Top 10 Flops of Euro 2008

Top 10 Flops of Euro 2008

Luca Toni‘s topping the charts again… only this time, it isn’t very flattering. English tabloid The Sun just dished out another Top 10 list, regrouping the “Biggest flops” of this Summer’s Euro championship tournament. The Italy striker tops the list, despite receiving a pat on the back from Bayern Munich chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge.

It’s not [Toni's] fault if things didn’t go well, it’s Italy’s” said Rummenigge. “He was only served well in the game against France, he made mistakes but also won the penalty which changed the match. Against Spain he was very criticised, injustly: I did not see a single good pass played to him in that game to even have a chance of scoring. He was all alone, and he was missing Pirlo.” Still not enough for The Sun writers, and who can blame them? Going from 40 goals in his first season with Bayern to zero goals at Euro 2008 surely deserves some criticism…

Number 2 in the list is Chelsea and Czech Republic keeper Petr Cech, earning the spot thanks to his less-than-stellar performance vs. Turkey (Nihat Kahveci is still saying thank you). Completing the podium we find Barcelona and France defender Eric Abidal, who caused the penalty kick against Toni in the match vs. Italy, and the resulting red card that virtually cleared the road for the Azzurri’s victory.

In 4th spot, title holders Greece (knocked out in the first round), followed by Thierry Henry (“the man whose star continues to fade“) and Mario Gomez (“[Germany] were effectively playing with 10 men for their three group games“). At 7th spot are host countries Austria & Switzerland, for getting knocked out in the group stage “and barely raising a cheer from their own fans“.

Completing the “best of the worst” list, Fiorentina and Romania striker Adrian Mutu (who probably still hasn’t swallowed Buffon’s PK save), France’s Karim Benzema (a “wonderkid that failed to impress”) and the host TV broadcaster (for the power outage during the Germany-Turkey semi-final).

Here’s the full list with captions from The Sun article:

TV static Nº10: The Host Broadcaster
A massive electrical storm in Vienna saw Germany’s thrilling showdown with Turkey ruined for millions of armchair fans. At least 10 minutes of the rollercoaster semi-final was lost in the TV coverage, including Miroslav Klose’s goal.

Nº9: Karim Benzema French forward Karim Benzema reacts at the end of the Euro 2008 Championships Group C football match France vs. Italy on June 17, 2008 at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich . Italy won 2-0. (AFP/Getty Images)
The France striker went into the tournament with a growing reputation as his country’s wonderkid. Fans were told he was the hottest property outside Italy, Spain and England. But Benzema failed to impress during his two dismal displays for the hopeless French.

Romanian forward Adrian Mutu is pictured during the Euro 2008 Championships Group C football match Netherlands vs. Romania on June 17, 2008 at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Bern. (AFP/Getty Images) Nº8: Adrian Mutu
The former Chelsea striker was tipped to pull up trees with underdogs Romania. And with a penalty against Italy, he was one kick away from sending his side into the quarter-finals. But Mutu fluffed his effort and Romania later tumbled out against Holland.

Nº7: The Co-Hosts Host countries Austria and Switzerland
Austria and Switzerland were both among the first seeds for the tournament as the host nations but they barely raised a cheer for their own fans. Austria bowed out with a single draw, while Switzerland’s only points came against Portugal in a dead rubber following their own elimination.

German forward Mario Gomez (back) lays on the field next to teammate German defender Clemens Fritz during their Euro 2008 Championships Group B football match Germany vs. Poland on June 8, 2008 at Woerthersee stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria. (AFP/Getty Images) Nº6: Mario Gomez
Germany’s route to the final was no mean feat — especially when you consider they were effectively playing with 10 men for their three group games. Gomez contributed next to nothing, with boss Joachim Low seeing sense in the quarter-finals to finally drop him.

Nº5: Thierry Henry French forward Thierry Henry reacts after missing a goal opportunity during the Euro 2008 Championships Group C football match France vs. Italy on June 17, 2008 at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich . Italy won 2-0. (AFP/Getty Images)
The man whose star continues to fade must take some of the stick for France’s disjointed campaign this month. Henry’s goal against Holland masked an ineffective showing, with his deflection against Italy condemning his side to an early exit from the group stages.

German coach of the Greek national football team Otto Rehhagel gestures during the Euro 2008 Championships Group D football match Greece vs. Spain on June 18, 2008 at the Wals-Siezenheim stadium in Salzburg. (AFP/Getty Images) Nº4: Greece
It seems a bit harsh for the surprise winners of Euro 2004 to be here but defeat in all three group games was truly woeful. And Greece’s arch-rivals Turkey rubbed the defending champions’ noses in it by reaching the semi-finals with a series of thrilling comebacks.

