The 2012 edition of Euro, so full of expectations, kicks off on June 8th. In the build up to this usually dramatic showcase event, here is a list of players you must watch out for!
Cristiano Ronaldo tops most lists of players to watch out for. It goes without saying how skilled this Portugese winger is. Richly gifted with pace, mesmerising dribbling, and a brilliant eye for goal, Ronaldo has already netted 42 goals this season for his club Real Madrid in just 40 games. However, his international form hasn’t been as impressive and after a dismal show at the 2010 World Cup, Ronaldo will look to shine this summer.
Xavi is another oft-mentioned player, and epitomizes the Spanish tiki-taka style of football that involves possession, short passing and penetration. With his extraordinary vision and sublime distribution, Xavi guided Spain to victory in Euro 2008 and in the 2010 World Cup. Xavi is in fine form this season having scored 14 goals in 39 games for Barcelona so far. So, this summer, while Xavi looks for his strikers, you watch out for him!
Mesut Ozil shot to fame for his amazing link-up play and finesse at the FIFA World Cup in 2010. He plays either on the flanks or behind the striker with telling effect. He has 20 assists and 3 goals so far this season for his club Real Madrid. Ozil scored 5 goals with 7 assists for Germany in the Euro 2012 qualification campaign and is truly a player to watch out for.
One of only two BPL players in the list, Van Persie went on a goal-scoring spree this season netting 33 goals with 11 assists in 38 games for his club Arsenal. Van Persie scored four goals for the Netherlands in the game against San Marino (Sept, 2011) and thus broke into the top-10 of the all-time top-scorers list for the Dutch. Not surprisingly, thus, this pacy striker is on this list of must-watch players.
Aged just 20, Eriksen has already earned plaudits from all over the world for his vision, dribbling and long-range shots. An attacking midfielder for Ajax FC, he has been linked to top clubs like Manchester United, Barcelona, AC Milan throughout this season. With 6 goals and 16 assists in 35 games for Ajax so far this season, Eriksen will look to impress one and all at the Euro this June.
Luka Modric is the only other BPL player in this list, but this spectacular playmaker can use both his feet to good effect, his off-the-ball movement is sharp and he engineers counter-attacks for his team. His form for club Tottenham Hotspur has been spectacular, scoring 4 goals with 6 assists in 22 games so far this season. With clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea showing interest in him, Modric will look to guide Croatia to silverware this time around.
Soccer always throws up surprises and keeps us guessing. This list is just another guess. More than the players whom you mustn’t miss at Euro 2012, it is the joy of watching the beautiful game you mustn’t fail to experience.