World Football: My Euro 2008 Awards
There you go! Spain are the champions of Europe for the first time since 1964. Just like I had predicted in our round table discussion on 17th June.
After the end of Euro 2008, I thought I'd create my awards for the tournament, feel free to comment on them.
Manager of the Tournament: Fatih Terim (Turkey)
While I also considered Guus Hiddink, Luis Aragones and Joachim Loew, I chose Fatih Terim purely due to his "never say die" attitude. He inspired Turkey to a couple of historic comebacks that will live long in the memory of all football fans.
A passionate manager, who can hold his nerve and make the necessary changes when needed, Fatih Terim is Euro 2008's best manager.
Goal Keeper of the Tournament: Iker Casillas (Spain)
The Real Madrid man takes over Lehmann and Akinfeev to land this award. Casillas has been a remarkably consistent performer during the Euro 2008 Championships.
He held his nerve to ensure Spain take the glory home.
Defender of the Tournament: Carlos Puyol (Spain)
Concentration is a vital part of Puyol's game and luckily for Spain it lasted throughout the tournament.
A seasoned campaigner, the Barca skipper brought all his experience to good use during the championships as he was always in the right place when Spain needed him.
Midfielder of the Tournament: Michael Ballack (Germany)
The most unfortunate man in world football? He could be jinxed as well but Ballack was a revelation throughout the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.
Ever present in the German attack and handy in defense when needed, Ballack played a prominent role in Germany's run in to the final in Wein.
The Silent Assasin: Marcos Senna (Spain)
They never get recognized, they do the dirty work, they work tirelessly hard but nobody ever notices them.
Marcos Senna was Euro 2008's silent assasin. A hunting dog in central midfield who provided the perfect foil to the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas.
If not for Senna, Spain would have found it harder to get to the final.
Striker of the Tournament: David Villa (Spain)
Yes, he missed the final but David Villa was the tournament's highest goal scorer and he had a wonderful tournament up to the semi finals.
A defender's nightmare is what David Villa was and he is the striker of the tournament.
Surprise Package of the Tournament (Player): Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
I have to say, Schweinsteiger just nicked this award from the grasp of Russia's Arshavin.
Arshavin was the favourite had it not been for this Bayern Munich midfielder.
Whether it's cutting in from the flanks to nick a goal or going out wide to create one or simply whipping in unstoppable cross, Schweinsteiger has been absolutely incredible.
Surprise Package of the Tournament (Team): (Turkey)
Russia were the other only contenders but even Guus Hiddink's magical boys couldn't match up to the comeback kings.
Turkey played very exciting football throughout the tournament entertaining the whole world.
They gave Euro 2008, three unbelievable, historic comebacks and they were unfortunate to be knocked out because they were plagued by injuries and suspensions.
Player of the Tournament: Andrei Arshavin (Russia)
He has been arguably the biggest performer at Euro 2008 and a very important part of Russia's setup.
Nobody (except Spain) gained more out of Euro 2008 then Arshavin, his performance will probably be a turning point in his career, where he could go on to play for the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona.
Team of the Tournament: Spain
The Champions of course! Spain are deserving winners of Euro 2008, a combined team effort lead them to glory. A good combination set out by Luis Aragones.
A fighting spirit that led them to become champions in Wein.
Biggest Flop (Player): Luca Toni (Italy)
Italy's old warhorse, the Azzuri had pinned their goal hopes on the Bayern Munich front man but Toni's performance was ordinary.
So much expected, nothing delivered. Toni was the Biggest Flop of Euro 2008.
Biggest Flop (Team): France
Les Blues, the runners up from the World Cup. A team featuring Benzema, Anelka, Henry, Nasri, Ribery, Malouda and Co. Domenech got it all wrong and France were easily the biggest flops of the tournament.
They were in the group of death where the death of their golden era awaited them.
Match of the Tournament: Germany 3-2 Turkey
A closely fought battle, which provided entertaining football and an exciting competition.
The Turks took the lead through Ugur Boral and Schweinsteiger hit back for Germany. Miroslav Klose took the lead in the 79th minute, Semih Senturk scores four minutes before time, Turkish fans think they have done it again!
But Philip Lahm in the final minute of play, a moment of brilliance, a quality finish and the rest is history.
Goal of the Tournament: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Sweden 2-0 Greece, Group D
The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw until a moment of brilliance from Ibrahimović. After exchanging passes with Henrik Larsson on the edge of the area the Inter Milan striker fired a thumping drive into the top right corner of Antonis Nikopolidis's net.
Real quality and an unbelievable strike!
These are my awards for Euro 2008, what changes would you make?
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