Power Ranking The Early Favourites for the 2012 UEFA European Cup
Everybody seems to be looking towards Brazil 2014, which is the next World Cup...
However, don't forget that in between, there is another major tournament, the Euro Cup.
Of-course it's only European Nations, but it is still almost, if not just as, exciting as the World Cup.
Future Stars: Andre-Pierre Gignac, Loic Remy, Yoann Gourceff, Abou Diaby, Hugo Lloris.
European Championships: Two (1984, 2000)
Yes, France was an absolute train-wreck in South Africa in the past couple of months. They were certainly not a team and seemed as if they had no reason to play.
However, with the Euro Cup having only 16 qualifying teams, it's hard not to chose France, and it's not like they have no future either.
Andre-Pierre Gignac is only 24 years old and will probably be in the midst of his prime at the age of 26 when the Euro Cup rolls around.
France has a solid keeper in Hugo Lloris who is also just 24, and with Loic Remy hopefully to keep improving his play, he and Gignac might be able to provide a threatening offensive attack.
There is no doubt though that France has to figure some stuff out before they want to be back on top of the Football world.
Future Stars: Fabio Contreao, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Manuel Fernandes.
European Championships: Zero
Portugal were one of the favorites to do well in South Africa. However, they were put in one of the toughest groups and situations, probably tougher than any other nation with the exception of Germany.
Portugal squared off with Ivory Coast, and Brazil in the group stage before meeting up with the now World Cup winners Spain in the Round Of 16.
But Portugal does have a pretty good team. As far as I'm concerned they had one of the best goal-keepers in the World Cup in Eduardo, rising stars in Fabio Contreao and Nani, the Manchester United star.
And of-course they have the player who in many eyes is the best in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.
I'm not quite convinced that Portugal can go all the way in 2012, However they have the potential to go very deep.
Future Stars: Eljero Elia, Arjen Robben, Robin Van-Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Nigel De Jong.
European Championships: One, (1988)
For Holland, expect a very similar team to the one they had in 2010.
Robben will be back, Van Persie, Sneijder, Kuyt, Steklenburg, all those players will be back for Euro Cup 2012 and those are some of the key aspects to the Holland squad that over-came Brazil and went on to the final.
I'm not 100% sold on the Oranje, how-ever they went un-beaten for 20+ games, their obviously doing something right....
Hopefully in 2012 they won't face either Germany or Spain....
Future Stars: Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer, Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schwensteiger.
European Championships: Three (1972, 1980, 1996)
Germany left South Africa with a bitter taste in their mouth....
They failed to win the World Cup after making it to the final four for the the third straight World Cup appearance.
However, they proved many wrong and went further then what most believed and have a squad that looks to be absolutely threatening.
Thomas Mueller is only 20 years old and he won the golden boot award and the FIFA Best Young Player award in only his first World Cup ever!
Mesut Ozil has risen as one of the best play-makers of the World Cup and is a rising star for years to come. The likes of Marko Marin, Toni Kroos, Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schwensteiger are all in their mid 20's, or early 20's.
In my opinion Germany is the team that will win Euro Cup 2012 but, I can't just yet put them over the defending World Champs now can I?
Future Stars: Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique, Sergio Bisquets, Sergio Ramos, David Silva, Pedro, Jesus Navas.
European Championships: Two (1964, 2008)
Who else? Spain will be the favorites, albeit not by much.....
It's scary to think of a nation that can rule the football world cup half a decade or even possibly the whole decade....It's even scarier to think that the odds of that happening are pretty good!
Yes Xavi will be 32, Villa will be 30, Casillas will be 31 and Alonso will be 30...But, Sergio Ramos will be 26, Pique will be 25, Fabregas will be 25, Silva will be 26, Pedro will be 24, and Jesus Navas will be 26.
Spain has a strong core and a bright future to look ahead to, don't be surprised if you see another Germany-Spain final just like in 2008.