Nº3: Eric Abidal Slovak referee Michel L'ubos (L) hands a red card to French defender Eric Abidal (C) next to midfielder teammate Claude Makelele (R) during the Euro 2008 Championships Group C football match France vs. Italy on June 17, 2008 at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich. (AFP/Getty Images)
Playing the world champions in a win-or-bust final group game is never easy, yet France did not help themselves. When defender Abidal chopped down Italy’s Luca Toni for a first-half penalty and straight red card, it was au revoir Les Bleus.

Czech Republic's goalkeeper Petr Cech reacts after their Group A Euro 2008 soccer match defeat to Turkey at Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva June 15, 2008. (REUTERS) Nº2: Petr Cech
Leading 2-1 against Turkey with just two minutes left, Czech Republic had one foot in the quarter-finals— until Cech’s howler. The Chelsea keeper horribly fluffed a routine cross for the equaliser, before an injury-time winner sent his side packing.

Nº1: Luca Toni Italian forward Luca Toni heads for the ball during the Euro 2008 Championships Group C football match France vs. Italy on June 17, 2008 at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich. (AFP/Getty Images)
The Italian hotshot came to the finals on the back of a golden season with Bayern Munich, notching 31 goals in the Bundesliga. But Toni endured a dreadful tournament, missing countless chances as well as looking like a man running through treacle.

Agree with the list? Tell us what you think below.

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Posted in Euro 2008 |

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  • 28 Responses to “Top 10 Flops of Euro 2008”

    1. TBI says:

      The Sun’s author must be a Man U fan because Cristiano Ronaldo should be in this list.

    2. Prastama says:

      The number 1 should be The whole Italian squad, not just Luca Toni himself

    3. Liverpool_Fan says:

      I think Luca Toni played well he just couldn’t find the net, his build up play was great though I wouldn’t put him top. I know we like to slag off the broadcaster but I don’t blame them really. Other than that I agree with the list.

    4. Max Zeger says:

      Sorry Sun but there is now way Greece isn’t number 1. There was only one powerhouse team in their group so they had a good opportunity to advance to the knockout stages. They blew it in all 3 games and didn’t get a point. The holders not getting a point is the biggest flop for me.

    5. Sydley says:

      I also agree with Liverpool_Fan about Toni’s performance

      Remember, he did actually score – It was incorrectly ruled offside, that’s all :)

      Cristiano Ronaldo should be on this list – Once the Germans went ahead in the 2nd half, he disappeared…Not the sort of inspiration you’d expect from the “World’s Best Player”

    6. FirePower says:

      Agree on Ronaldo. I’d put the French national team in the list too.

    7. Jacob says:

      Correction: The number 1 should be england for not even qualifying.

    8. Mocha latte says:

      Just wondering if Cristain Ronaldo’s name be in there too?

    9. stevie's says:

      Jacob’s i agree with u. I’m quite disappointed with this reach. And CR7 should be there as number 2 or 3.
      Why don’t u list The Sun’s 10 Success of EURO 2008? El nino must be number 1 for his only golden goal. BRAVO SPAIN !!

    10. Dean says:

      cant agree with benzema..he was hampered by playing alongside hams like Anelka

    11. Liverpool_Fan says:

      Big players show up in the big games and thats why Torres isnt on that list.

    12. FirePower says:

      Muahahahah. Easy to say AFTER the final Liverpool_Fan…

    13. AINAMEG says:

      The Dutch must be in the list. In the top 3!!! trashing the world champions Italy and runners up France followed by a cool victory against the impressive Romanians, dispatching Russia should have been routine for the Oranjes’. after all Russia isnt exactly anywhere near the class of the dutchs’ group opponents Italy, France and Romania. with the world world tuning in to see the superstars of Holland dispatch Russia like how they dispatched Yugoslavia in the Euro 2000, they self destructed big time. The ‘Father’ of total football gave us instead the ‘Mother’ of all flops. without a shadow of doubt the Dutch must be in that list. top 3!!!

    14. Riot says:

      As the french i think i would put the French national team…werent help by Lady Luck but we didnt push her to help us at all. I would change the position of Benzema and Henry.
      Henry was a disappointed the whole year (as well as Malouda, but thats another story) but Benzema seems to have crumbled under the pression. Except one shot against Romanian and one wonderfully saved by Buffon, i dont think he’s anything near his name was put before the tournament.

    15. Giovan says:

      Someone at EUFA certainly agrees. With the exception of Gigi, no Azzurri player made it on the squad.

      UEFA squad of the tournament
      UEFA has announced the best 23 players of the tournament today. These are:


      Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain) and Edwin van der Sar (the Netherlands).


