Czech Republic vs. Portugal
I think Portugal wins. When your chances of winning are drastically reduced because Rosicky won’t be playing, you’re not that good of a team. No offense to Tomas. I’m an Arsenal fan and he’s been wonderful this season, almost as good as he was before the spate of injuries that befell him. But he’s nowhere near the main man. Portugal has been playing well.
Second game: Germany vs. Greece
Germany wins, but my heart is with the Greeks. As one witty reader noted in the comments after my last entry, this game “gives ‘Euro 2012’ new meaning.” It is true that the Germans have been the best team so far, playing gorgeous football. As an aficionado of the beautiful game, I should cheer for them. But . . . but . . . the poor Greeks. With the austerity measures the Germans are forcing down their throats, this win might provide some modicum of self-respect. Imagine if the Greeks win the tournament. They’ll probably have to sell the cup back to Germany along with their grandmother’s silverware.
Third game: Spain vs. France
Spain hasn’t been great, and could lose to a few teams, but not to this French team. I simply won’t allow it. Hopefully, Nasri, that selfish player that brims with self-congratulations and drippy delusions, learns some humility. Ferme ta geule, salope. (Lest you forget that I’m an Arsenal fan.) I like the French, so I’m not rooting for a humiliation a l’espangol, just that Nasri gets bitch-slapped a few times on the field. I can’t help it. I loved him so much when he was with the righteous team. Breakups are hard.
Fourth game: England vs. Italy
Italy will win. Not because they’re playing well, but because England aren’t good. Topping the group is quite an achievement, and I tip my fascinator, but their defense is as porous—well, as porous as a fascinator in a thunderstorm. I can’t wait for this game. Greece vs. Germany won’t hold a candle to Balotelli vs. Terry. What will Terry call him? Will Balotelli feel that he has to defend Ferdinand? Will Terry knee him from the back, will Balotelli kick him from the front? Neither seems to be the most stable of personalities so it should be exciting.
Let’s the games begin.
Rabih Alameddine is a novelist. His most recent is An Unnecessary Woman.