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When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie… Balotelli. Mad Mario has finally shown up at Euro 2012, and with a tired Spanish side stumbling past Portugal in the semis, the scandal-hit Italians are in the unlikely position of once again (after 1982 and 2006) facing the prospect of winning one of football’s two biggest prizes against the backdrop of widespread corruption in the domestic game. Vicente Del Bosque, on the other hand, is stubbornly sticking to his 4-6-0 system, overlooking both the best (Torres) and form (Llorente) strikers in Europe.

I really can’t be bothered adding music to this, since both countries are kind of crap at it, so here are links to Nick Butler’s pieces on the respective countries’ musical histories from the last World Cup:

Italy

-v-

Spain





Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Disappointed that Italy aren't using a back three, but the game should be good. I'm one of the few people on this site who enjoys Spain though, so I might be in the minority.

In other news, I have no idea what to do with Torres on my fantasy team.

Aids
07.01.12
Gonna be such a great game. I say Spain on penalties.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Same here. I think it'll end 1-1 full time, like the group game.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Spain doesn't deserve to take this year's title home. And im not raging for having them defeat us (Portugal), Spain didn't play well enough to even get here. Not as good as Portugal, not half as good as Italy. GO ITALIA!!

Dave de Sylvia
07.01.12
Pity Spain scored so early, but it's great to see a team actually playing positive football against Spain rather than just Chelseaing it. Croatia did the same, to be fair.

Wolfhorde
07.01.12
"Spain doesn't deserve to take this year's title home."
lol, that is such a stupid statement.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Spain have been able to supress Pirlo well. All he's done so far is miss a couple free kicks. However, they're letting Cassano run rampant. I could see him being the deciding factor for Italy.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Portugal played pretty well against Spain. Pretty much controled the game

fish.
07.01.12
YES ALBA. CAPTAIN. 12 POINTS JUST FOR THAT GOAL (-2 from my Italian defenders though). Only the 3rd goal from any of my players in the competition, woooo. Now if Spain can just hold their clean sheet...
Surprised at how good Italy have been overall though.

TenSecondsToThink
07.01.12
I AM SO DISAPPOINTED BY ITALY

cyLOL
07.01.12
I was hoping Italy might surprise us, but Spain have it.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Haha Alba's my captain too Anarchist. Except not realizing I only had 4 free transfers, I'm losing twelve points for transfers.

Great game so far, a lot more open than I expected.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Yeah, good game though. Damn Casillas, such a good GK

fish.
07.01.12
"Spain doesn't deserve to take this year's title home. And im not raging for having them defeat us (Portugal), Spain didn't play well enough to even get here. Not as good as Portugal, not half as good as Italy."
Come on, Spain were definitely the best team in their group and although they faltered a bit against Croatia and Portugal, Italy have too, it's just been less noticeable because Spain have much larger expectations. Italy were lucky that Germany didn't particularly play well and England were never really an attacking threat. They threw away their lead against Croatia and didn't dispatch of Ireland as easily as Spain did.

FelixCulpa
07.01.12
Wow. Dream start form Spain. Hopefully the added pressure will make Italy take more risks and maybe a goal in the process to keep the tension up.

fish.
07.01.12
"Haha Alba's my captain too Anarchist. Except not realizing I only had 4 free transfers, I'm losing twelve points for transfers.

Great game so far, a lot more open than I expected."
I will dethrone your h2h unbeaten run ;)
Cos I was building up for Germany being in the final, I only had enough free transfers to get 9 players into the first team. At least you don't need any more than 11 so its not a disaster, but I know when to keep my wildcard for. But yeah, I was expecting this to be 1-1 at most.

"Portugal played pretty well against Spain. Pretty much controled the game"
They did in the first half, but then they tired.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
People have been complaining about Spain not using a striker, but they've been playing much better without one. The only game I can think of where they played better with a striker was the Ireland game, but they would've dominated that game no matter the formation they used.

Dreamflight
07.01.12
Hey Pirlo isn't about time to come out of Alonso's pocket? Srsly, where's Italy's middfield?

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Well so much for Cassano being the difference for Italy.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
AnarchistFish, you're right. Still, Italy pretty much cleaned everything (Balotelli did, lol)
Against Portugal yea, first half was ours, but the 2nd wasnt pretty far too. Anyway we didnt score, thus we dont have much to complain for. So many missed shots, so many chances. Spain wouldnt have missed a lot of the offensive plays we did. We are yet to have a kickass scorer since Pauleta.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Also, today Spain is playing very well so cheers.

What a dumb move to take Cassano out

fish.
07.01.12
Well Di Natale has looked much more dangerous than Cassano ever did so I'd say it was a pretty good move.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Cassano was playing pretty good. Lets see how Natale fares

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Italy have already used all three substitutions. Seems a little strange. If there's an injury (as Motta just got injured) they're in trouble.

fish.
07.01.12
Italy down to 10 men, ouch

fish.
07.01.12
Only been on the pitch 4 minutes.

