All that you wanted to know about Euro 2012

Jun 07, 2012, 09:59 IST | A Correspondent

Learn all about your favourite teams & stars as Europe's premier tournament is all set to kick off tomorrow

Czech Republic

>> @ Euro: The Czech Republic has qualified for five successive Euro Championships since the split with Slovakia.
>> Manager: Michal Bilek
>> Captain: Tomas Rosicky
>> Watch out for: Petr Cech
The Chelsea goalkeeper will enter this tournament on an obvious high having guarded the Blues’ goal en route to European glory recently.


>> @ Euro: The 2004 champions managed to score just one goal in 2008 under Otto Rehhagel. Greece also qualified in 1980 but did not win a single game therein too.
>> Manager: Fernando Santos
>> Captain: Giorgos Karagounis
>> Watch out for: Vasilis Torisidis
The Olympiakos full back made a name for himself scoring the winner in Greece’s first- ever victory in a World Cup match — a 2-1 win over Nigeria in 2010. Greece’s 2010 Football Player of the Year will be watched carefully by Europe’s big clubs.


>> @ Euro: The co-hosts have qualified for the Euro only once before, at Euro 2008. They failed to clear the group stages.
>> Manager: Franciczek Smuda
>> Captain: Jakub Blaszczykowski
>> Watch out for: Robert Lewandowski
The 23-year-old was voted Bundesliga’s Player of the Year for 2011-12 after firing Borussia Dortmund to the domestic double. His hat-trick against Bayern Munich in the German Cup final took his tally to 30 goals in all competitions.


>> @ Euro: Russia won the first edition of the Euro in 1960. They were runners-up in 1964, 1972 and 1988 and semi-finalists in 2008.
>> Manager: Dick Advocaat
>> Captain: Andrey Arshavin
>> Watch out for: Aleksandr Kerzhakov
The striker scored 16 goals in 22 matches for Zenit, helping them win the Russian league this season. He is quick to pounce on any loose ball.


>> @ Euro: The Danes pulled off one the greatest shocks by winning in 1992. Since then they have reached the quarters just once (2004), and failed to qualify in 2008. 
>> Manager: Marten Olsen
>> Captain: Daniel Agger 
>> Watch out for: Dennis Rommedahl 
The veteran winger played an integral part in his team’s path to Euro 2012. The 33-year-old was the team’s joint top scorer in the qualifiers and with 113 caps and 21 goals looks set for the perfect swansong.


>> @ Euro: The 2008 runners-up have been one of Euro’s traditional powerhouses, having won the Championship thrice — 1972, 1980 and 1996. 
>> Manager: Joachim Loew 
>> Captain: Philipp Lahm
>> Watch out for: Mario Gomez
The Bayern Munich hitman is one of the most prolific scorers in Germany. Sheer power and a poaching mentality characterise this versatile striker.


>> @ Euro: Holland reached the semis in their first appearance in 1976. They later won the tournament in 1988.
>> Manager: Bert Van Marwijk
>> Captain: Mark Van Bommel
>> Watch out for: Arjen Robben
One of the most creative wingers, Robben, scored 23 goals for Bayern Munich last season and was voted Footballer of the Year in Germany.


>> @ Euro: Portugal faced one of the biggest heartbreaks in European football when they lost to 100-1 tournament outsiders Greece in the 2004 final on home soil. Four years later, they lost to Germany in the quarter-finals.
>> Manager: Paulo Bento
>> Captain: Cristiano Ronaldo
The Real Madrid forward is easily the biggest star in this tournament. A good performance from him could go a long way in settling the greatest footballer debate between him and Argentine Lionel Messi.


>> @ Euro: Croatia debuted in 1996 in England and have reached the quarters twice (1996, 2008).
>> Manager: Slaven Bilic
>> Captain: Darijo Srna
>> Watch out for: Luka Modric
The Tottenham midfielder possesses amazing creative vision and tactical supremacy. With top clubs chasing his signature he will have a point to prove.

Republic of Ireland

>> @ Euro: Ireland’s only previous Euro experience was in 1988, when they were ousted in the group stage itself.
>> Manager: Giovanni Trapattoni
>> Captain: Robbie Keane
>> Watch out for: Shay Given
The Aston Villa goalkeeper will be Ireland’s Mr Dependable through this campaign. He’s already proved his worth in the qualifiers having conceded just twice in his last seven competitive internationals. He has managed to shake off a calf injury and should feature in his team’s opening fixture.


