Your guide to this Sunday's footie game!
Friday 22 June 2012
It’s the quarterfinals of the European cup and England are still in the competition. Hoorah! So, although football may not be your specialty subject, being able to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the game with your pals in certainly a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Now - we’re not saying you will - but if you feel like you might make a total mockery out of yourself during the tense Italy match this weekend, you’ll want to read our guide below. We’ll make sure you’re up to speed on who the most important players are and we’ll even throw a few football facts in there so you can totally surprise your man!
Why is this game so important?
This game is the first in a bunch of what we like to call knockout rounds. This simply means that whichever team lose will be out of the competition and will have to fly home. To make for an even more tense watch, neither Italy nor England have lost a game in their Euro 2012 conquest so far.
If the game ends on a draw, 30 minutes of extra time is played. If there isstill no winner, then the game goes to penalties – keep out of your mans way should this occur (we are notoriously bad at penalties!)
But, should you fancy impressing someone with your footie knowledge then here’s a mini fact for you: In the past 22 years, England have only won ONE penalty shoot out and that was in 1996 against Spain. But, Italy have only won two in the past 32 years too
You may recognise some of the England players from tournaments gone by but the team has undergone a mild transformation and a number of fresh young players now set the England scene.
Here are some of the players you should keep your eye out for:
This 23 year old from Newbury made his England debut at just 17 and is known for his fast pace on the pitch. In 2008, he became the youngest player in history to score a hat-trick for England!
Joe Hart, 25, is our goalkeeper, and a very good one at that! He won Premiership goalkeeper of the year 2009-2010 and in the last three matches, he has only conceded three goals. He’s not bad on the eye either!
Andy Carroll, 23, is the second most expensive player in British football after he was bought by Liverpool for £50m.
Nicknamed The Ox, Alex is one of the youngest players on the team at just 19 years old. This has made him thesecond youngest player ever to represent England in the European Championships behind Wayne Rooney.
And if you want to look really fancy, then here are some of the Italian players to look out for.
Goalkeeper and captain of the team, Gianluigi has only let in two goals during the competition so far. He won goalkeeper of the year 8 times in the Italian league he plays in.
Andrea, 33, a set play (corners, free kicks, throw ins etc) specialist and known for his inventive playing skills, making it hard for defenders to contain him.
Balotelli is a temperamental player, gaining fame both on and off the pitch. He once accidentally set his house on fire while lighting fireworks out of hisbathroom window and has been known to hand out money to strangers.
Although you may want to curse/boo/throw things at the mere vision of Ashley Cole – please refrain! We know what he did to Cheryl was horrific andunforgivable but in the football world, no one cares! And it’s the same with John Terry and Wayne Rooney – just let those angry feelings pass you by.
Do not be frightened if the entire pub burst into song – all the time they’re singing, they’re happy – it’s a good thing! If you want to join in, here are some of the more popular footie songs that might crop up!