Euro 2012: Guide to Group C

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Following the draw for the group stage of Euro 2012, we guide you through the four teams comprising Group C.

SPAIN

FIFA Ranking: 1

Manager: Vincent del Bosque

The Spaniard was a huge success at Real Madrid where in the space of just four years he won an array of trophies, including two league titles and two Champions Leagues. He was amazingly relieved of his duties a day after winning the league in 2003 but Madrid's loss would be Spain's gain. He took over in 2008 before winning their first World Cup in 2010.

Captain: Iker Casillas

At the age of just 30 he is already Spain's most capped player with an astonishing 127 caps. One of, if not the best, goalkeepers in the world, the Real Madrid man has won pretty much everything there is to win in the game for club and country. Led Spain to their Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 wins.

Top Scorer in Qualifying: David Villa (7 goals)

How Qualified: Group I winners

Euro Best: Champions 1964, 2008

Odds: 5/2

Recent Form: DLWWWWLWWW

Danger Man: Xavi

Spain's array of talent is almost endless but none are so dangerous and consistent as the Barcelona man who's ability to find a pass can be second to none. Epitomises Spain's tiki-taka passing that has come to define their style and world dominance over the past few years.

Young Gun: Thiago Alcantara

22 June 1996

England 0-0 Spain (Eng won 4-2 on pens)

In front of expectant fans, England failed to break down the Spaniards in normal time, but eventually got the win in a tense penalty shoot-out. A defiant Stuart Pearce exorcised his demons from Italy '90 by scoring from the spot. David Seaman saved Miguel Nadal's crucial penalty to send England through to the semi-finals.

 

ITALY

FIFA Ranking: 9

Manager: Cesare Prandelli

After winning the European Cup and three Serie A titles as a player with Juventus, Prandelli has yet to win anything of note as a manager. Following promotions with Verona and Venezia and a successful five-year spell in charge of Fiorentina though, he was appointed manager of the Azzurri and has presided over an unbeaten qualifying campaign.

Captain: Gianluigi Buffon

The 33-year-old goalkeeper has now drawn level with Dino Zoff on 112 caps and has been a consistent presence between the sticks for his country since making his debut in 1997. The loyal Juventus shot-stopper is from a sporting family with his mother a former discus thrower and father a former weightlifter.

Top Scorer in Qualifying: Antonio Cassano (6 goals)

How Qualified: Group C winners

Euro Best: Champions 1968

Odds: 10/1

Recent Form: LWWDWWWLWW

Danger Man: Andrea Pirlo

The 32-year-old remains an integral figure in an increasingly youthful looking Italian side. He played in all but one of the qualifying matches and provides a threat from dead-ball situations as well as orchestrating the team from the midfield. Having won the World Cup, this will surely be his last chance for European Championship glory.

Young Gun: Mario Balotelli

11 October 1997

Italy 0-0 England

Glenn Hoddle's men only needed a point to progress to France '98. The team defended valiantly for 90 minutes in Rome to ensure they progressed without the need for a play-off. A bloodied Paul Ince became the iconic figure of England's battle, by carrying on despite suffering a nasty head wound during the match.

 

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

FIFA Ranking: 21

Manager: Giovanni Trapattoni

The Italian has had a hugely successful career that started in 1974 and has seen him manage all over Europe. He is one of only two managers in history to win the league title in four different countries as well as being the only manager to have won every UEFA club competition and the World club title. Recently signed a new contract until 2014.

Captain: Robbie Keane

Top Scorer in Qualifying: Robbie Keane (5 Goals)

How Qualified: Playoffs (v Estonia)

Euro Best: Group Stage 1998

Odds: 33/1

Recent Form: DWWWDDDWWW

Danger Man: Robbie Keane

The Irish talisman and skipper has the proven pedigree at this level having scored three goals in Republic of Ireland's 2002 World Cup adventure. As joint second on the all time Euro qualification goal scoring list he'll back his chances of inspiring the Irish to an upset or two.

Young Gun: James McCarthy

12 June 1988

England 0-1 Rep. of Ireland

The English started as they meant to go on, going down to a Ray Houghton goal. In their remaining two group games they failed to pick up a single point, leaving the tournament in embarrassment. Ireland failed to kick-on from this, as they were unable to pick up another point in the group.

 

CROATIA

FIFA Ranking: 8

Manager: Slaven Bilic

The former West Ham and Everton defender seemed to be one of the hottest properties in football management after masterminding qualification ahead of England for Euro 2008. His reputation took a knock with failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup but he has bounced back and after convincingly seeing off Turkey in the qualifying playoffs, he will be keen to impress in the summer.

Captain: Darijo Srna

Perennially linked with a move away from Shakhtar Donetsk, Srna has now won 89 caps for his country and built a reputation as a solid performer and strong leader. The 29-year old is also versatile and can play both in defence and midfield, making him a key player for both club and country.

Top Scorer in Qualifying: Niko Kranjcar (4 Goals)

How Qualified: Playoffs (v Turkey)

Euro Best: Quarter-Finals 1996, 2008

Odds: 40/1

Recent Form: DWWLWWDWDL

Danger Man: Luka Modric

The 26-year-old midfielder, who already has over 50 caps to his name, pulls the strings for his country as much as he does for Tottenham. Having been denied a move to Chelsea in the summer, he has been integral to Spurs' early season form and will be looking forward to enhancing his reputation at Euro 2012.

Young Gun: Ivan Perisic

21 November 2007

England 2-3 Croatia

The 'Wolly with the Brolly' saw his side fail to qualify for the last European Championships following a calamitous error from the inexperienced Scott Carson, who allowed a Niko Krancjar strike from 30 yards slip through his fingers. Two down at half time, England rallied to restore parity, but a late Mladen Petric strike sealed McClaren's and England's fate.

Suggested Topics
News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits