Croatia's love affair with coach Slaven Bilic is heading for a messy divorce. After reaching the Euro 2008 quarterfinals, it failed to make the World Cup and endured a difficult qualification campaign until an impressive 3-0 win over Turkey and Guus Hiddink in the playoffs. Bilic already confirmed he will leave after the tournament -- he signed a contract with Lokomotiv Moscow -- but he is desperate to go out on a high and prove his critics wrong.
David Villa was top goalscorer at Euro 2008 as Spain secured a first major championship in 44 years, but the world champions' all-time leading marksman will not be part of next month's title defense in Poland and Ukraine.
Samir Nasri has always known his own value, and that sense will be keener now than ever before. The midfielder, voted France's Player of the Year for 2010, has one more year left on his Arsenal contract, and is the subject of serious interest from Premier League champions Manchester United and, reportedly, Manchester City. His dilemma: should he stay or go?
Holland gave everything to Euro 2008. The team played dazzling soccer against France and world champion Italy. Pundits swooned over an updated version of total football and praised the individual skills of Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart & Co.
The warm glow of the 2008 European Championship continued to spread across Spain well into the summer. Even the transfer stories were set aside, for a while at least, in favor of the accolades. And when the screaming headlines and astronomical figures began once again to be splashed across the covers of the country's newspapers, there was something different about it.
It's been a slow summer in the Premier League, with no England in Euro 2008 and a transfer market that has been moving slower than 92-year-old Great Uncle Limey after several hours at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Probably something to do with the tightening finances in the football world and the soccernomics issues we wrote about last time around.
VIENNA, Austria -- OK, so I've tried my best. I've held my tongue throughout this tournament. But, the fact is, I've had it. I've had enough of people telling me that Miroslav Klose and Karim Benzema are overrated donkeys because they haven't had a good Euro 2008. Or that David Villa is now the best striker in Europe (heck, he's not even the best striker on his national team). Or that Andrei Arshavin is the second coming of Zinedine Zidane.
Thousands of football fans fled for safety and millions of TV viewers were left disappointed Wednesday night as an electrical storm in Vienna disrupted coverage of the first of the Euro 2008 semifinals.