Group Play Best and Worst – Round 2
Mario Gomez – has three goals in two matches over the first two games this tournament. Two of those goals came against the second best team in the world. In Germany’s qualifying campaign Gomez largely held the position of second choice striker giving him something to prove once the Euro began. And something to prove he has; both goals against the Dutch had great first touches and equally clinical finishes. With Klose on the bench, Gomez is going to be the focal point of this team’s attack and will be relied heavily on if they want to make a deep run this summer. If Gomez keeps this form up he might well find himself bringing home the cup to Deutschland and wearing a pair of golden boots to match.
Fernando Torres – El Niño was granted a starting spot for the Spaniards against Ireland this week and the red-turned-blue striker didn’t disappoint. After a forgettable performance against the Azzurri he silenced critics with two goals in his next match leaving Spain with the decision of false vs. true nine for the next game.
Bastian Schweinsteiger – Now while Gomez receives top honors for Matchday 2; none of it would possible without the midfield maestro. Both of Gomez’s goals were only made possible by the equally, if not more, brilliant passes from Schweinsteiger. The combination of Gomez’s ability to run into space and Bastian’s unbelievable eye for those spaces make this pairing lethal in games to come.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Now if you’re confused why I’m putting the worlds arguably second best player in this spot for round 2, I can see why you would be confused for one of two reasons. A) Even if he hasn’t done anything it doesn’t make him the worst player or B) He’s been so non-existent that you didn’t realize he was even in the tournament at all. Portugal has a total of 3 points in the last two matches and need both a win vs. the Netherlands tomorrow and a German win/draw. If that is to happen this team needs their superstar to drastically change his mentality as well as his team’s. Ronaldo has been virtually a non-issue for defenses in the Euro; the Portuguese winger has a total of 10 shots and only 4 of them on target this summer. In the game against Denmark, the Danish fans were heard chanting “Messi, Messi, Messi” throughout the game, an obvious slight/reminder to Ronaldo that for all his accomplishments in club football he is still second fiddle to “la pulga”. Ronaldo in retaliation showed his maturity in an interview stating “You know where (Messi) was at this time (last year)? Do you know?” Ronaldo said. “He was being eliminated in the Copa America, in his own country? “I think that’s worse, no?
Robin Van Persie – The Dutch Striker falls in the same boat as Cristiano. Both players came into this tournament with the prospect of carrying their nation to the championship, except in all honesty, the Netherlands has a lot more talent which takes some of the pressure off RVP. In an epic showdown tomorrow it will be two of the best players in the world squaring off to try and lift their team into the knockout phase. In order for Netherlands to advance, they need a German win and to beat Portugal by 2 or more goals; lets hope Van Persie brings his game.