Villaflor: Sleepless over the Euro

·2 min read

ARE you ready to lose some sleep?

You should be because the Euro 2020 -- held in 2021 due to the pandemic -- is going full throttle with one of the most interesting quarterfinals in history.

The giants have fallen: World Cup 2018 champions France, World Cup 2014 champions Germany and Euro 2016 champions Portugal have all exited the tournament after falling short in the Round of 16.

World Cup 2018 third placer Belgium, the number one ranked team in the world, is the only clear favorite to have remained in the last eight.

They will be facing Italy, which weren’t given much of a chance at the onset but have slowly caught the public’s interest in the course of the tournament with its gutsy display.

Under Roberto Mancini, the Azzurri has shown solid defense, but it is their attacking and enterprising game that has made the difference.

Belgium, under Roberto Martinez, will have much of a problem to crack in the match Saturday morning, July 3.

Switzerland and Spain will be another must-see affair, as the Swiss themselves have surprised with their gutsy performance.

To recall, manager Vladimir Petkovic’s side advanced to the quarterfinals at the expense of the defending World Cup champions via penalty shootout following 3-3 at regulation.

Spain, under Luis Enrique, nearly went the same route against Croatia, with the match also ending 3-3 after 90 minutes, but the former World Cup champions scored two in extra time to outlast the 2018 World Cup runners up 5-3.

Czech Republic will clash against Denmark on Sunday, July 4, followed by Ukraine vs. England.

Now the English fans celebrated like they’ve just won the World Cup last June 30, after their side defeated Germany, 2-0, their first win over their bitter rivals in a long time.

The last time the two squads met in a competitive match, Germany trounced England 4-1 in the 2010 World Cup Round of 16.

So last Wednesday’s triumph under manager Gareth Southgate was sweet revenge for England, which will now face an unpredictable Ukraine, which another football icon, Andriy Shevchenko, manages.

So hold on sleepless to your seats and enjoy the 2020 Euro ride.

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