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Euro 2008 briefs on Thursday:
ZERO OUT OF FOUR
ZURICH: Swiss bank UBS didn't just get it slightly wrong, it got it all wrong. The venerable bank predicted ahead of Euro 2008 that the Czech Republic would win the tournament, with Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland all making it into the semifinals. In fact, Italy and the Netherlands only came as far as the quarters, while the other two were eliminated in the group stages.
ISTANBUL: A few animals can count themselves lucky that Turkey lost to Germany in Wednesday's semifinal match in Basel. Turkish football association president Hasan Dogan indeed promised to slaughter 1,111 beasts if his team made it to the finals, to offer to orphans and the needy. The latter, unfortunately, had more than one reason to hope for their team's win.
ON THE RUN
VIENNA: The players taking part in Euro 2008 have run a total 6,480 kilometres up to now in 29 games, according to the Castrol performance index website. In the group stage alone, the Romanians were the most energetic, covering 341.6 kilometres on average in three games, while the French "only" ran 307.5 kilometres. Powerful running is obviously not the key to winning however, as neither team made it past the group stage.
TENERO: Hans-Dieter Flick took a long time to recover from the Germany v Portugal game last Thursday, which saw him take the team's reins from coach Jogi Loew, who was suspended for one game and had to watch from the VIP stand. Five days after the game, he still had a tiny voice. "I shouted a lot during the match against Portugal," he explained.
THE LONG MARCH
MADRID: Spain coach Luis Aragones could have a long walk ahead of him if his team wins the tournament. Aragones indeed promised in a Spanish TV show on April 15 that he would do a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with his wife if Spain won the title. To walk or win, that is the question.