All Is Right With the World: Spain, Russia Win

Your stylish Euro 2008 update brings you the latest styles from the Continent. You are unprepared for their daring cuts and dazzling fitness. ↵

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↵The last time the Spanish and Russian teams combined to win on the same day, it might have been at the Battle of Nations versus Napoleon. The only great leader on the pitch today, however, was Guus Hiddink, football genius and yes, we repeat, honorary Korean citizen. His Russia team would have improved a 2-0 victory over Sweden to a more lopsided score had Russia's young strikers actually passed the ball to an open man on goal -- something that can be corrected before the inconsistent Russian team moves on to scare the living daylights out of Holland in their next match. ↵

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↵ ↵Russia's continuing improvement and bevy of talent has suddenly bumped them into dark horse status for 2010 in South Africa, and the cult of Guus Hiddink, football genius, expands e'er further. ↵

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↵Meanwhile, Greece remembered to do that scoring thing, but to no avail against a Spanish squad that, showing up with the usual Spanish lateness, seemed to wake up grumpily, score two beautiful goals, and then go back to sleep for the rest of the match. ↵

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↵Spain moves on to play Italy, who will be down two starting players from the squad that barely advanced to this point in the tournament. By all logical measures, this means I should get the satisfaction of watching a hard-charging Spanish squad score three outlandish goals on a misfiring Italian team. This being the logical conclusion, I fully expect Spain to crumple and allow Italy to win a 1-0 match on a single penalty kick awarded on a flop in the box. This being Euro 2008, logic has nothing to do with how things will actually work. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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