      Jose Bosingwa (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Carlos Marchena (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Carles Puyol (Spain) and Yuri Zhirkov (Russia).


      Hamit Altintop (Turkey), Luka Modric (Croatia), Marcos Senna (Spain), Xavi (Spain), Konstantin Zyryanov (Russia), Michael Ballack (Germany), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lukas Podolski (Germany) and Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands).


      Andrei Arshavin (Russia), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia), Fernando Torres (Spain) and David Villa (Spain).

    16. Monica 08 says:

      I completely agree with this ‘flop’ list. :grin: I would include Italy manager Donadoni. Unable to make changes during a game (notably not replacing underperforming Luca Toni), How about Lehmann? Shaky in the last 2 games.

    17. Aravind says:

      I’m surprise Malouda isn’t there in the list. Cech made an error made he made dozens of top class saves too. So Cech shoudn’t be in the list, IMO.

    18. Uzair says:

      10. Miroslave Klose
      09. Steve McLaren
      08. The France National Team
      07. The Italy National Team
      06. Cristiano Ronaldo
      05. Adrian Mutu, Niko Olic, Luca Toni and Mario Gomez
      04. Crotia, Czech Republic and Switzerland for conceding those late goals
      03. The Host Broadcaster
      02. The Refrees
      01. Thierry henry (tho he’s my fav player)

    19. anu says:

      If for all the hype and big money transfer saga about him, Ronaldo couldonly manage a goal then he is certainly one of the top flops. your assesment is not strong if it ignores this.

    20. Daniel Beech says:

      I seem to recall Luca Toni missing a shitload of chances at the World Cup as well, it was just overshadowed by the fact that Italy won the thing.

    21. glenny says:

      i think c.ronaldo should be mentioned,arguably the best player in the world at the moment and done f**k all on the big stage where it matters most.

    22. Steve says:

      First time youngsters can’t be flops. They haven’t succeeded or failed on the big stage. Benzema/Ben Arfa/Nasri are still only supporting figures for Les Bleus. There is no reason France should rest the team on their shoulders with the talent on that team. Benzema should be able to expect support from Henry/Anelka. The same goes for Italy and Holland, they are such strong teams, represented in the best leagues in Europe.

      Greece was a flop based solely on group strength, given the chance to succeed against Russia or Sweden. Russia was virtually stagnant when Arshavin was marked.

      Ronaldo must be mentioned, particularly after such a stellar campaign. But after over inflating his transfer saga, he gave himself an excuse not to perform on the big stage. He didn’t bother showing up for the Champ Final either, so this should have been expected. On top of lackluster play, he blamed his team for not playing ‘right’. He is a classless twit(twat-you choose) that equally impacts the morale of a team as the outcome.

      Too bad England were not in this tourney. The world would have enjoyed watching Wayne Rooney stomp on CR7s testicles this time.

    23. gt says:

      Prastama, Chiellini and Buffon were nothing short of amazing during the whole tournament and were key on ensuring Italy actually qualified from the group stages. Camoranesi and Del Piero created the few chances Italy had in Spain-Italy, and Pirlo and Gattuso were the ones that managed to defeat France. The rest of the team were crap, I agree. But you and Uzair are mistaken.

    24. Jade says:

      i totally agree with daniel beech. toni squandered countless chances in the world cup but was lucky that the italians won it. god kows how he scored so many for bayern last season.they should have started di natale ahead of him.

    25. Ukato Raymond says:

      Thierry Henry should not be blamed, base on the fact that he was injured before making the final group game.I would simply blame my name sake; Raymond Dominique for carrying so much old horses to the tournament. How could Abidal make French team after a disastrous season with Barca? What was Viera’s impact after all? Why not stick to players such as Clichy, Evra, Flamini et al and probably mix up with experience such as Makelele, Henry and not dead Anelka and Malouda. Raymond is my no. 1 culprit, especially annoucing his marriage proposals on air to long time fiance, he was a total flop at EURO 2008, knowing he was in the group of DEATH. He should be fired without mercy, he has tried for Le bleus, presently he lack cohesion and vision.

      More so, the sun tabloid failed me for not mentioning England, who should be termed no. 1 flop for not qualifying for a tournament of this magnitude, after a show-face at the just concluded Champions League final with Chelsea and Man U, and believing it was the number of foreigners plying their trade in the football business that caused it, they should learn from France, Italy, Germany and others who continue to taste success every now and then – What a shame.

    26. Djebah Vughe says:

      The number flops should definetely go to the host countries for failing to qualify from the group stages! I had placed much hope on the host countries especially the swiss but the broke the hearts of all their fans worldwide.

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