European Championship 2012: The Alternative Awards

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SPORT QUIZ
The good, the bad and the ugly | Getty

Spain's reign in international football continues after they slaughtered Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final to inflict the worst defeat in the European Championship finals' history.

After 44 years without a trophy, they have won three major honours in a row, setting an unprecedented record in international football.

But how do they fare in the Euros' awards list?

BEST MOMENT
Andrea Pirlo's Panenka Penalty. The regista said after Italy's penalty shootout triumph he went for the dink to take Joe Hart, who appeared as though he was enacting the English Haka, down a peg or two. He did so in such an audaciously aesthetic manner grown men, irrespective of nationality, moaned in pleasure. (Honourable mention: Kuba's equaliser against Russia for Poland.)

BEST GOAL
Zlatan Ibrahimovic versus France. He has his knockers in England, but Ibra was superb at the Euros for the unlucky Swedes. His scissor-kick volley against the French may have been inconsequential for the already eliminated yellow and blues, but he again stole the greatest goal of the Euros after his outrageous flick against Italy in 2004. (Honourable mention: Danny Welbeck against Sweden.)


Marcus Christenson
Zlatan: I don't give a shit who wins it now. I'm going on holiday. Hopefully in Sweden but if the weather's bad I've got an aeroplane ready

WORST MATCH
Spain 2-0 France. A match so tedious Danny Baker tweeted a video of paint drying, this was Spain at their reticent, control-freak worst, while their opponents didn't help matters. In his final match coaching Les Bleus, Blanc fielded two right-backs.

BEST XI
Patricio; Debuchy Pepe Hummels Alba; Pirlo Marchisio Iniesta; Özil Ronaldo; Dzagoev

WORST TEAM
Republic of Ireland. So bad they played Simon Cox up front against Spain and thought they could get away with it. They got beaten 4-0.

UEFA KILLING FOOTBALL MOMENT NO.1
Countdowns to kick-off. Matches would only start once the MC got the go-ahead to count from 10-1 in a moment reminiscent of Gladiators and decent Saturday night television. It can't be long till the plasticised environment of the Premier League is subjected to this farce.

MOST APTLY NAMED PLAYER
Holger Badstuber. And some Germans tried to convince us he'd been good for Bayern Munich last season. Chelsea may have attacked in the Champions League final if he wasn't suspended.

BEST COMMENTATOR
N/A.

UEFA KILLING FOOTBALL MOMENT NO.2
Playing Seven Nation Army after every goal. Airing music to herald a goal is as much of an atmosphere-killer as blowing on a vuvuzela. Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and Celtic all do it and the great worry is that the White Stripes' signature song too will catch on and be blared at a ground near you soon.

ANTI-FOOTBALL'S LATEST DEFINITION
Spain. They may be the best international side and have set an unprecedented level of success, but football should be about attacking and bringing supporters joy. La Roja start two holding midfielders, no strikers and invariably kill off the game. Unless you're down to 10 men. Or Ireland.

BEST PUNDIT
Roy Keane. Not just for his threshold tolerating Adrian Chiles for over three weeks, but the no-nonsense summary of his country's poor campaign and generally being unafraid to be honest. (Honourable mention: Jamie Carragher.)

MAKE IT STOP
Mexican Wave.

WORST COACH
Bert van Marwijk.

MOST SATISFYING MOMENT
The Pukka Pies Band being refused entry to England-France. This attention-seeking troupe sprung up after Euro 96 (no coincidence) and have taken a knife to the concept football retains an atmosphere every time they enter a stadium ever since. How wonderful it was then not to hear the shrill of their instruments playing nu-fan songs in England's opening game, despite them being allowed in to every other match thereafter.

NOT AS GOOD AS HE THINKS HE IS
Joe Hart. One BBC employee tweeted a week into the tournament he'd take Hart over Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon. Such giddiness even then was laughable, and that was when Hart exhibited nervousness as he flustered throughout the tournament; regularly flapping at crosses and spilling routine shots. His campaign ended with those infamous antics during the penalty shootout as he became the latest Three Lions goalkeeper not to save a spot-kick.


Darren Fletcher
Outside of Neuer for Germany I'd take Hart over any other keeper and I include Casillas & Buffon in that - taking their age into account

WORST COMMENTATOR
Guy Mowbray. Once upon a time, he was a professional up-and-comer who was erudite in his observations and pleasing to listen to. However he has been sucked into the smug vacuousness of the BBC's Match of the Day coverage to the extent he beats the obsequious Peter Drury. When Italy's Antonio Abate was struggling with an injury in the quarter-final against England, Mowbray said "here's hoping" to the prospect he would have to be substituted. Class.

BEST PLAYER WITHOUT A MEDAL
Mesut Özil.

WORST PLAYER WITH A MEDAL
Alvaro Negredo.

SO BAD YOU YEARN FOR HELDER POSTIGA
Hugo Almeida.

WORST 'PUNDIT'
Martin Keown. It takes a monumental effort to outdo Mark Lawrenson and Mark Bright, but Keown achieved the feat with ease. When not adopting stereotypes to describe teams' style of play, he came out with such pearlers as the following before the Spain-Portugal semi-final:

"Spain will have to score two - something they haven't done for a while." Is five days ago "a while"?


Yids
Martin Keown's performance at this tournament it on par with Ashley Young's.

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