Spanish flair and Verbruggen vim: UEFA U-21 EURO, Matchday 1
Goalkeepers are back in fashion. Here are our standouts from MD1.
Another week, another international youth tournament, eh? With the U-20 World Cup fading further into the rear view mirror, the U-21 EURO has kickstarted with plenty of quality and a dash of controversy.
UEFA’s flagship youth international tournament, the U-21 EURO has been a launch pad for a number of established stars. Its Dream Team, named by UEFA in 2015, features the likes of Manuel Neuer, Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Mesut Özil and Francesco Totti – that should say enough about the calibre of player that passes through it.
Onto the here and now. Straight off the bat, Georgia have taken a big scalp on home soil, beating an admittedly underpowered Portugal in their opening group stage game – even without national hero and Scudetto winner Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who politely turned down a call-up.
Ukraine got off to a good start against Croatia, and Spain slipped into rhythm nicely with a systematic dismantling of co-hosts Romania. England won, so did France but not without a bit of luck; Switzerland nudged past Norway, Germany fumbled Israel, and the BeNe neighbours finished even stevens.
Stevie has tilted his sleep patterns again and Llew has perfected his note-taking templates on Notion to bring you another round of round-ups, starting with an enjoyable matchday one. Bon Appétit, or should we say Გემრიელად მიირთვით / Bucura-te de masa ta!
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