Euro 2012: Best Fan Moments of the Tournament

Thomas Atzenhoffer@socceratzCorrespondent IIJune 29, 2012

Euro 2012: Best Fan Moments of the Tournament

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    The UEFA European Championship has so far proven to be a great tournament full of parody and unpredictability.

    No one would have thought that the Netherlands would be swept straight out with no points. Ireland were embarrassed as well, being sent packing after three straight loses.

    However, with all off the frustration that fans have felt, there have been some great highlight moments that any and all can enjoy as we take a look at the best fan moments of the tournament so far.

Poland Scores the First Goal

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    It was a prayer that the host nation Poland were to make it to the quarterfinals, and unfortunately they fell just short.

    However, there was no substitute for the joy of the Polish fans when Robert Lewandowski scored the opening goal of the tournament.

Denmark Make a Statement

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    Although it was pure agony for the Dutch fans and their national team, Denmark's 1-0 upset of the World Cup runners-up in the opening match was pure euphoria for the Danish faithful.

Di Natale Steals a Point

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    When Italy opened the tournament against Spain everyone was already counting out the Azzurri.

    However, a goal straight off the bench from veteran Antonio Di Natale meant that the Italians just might have a say in the tournament after all.

Andriy Shevchenko Rolls Back the Years

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    At the age of 35, Ukrainian international Andriy Shevchenko was the oldest player in the tournament.

    However, the former AC Milan legend turned back the years as a brace against Sweden in the host nation's opening match propelled his side to a 2-1 victory.

Czech Republic Respond

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    The Czech Republic suffered a crushing defeat to Russia in the opening round but refused to go quietly out of the tournament.

    In their second round match, the fans were brought back to life thanks to a 2-1 victory against Greece.

Portugal Rise to the Challenge

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    After defeating the Netherlands in the opening round, Denmark became a nation on a mission. Meanwhile, Portugal had something to prove after their defeat to Germany.

    In one of the best matches of the opening round, the Portuguese were proven to be able to stand and deliver as they fought to a 3-2 victory against the Danes.

Fernando Torres Shows Up

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    Although it was a harsh pill to swallow as an Irish fan, the Spanish national team faithful were finally given something to cheer about from Fernando Torres for the first time in a long time.

    Torres came out of his shell of poor form against the Irish to blast in an impressive brace during La Roja's 4-0 mauling of the Shamrocks.

English Youth Impress

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    England fans criticized the choices made by Roy Hodgson to pick Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck for the nation's match against Sweden.

    However, both made it known that they had something to offer as Carroll opened the scoring with an impressive header thanks to service from his club mate and captain Steven Gerrard.

    Theo Walcott came off the bench to level the match 2-2 and then provided the assist to Welbeck, who refused to be forgotten in the young core of the club that was rising to the occasion as he back healed in the winning goal to make it 3-2.

Greece Qualify

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    In a tragic turn of events for Russia, a Greek side that were second-best all night gave their financially massacred nation a reason for some hope as they qualified for the quarterfinals in a 1-0 victory.

Ronaldo Comes to Life

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    Portuguese fans were filled with belief for their captain Cristiano Ronaldo as a come-from-behind brace from the talisman fired the nation into the quarterfinals.

Italy Advance

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    The Azzurri were brushed aside in both the Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

    However, a final group stage match victory against Ireland proved to their fans that they would not go quietly as they went to the quarterfinals.

England Make It Through

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    Roy Hodgson made a great debut in many way as he led his nation into the quarterfinals of the tournament.

    He proved to the fans that they could get the job done, without Wayne Rooney for the most part, and made believers out of the English faithful.

Portugal to the Semifinals

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    Once again their leader proved he was worth his hype as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goals of the Portuguese team's victory against the Czech Republic and sent them to the semifinals.

Italy Break Hearts

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    England thought it was their chance to break their curse in the quarterfinals against Italy.

    However, an uninspired performance opened the doors for the Azzurri and the Italian fans got the thrill they wanted as their nation defeated England in a shootout 4-2.

Spain Back to the Final

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    In heartbreaking fashion, Portuguese fans were left to morn their loss to Spain in the semifinals.

    However, there was nothing better than to be a fan of La Roja when they defeated their Iberian neighbors to return to their third major tournament final in a row.

Super Mario

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    There has been hardly a better moment than seeing Mario Balotelli finally rise to his potential on the international stage.

    Despite incident after incident of his immaturity, he brought the Italian fans to life as he fired their nation back to a major tournament final for the first time since they defeated France to lift the 2006 World Cup.

    Unfortunately for Germany, it was a repeat of the last time they met the Italians in a major semifinal as they once again fell 2-0 just as they did in their home nation during the 2006 World Cup.