Today at Euro 2008: Van Basten to field weaker side against Romania
Monday 16 June 2008
The Netherlands coach Marco van Basten has hinted he would rest Andre Ooijer and Nigel de Jong for tomorrow's game against Romania. Defender Ooijer and midfielder De Jong were booked earlier in the tournament and a second yellow card for the Group C winners in the next game in Berne would mean a suspension for the quarter-finals. "If someone is tired, has a problem with yellow cards or we think a player has done so well [in training] he deserves a chance," Van Basten said, adding that he still expected a good display even though his side have qualified for the last eight. "We want to perform at our best," he said. "For me every match is important and that won't change if some of the players don't play." One man who looks to be in the starting line-up is Arjen Robben. The winger missed the game against Italy through injury but did well when he came on as a substitute against France on Friday. "He is fit, he wants to play and he can play," Van Basten said.
Greek veterans quitting squad
Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis and defender Paraskevas Antzas will retire from international football after Wednesday's final Group D game against Spain. Nikopolidis, 37, has won 89 caps, and 31-year-old Antzas, who has 25 caps, said it was time for younger players to come into the squad.
Sverkos gets the beers in
The Czech Republic striker Vaclav Sverkos, who scored in the opening game against Switzerland, received a keg of beer for hitting the first Czech goal of Euro 2008. He got a symbolic five-litre keg at the team's training camp in Seefeld and will receive the full 50 litres after the tournament.
Player to watch: Andreas Ivanschitz
*The surviving host nation's captain and best player, the 24-year-old playmaker Andreas Ivanschitz is known as the "Austrian Beckham". This appears to be because he has a lot of media exposure, takes all the free-kicks, and is prone to dying his hair blond. Ivanschitz made his Rapid Vienna debut 11 days after his 16th birthday, captained Austria at 19 years of age and was voted Austrian player of the year at 20. After leading Rapid to the title he joined Red Bull Salzburg, but is now on loan at the Greek club Panathinaikos. Has been carrying an injury but will need to play well if Austria are to win tonight.
*VEDRAN CORLUKA (Croatia): Signed by Manchester City from Dynamo Zagreb last August, he played 35 games last season at right-back, centre-half and central midfield. A key member of the Croatia side that knocked England out of Euro 2008, he has been described by his national coach, Slaven Bilic, as the best right-back in the world.
Quote of the day
"If there is something missing it is the conviction, determination, momentum that means you get involved without thinking. Doubt is the enemy of efficiency." Arsène Wenger, Arsenal manager, on France.
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