June is an interesting month to look forward to for football lovers, as the Euros kickstart on June 10th with the game between France vs Romania at Stade De France, Paris. As we speak, every Indian football fan turns into an ardent supporter of a European side and adorns their colors to represent their loyalties. There will also be some who’d bring into question why India isn’t in it. Oh yes, they exist and they know who they are!
So what can we look forward to from the first game? The Les Bleus shall come up against an opponent which is rather unspectacular on paper but then might be able to conjure up an upset. France boasts of some pretty impressive talent in their ranks, with the likes of Juventus’ midfield powerhouse Paul Pogba, West Ham’s talisman Dmitri Payet, Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and so on. Their defense is one of the most experienced ones in the Euros, with the likes of Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, and Laurent Koscielny forming the crux of the backline. Karim Benzema might be sorely missed as Olivier Giroud is most likely to spearhead the attack and is a bit of a hit and miss, which is evident from the 15 matches goalless run he endured with Arsenal before scoring a few in the final games before the end of the season to finish with a tally of 16 goals in the league.
Romania has a few relatively well-known names on their side in the form of former Manchester City and currently Sunderland shot-stopper Costel Pantilimon, former Tottenham man Vlad Chiriches and Gabriel Torje, whom I remember from his Granada days as being quite highly rated, even earning the moniker “The Romanian Messi”, which might not really mean a lot since pretty much every second decent player who is stout and young enough is considered the next coming of Messi. Nevertheless, if one goes by the team sheet, it’s quite evident that Torje shall be the one expected to come up with the goods.
Didier Deschamp’s France are among the select favorites to go on and win the Euros and it shall come down how much they want it than ability, which is abundant in their squad. Romania shall test their resolve though as they would be intrinsically motivated to prove that they are no pushovers. All in all, it’ll be an interesting and hopefully vibrant start to the much-awaited tournament which shall pit the best footballing nations of Europe against each other.
Here’s to our beloved sport returning to entice our senses with footballing ecstasy.