Must admit the tube has been a huge factor behind my hiatus from this space. It’s been a great fortnight for all sportslovers: Euro 2004 has been a revelation and so has Wimbledon, this year being the swansong for the charismatic Goran Ivanisevic.
Coming back to Euro 2004, some of the group matches have been true classics – the Denmark-Sweden and Netherlands-Czech Republic clashes – in stark contrast to the drab quarter finals. The tournament has had its fair share of revelations, with raw, uninhibited youth pushing the veterans into the background. Zidane, Beckham, Raul and Co. have all petered out against high expectations leaving the field open for young guns like Rooney, Ronaldo and Baros to parade their skills. But my player of the tournament has been the Czech Pavel Nedved, ever the team man, leading his nation with an infectious enthusiasm and an inspirational grit that saw them win all their league games even after trailing in each match. The mop-haired midfielder has been instrumental in the high scoring rate of the Czech Republic with his defence-splitting passes and lightning quick runs. With the highest victory margin in the quarter finals, the Czech Republic would be the favourites to clinch the title. Yet, the way things have gone so far, I wouldnt bet a single buck on any team right now.