Date:Saturday June 21 2008
Guus Hiddink promised that tonight's Euro quarter-final would be Edwin van der Sar's last game in a Holland shirt. The Russia coach is apparently supremely confident about his side's chances...
All the other United players have fallen by the wayside: Cristiano Ronaldo was miserably poor against Germany, save for a shot that was parried by Lehmann, only to be turned in by Nuno Gomes. Nani provided a great assist as a substitute but could not prevent his side going out of the tournament. Patrice Evra was immeasurably better than Eric Abidal but his contribution in itself did not save France.
So it's only Edwin and he's got to face a revitalised Russian team who got back their main creative force, Andrei Arshavin and are therefore a very dangerous side. They are capable of beating the red-hot Dutch team which would create a strange situation: the European Club Champions would have no representatives in the best four teams of the European Championships.
I don't mind to be honest: I'm especially glad that Rooney will have a quiet summer with a good rest. Still, it's a bit strange that we had so few representatives but not very baffling if you think about it: we have a lot of English players, two South Americans, a Welshman, a Scotsman, an Irishman, a Serbian. Our French players, save Evra, are peripheral in our squad, too and it is no surprise they did not earn call-ups to the national team.
I'm rooting for Edwin though: Holland played the best football of the tournament by some distance so far and how fitting it would if he crowned his brilliant season by winning a major title with his country at last?
Date:Saturday June 21 2008
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