Euro 2008: 19 days to go...
Time for another Euro 2008 update now and today we're looking at some of the announcements made recently detailing the squads playing in Austria and Switzerland.
Just yesterday, Spain
coach Luis Aragones gave us his final 23-man squad for the finals and there were one or two notable absences - the main one being Real Madrid striker Raul.
He's been a key man in Real's title-winning campaign this season, scoring 18 goals, and is still Spain's leading goalscorer of all time with 44, but Aragones was insistent that Raul wasn't the only decent player he decided to leave out regardless of their current form. Sure enough, David Albelda and Joaquín Sánchez from Valencia have also been left out from the final Spanish squad.
Someone who has
made the final cut, though, is Real Zaragoza striker Sergio Garcia. With only four goals to his name this season, Aragones was keen to note the quality of Garcia's recent individual performances as well as those of another surprise inclusion, the uncapped attacking midfielder from Villareal, Santiago Cazorla.Spain squad for Euro 2008 (final):
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool), Andres Palop (Sevilla)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Juanito (Real Betis), Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool), Fernando Navarro (Real Mallorca), Raul Albiol (Valencia), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal)
Midfielders: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), David Silva (Valencia), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Ruben de La Red (Getafe), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool), Marcos Senna (Villarreal)
Strikers: David Villa (Valencia), Sergio Garcia (Real Zaragoza), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Daniel Guiza (Real Mallorca)
On now to France
where coach Raymond Domenech has named a provisional 30-man squad which will be trimmed to 23 on May 28th. Among the key ommissions here were David Trezeguet who appears to be a victim of the coach's intent to play in a way that Trezeguet doesn't suit.
His place appears to have been taken by Saint Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis who has 16 goals to his name this season, but that aside there are very few surprises in the French squad. Here's how it looks...France squad for Euro 2008 (provisional):
Goalkeepers: Grégory Coupet (Olympique Lyonnais), Mickaël Landreau (Paris Saint-Germain), Sébastien Frey (Fiorentina), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).
Defenders: Willy Sagnol (Bayern München), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona), William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Olympique Lyonnais), François Clerc (Olympique Lyonnais), Julien Escudé (Sevilla), Philippe Mexès (Roma), Sébastien Squillaci (Olympique Lyonnais).Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal), Patrick Vieira (Internazionale), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Jérémy Toulalan (Olympique Lyonnais), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth).
Strikers: Franck Ribéry (Bayern München), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyonnais), Samir Nasri (Olympique de Marseille), Hatem Ben Arfa (Olympique Lyonnais), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyonnais), Djibril Cissé (Olympique de Marseille), Bafétimbi Gomis (Saint Etienne).
Finally for now, a look at Germany
's squad and the only choices that might raise an eyebrow or two are uncapped teenage winger Marko Marin from Bundesliga 2 side Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Rene Adler who replaces usual 2nd-choice keeper Timo Hildebrand of Valencia.
Also included from Borussia Mönchengladbach, in spite of the club's lowly position this season, is Oliver Neuville while another Bundesliga 2 player, Patrick Helmes, also gets the nod as a representative of FC Koln. Both teams have this season gained promotion back to Bundesliga 1.Germany squad for Euro 2008 (provisional):
Goalkeepers: Jens Lehmann (Arsenal), Robert Enke (Hannover 96), René Adler (Bayer Leverkusen).
Defenders: Christoph Metzelder (Real Madrid), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Bayern Munich), Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04).
Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea), Thomas Hitzlsperger (Stuttgart), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburger SV), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke 04), David Odonkor (Real Betis), Marko Marin (Borussia Mönchengladbach).
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich), Mario Gómez (VfB Stuttgart), Kevin Kuranyi (FC Schalke 04), Oliver Neuville (VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach), Patrick Helmes (FC Köln).
We'll have more news on the Euro 2008 squads, plus everything else you need to maximise your enjoyment of the competition later this week.
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