Saturday, May 24, 2008

Two Weeks to Euro 2008; Let the Soccer Insanity Begin

Two weeks to Euro 2008. Let the insanity begin.

With the nations participating in the tournament having already named their provisional squads, they will complete those teams by the middle of next week at the latest.

Some surprises.

Italy named 24 players so they have one to cut. The biggest surprise to their list is Antonio Cassano, the talented forward whose most descriptive nickname among many, is Peter Pan.

Shock is the word used most often in Italy when the decision was announced.

Coach Roberto Donadoni, who was given a two-year contract extension (only good if the Italians get to the semifinals of the tournament or beyond), is playing with fire with Cassano.

Cassano hasn’t played with the national team since September 2006.

“I’m not taking any chances with Cassano,” Donadoni said. “He is not a youngster any more and knows what it means to be a member of a group. I know perfectly well what he can give in technical terms.”

If Donadoni is going to go out, he’s going to go out on his own terms.

Often showing the maturity of Peter Pan, Cassano is likely to fly off the handle and get himself in trouble on the field.

If Cassano shows any sign of making trouble before the final team is named, he’ll be sent home.


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