In just hours, the 2012 UEFA European Championship is due to kick-start in Warsaw today, where co-hosts Poland play Greece.
Once all the typically underwhelming hoopla surrounding the opening ceremony finishes, we’ll probably begin to ponder why on earth UEFA insist on blowing large sums of money to see people ballet dance around the pitch with costumes on for half an hour. Then we’ll take a look at the two teams set to play in the opening fixture and probably wish we would have enjoyed the ballet dancing that little bit more.
For all the excitement which surrounds a major international tournament, we’re still going to have to endure 90 minutes of Poland v Greece, two teams who will hardly don their ballet shoes and metaphorically dance their way to a thrilling climax. The game really does have all the elements to capture the stigma of the prototypical ‘cagey opener’ tagline.
However, in Robert Lewandowski, Poland has a true superstar. Lewandowski, 23, has been a revelation in the Bundesliga for Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund and The White Eagles will be looking to him to kick-start their campaign this afternoon and dance to the tune of a nation in the process. Having struck a net blitzing 30 goals in 46 games for Dortmund last season, Poland will hope this kind of form doesn’t falter in Warsaw.
Having grabbed their place in the tournament off the back of their rights to host the tournament, Poland enter the competition as huge underdogs and will be hoping their home advantage plays its part. For the Poles to have any success in Euro 2012, they will need their support and their star man every step of the way.
Lining up opposite Greece’s formidable Sokratis Papastathopoulos, you can be assured a mesmeric ballet won’t be taking place in Warsaw. So, enjoy that opening ceremony whilst you can, because when the whistle blows, Fred and Ginger it ain’t.
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