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Also, that

fish.
07.01.12
I wonder how Juan Mata feels right now

Scoot
07.01.12
i don't see spain losing a match anytime soon

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
500 minutes since Spain have conceded a goal.

fish.
07.01.12
Talk of the devil

"Yay, 4 minutes"

fish.
07.01.12
holy shit he scored

TheMoreira
07.01.12
Torres is possessed i recon

fish.
07.01.12
I was literally just thinking "lol how funny would it be if Mata scored right now" and then...

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Crap, why"d I leave Torres as a substitute?


fish.
07.01.12
Why'd I pick Balotelli instead of Fabregas or Torres? Almost did. Also almost picked 4 spanish defenders and just 1 italian defender. But Alba scored so I'm happy.

Why bother picking 15 players though?

Adabelle
07.01.12
So sad right now.

Made my fantasy football team 11 Italians as well.. there goes my 5th place finish.

Scoot
07.01.12
really unclassy by balotelli

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Spain win third consecutive tournament and Torres wins the golden boot.

fish.
07.01.12
Holy shit. I got 28 points for Jordi Alba. Wow.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
And I picked 15 players cause this is the first time I've ever done fantasy and I had no idea what I was doing this entire time.

Spanish players with their kids. Priceless.

Dreamflight
07.01.12
Damn them spaniards...

fish.
07.01.12
"And I picked 15 players cause this is the first time I've ever done fantasy and I had no idea what I was doing this entire time."
But still managed to win it... lol.
Glad I realised we only needed 11. My first time too.

Wonder if I've beaten you cos of those transfers... You got 2 more points than me, but with 2 more players.

Strider
07.01.12
"really unclassy by balotelli"

He's a great player and all, but god is he a turd

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
"Wonder if I've beaten you cos of those transfers... You got 2 more points than me, but with 2 more players."

They're probably gonna kill in the US league. Was ranked 7thin the country, but only getting 48 points is gonna hurt.

"He's a great player and all, but god is he a turd"

I like Balotelli. I'm not sure why, but I really do. Maybe it's because reading all these stories about his antics make him seem more human? I'm not sure. But he is a tremendous player.

Aids
07.01.12
Holy shit. This team is way way waaaaaay too good

PistolPete
07.01.12
mmmmmmmmmmmmbbuutttslaaammmmmmmedddd

jefflebowski
07.01.12
i feel privileged to have watched that

TheNotrap
07.01.12
Congrats to all Spanish dudes. Spain, Portugal and Germany (let's forget the game with Italy) were the strongest teams.

Fortheloveofmusic
07.01.12
Pepe Reina is the Spanish John Terry (his celebrations at the end of the game).

Shuyin
07.02.12
Portugal was the only team that gave spain a hard time, if only we had more luck on those penalties..

fish.
07.02.12
What is it with these Portugese fans overrating their team? Portugal did well in the first half but failed to make the most of it, and then they slipped back and allowed Spain to get a hold on the game again. Spain, however, didn't play at their best in that game, and had trouble against Croatia and Italy in the first game anyway.

fish.
07.02.12
Portugal didn't get a single shot on target in that game I don't think.

thumbcrusher
07.02.12
in the internet says they apparently had 3 of 12 shots on target. i can't remember what of those 3 were though...

thumbcrusher
07.02.12
and another website says they had 0 of 11...

fish.
07.02.12
Well the commentary in this game said that they'd had 0, and I remember them saying at the end of the 90 mins in that game that there'd only been 1 on target in the whole game.

thumbcrusher
07.02.12
the 3 that were counted were probably blocked or something then

Dreamflight
07.02.12
Trying to be as objective as possible, Portugal did repeal Spain's middfield for most of the time, and both Patricio and Casillas had little work to do, and when they had they excelled. Anyway, those are just moral victories, I'd gladly rather have been massacred the entire game and winning on the penalties.

SteelErectedb4you8er
07.03.12
I honestly don't know where Italy was...I mean, the way they played against England and Germany, they dominated and looked so good. They didn't show up this game unfortunately.

Iai
07.04.12
Italy are crap at music? Jesus, Dave. Get some opera in your life.

porch
07.04.12
"I honestly don't know where Italy was...I mean, the way they played against England and Germany, they dominated and looked so good. They didn't show up this game unfortunately."

did you watch the game

they played well until thiago motta was injured and then it was just a case of having 10 players against probably the best international team ever. and lol england aren't comparable

Fortheloveofmusic
07.04.12
http://www.fifa.com/worldranking/rankingtable/index.html

So this has got to be the most absurd top 10 in a long time.

fish.
07.04.12
Uruguay were 2nd before...

fish.
07.04.12
The 2014 world cup is going to be much more interesting

thumbcrusher
07.04.12
i don't get why brazil have gone down so much after losing just 1 game this year

thumbcrusher
07.04.12
oh wait 2, their last 2 that's why

fish.
07.04.12
They'll probably drop even more now that they don't have any competitive matches for two years

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