Euro 2012 Daily Wrap: German Mole, Italians Cry Foul, Stopping Cristiano Ronaldo
Even without action on the field, intrigue runs high at Euro 2012.
As the tournament waits through its longest break in play, the headlines keep rolling in.
At the top of the list is the developing tale of the mole in the German camp. In more mundane news, the Spanish have a strategy to stop Cristiano Ronaldo, Samir Nasri is in trouble and Roy Hodgson wants you to be optimistic.
Read on for all the details.
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The curious case of the German mole continues to vex the players, coaches and fans of Die Mannschaft.
News emerged over the weekend that a person close to the team has been leaking lineup information to the media hours before each kickoff.
Italians Cry Foul
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Italian manager Cesare Prandelli thinks Germany have an unfair advantage heading into Thursday's semifinal.
Germany defeated Greece 4-2 in their quarterfinal on Friday, and Italy eliminated England in a penalty shootout that stretched from Sunday night into Monday morning. The two results mean Germany will have five days to prepare for the semifinal, while Italy have only three.
Here's what Prandelli said about the situation, per the Daily Telegraph:
To be frank, we just need to get to bed as quickly as possible and get as much rest as possible. We stopped celebrating 10 minutes after the game and immediately started thinking about the semi-final.
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England crashed out of Euro 2012 on Sunday after losing a penalty shootout 4-2 to Italy.
Following his team's exit, manager Roy Hodgson urged optimism from England supporters.
From BBC Sport: "We have to be optimistic. We have to believe," said Hodgson. "There are good young players. We are doing well at under-21 level. It'll be good to see how we do at the Olympics."
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A high-level French football official has criticized Samir Nasri for the foul-mouthed rant Nasri directed at a journalist following France's loss to Spain in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals.
The Daily Telegraph cites French radio station RMC in quoting French Football Federation president Noel le Graet:
"I will ask the journalist to meet with me, but this is intolerable. I understand that there are negative reactions. Samir is on the edge, he wants to do well, but he cannot control his impulses."
Alonso: Play as a Team to Stop Ronnie
Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso had a simple solution when asked by reporters how Spain will try to stop Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the Euro 2012 semifinals.
Here's what Alonso said, per BBC Sport: "In this case, we will analyse Cristiano's game and there may be small adjustments but we will try to play as a team because that's the best way to stop a player."
Fair enough. Of course, all that Spanish passing should limit Ronaldo's time on the ball.
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Portugal and Spain play the first semifinal Wednesday at Donetsk's Donbass Arena.
Germany and Italy meet Thursday at Stadion Narodowy in Warsaw.
Both games are set to start at 2:45 p.m. Eastern.
The winners will contest the final July 1 in Kiev.
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Mohamed Al-Hendy gives six predictions for Portugal and Spain's all-Iberian derby.
Dan Renfro selects an all-quarterfinal best XI.
Sam Tighe breaks down the tactical matchup in Germany-Italy.
Englishman Will Tidey admits that England's elimination was both predictable and deserved.