Sunday, 2 December 2007

[Euro 2008] Reaction to Group of Death

The look on France coach Raymond Domenech's face said it all as Les Bleus were the second team drawn in Group C after the Netherlands.

Being placed alongside the Dutch was bad enough, but Domenech's expression of horror signalled the realisation that worse was to come. Romania were next out of the pot, then the hammer blow – Italy.

The Group of Death. Every tournament has to have one and Euro 2008 has not disappointed with the Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006 finalists scheduled to reprise their rivalry on 17 June in Zurich.

The two sides also met in qualifying, as did the Netherlands and Romania, so it was a time to renew acquaintances when the four coaches faced reporters together after today's draw in Lucerne.

"Va bene?" asked a journalist as Roberto Donadoni took his place at the table. The Italy coach shrugged and smiled wryly. Domenech could not hide his disappointment though, admitting he would rather have "avoided these three teams" before leaving early.

Roberto Donadoni (Italy coach): "It was not an easy qualifying round and now we have not been too fortunate with this draw. I had a gut feeling that it would turn out this way. But now we have to cope with what we have been given."

Raymond Domenech (France coach): "Not necessarily all the coaches are happy with the way the draw has turned out. I would have preferred to have avoided these three teams. But we have to proceed with the draw as it is."

Marco Van Basten (Netherlands coach): "You can say we have a really heavy group. We have to play against the World Cup finalists Italy and France. These are the two big countries. They have lots of experience, good players, so we have a really hard group. In the last World Cup we had a 'group of death' and I am very curious what they will call this one. We start against Italy, then France and then Romania so it will be a tough group for us. Italy is a real football nation that always gets far in tournaments. The same goes for France in recent years. This will be a very tough job."

Victor Piturca (Romania coach): "It is a very nice and easy group, with the world champions, the World Cup runners-up and Holland who we know very well. We hope it will be an extraordinary experience for us and why shouldn't we be one of the two teams to qualify?"

[Draw in full] - [Match Schedule] - [Reaction] - [Record] - [Azzurri base]

Source: UEFA

No comments:

Post a Comment