the ability of the Oranje boys be underestimated, nor the poacher spirited English attack or the Belgians tactical excellence.
In as much as predictions has 40% chance in football, I see England as great underdogs for the competition. I wouldn't like to talk of their chances to avoid you seeing me as Nigeria’s T.B Joshua or the world's new Octopus but I would like to remind you, this is one of the most mysterious sport ever.
This is football, anything can happen.
NB- Squire Readen is a freelance writer who writes critical sport commentaries and other related articles. He is an objective sports fan and is currently the Director of Sports for the Pharmaceutical Association of Nigeria Students (PANS), OAU Chapter. You can reach him on Pharmsquire@yahoo.com