>> @ Euro: The Italians won in 1968 and were runners-up in 2000.
>> Manager: Cesare Prandelli
>> Captain: Gianluigi Buffon
>> Watch out for: Mario Balotelli
One of the world’s most controversial footballers currently, Balotelli gets away each time as he somehow follows up a controversy with a fabulous performance on the field. His imposing stature and sheer power make him one of the best strikers in the world.


>>@ Euro: The 1964 and 2008 champions will be only the third team — after Germany and France — to head into a Euro while simultaneously holding the World Cup (2010) and the Euros.
>>Manager: Vicente del Bosque
>>Captain: Iker Casillas
>>Watch out for: Xavi
The Barcelona pass master will work tirelessly for the champions. He was named Player of the Tournament in Euro 2008.


>> @ Euro: England went out on penalties in 1996, 2000 and 2004. In 2008, The three Lions failed to qualify.
>> Manager: Roy Hodgson
>> Captain: Steven Gerrard
>> Watch out for: Wayne Rooney
The Manchester United striker will miss the first two group stage games against France and Sweden due to suspension. This however will only make him hungrier when he takes to the field against Ukraine on June 19.


>> @ Euro: The French have won twice (1984 & 2000). In 2004, Les Bleus lost in the quarter-final before failing in the Group of Death four years later.
>> Manager: Laurent Blanc
>> Captain: Hugo Lloris
>> Watch out for: Franck Ribery
The Bayern Munich winger possesses the potential to turn any game on its head with his sheer striking ability and pace.


>> @ Euro: They did well to reach the semi-finals on home soil in 1992. Their second best show came in 2004, where they lost to the Netherlands in the quarters.
>> Manager: Erik Hamren
>> Captain: Zlatan Ibrahimovich
The AC Milan target man’s. form has been on the downslide of late. But for a player of his ability, it takes just one good game for the magic to return.


>> @ Euro: Ukraine have never qualified for the tournament before.
>> Manager: Oleg Blokhin
>> Captain: Andriy Shevchenko
The 35-year-old Dynamo Kiev striker needs no introduction. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 2004, which was preceded by a productive
seven-year spell in Italy with AC Milan.

His influence may be on the wane, but the former Chelsea forward still remains a feared figure on the pitch nevertheless.

Group stages

June 8
Poland v Greece (Group A), 9.30 pm
Russia v Czech Republic (Group A), 12.00 am

June 9
Holland v Denmark (Group B), 9.30 pm
Germany v Portugal (Group B), 12.00 am

June 10
Spain v Italy (Group C), 9.30 pm
Republic of Ireland v Croatia (Group C), 12.00am

June 11
France v England (Group D), 9.30 pm
Ukraine v Sweden, (Group D), 12.00 am

June 12
Greece v Czech Republic (Group A), 9.30 pm
Poland v Russia (Group A), 12.00 am

June 13
Denmark v Portugal (Group B), 9.30 pm
Holland v Germany (Group B) 12.00 am

June 14
Italy v Croatia (Group C), 9.30 pm
Spain v Republic of Ireland (Group C), 12.00 am

June 15
Sweden v England (Group D), 9.30 pm
Ukraine v France (Group D), 12.00 am

June 16
Czech Republic v Poland (Group A), 12.00 am
Greece v Russia (Group A), 12.00 am

June 17
Portugal v Holland (Group B), 12.00 am
Denmark v Germany (Group B), 12.00 am

June 18
Croatia v Spain (Group C), 12.00 am
Italy v Republic of Ireland (Group C), 12.00 am

June 19
England v Ukraine (Group D), 12.00 am
Sweden v France (Group D), 12.00 am

June 21: Winner A v Runner-up B, 12.00 am
June 22: Winner B v Runner-up A, 12.00 am
June 23: Winner C v Runner-up D, 12.00 am
June 24: Winner D v Runner-up C, 12.00 am

June 27: Winner QF1 v Winner QF3, 12.00 am
June 28: Winner QF2 v Winner QF4, 12.00 am

Final on July 1  

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