Gearing up for Euro 2012: Dá-lhe dá-lhe Portugal!

Obviously, I've been a bit lazy in writing updates.  It's not from lack of trying, but rather, lack of time.  Seeing that we're about one month away from another fantastic soccer tournament, I thought it would be appropriate that my first post in about two years be just about that.  Euro 2012.

I would love to see Portugal make it quite far in this tournament.  I also admit that I have a love/hate relationship with my mother country when it comes to playing in big tournaments, but for now, I will be positive and say, that we're going to give it to our group of death!  I mean, come on, what other team can beat Germany, Holland and Denmark but us? 

Let's not kid ourselves.  We're likely not going to, but we've surprised people before.  It's a teeter totter of emotions I tell you.  I'm just very conflicted about this whole thing.  One day, I wake up and say, f*cking right we're going to beat them all, and then I think about all the previous tournaments I've been able to watch and think, one way or another, we'll be remembered but not for winning. 

Let's recap shall we?

Euro 2000
The first Euro I watched with any sort of interest was in 2000.  I wish I could go back to the era of no soccer, which was pre-2000.  Why did Luis Figo, Nuno Gomes and that awesome team make me care?  Why?  I was much happier being ignorant.  Still, I watched and watched, and then I even went to downtown Toronto to celebrate the expected victory in the semi-finals against France.  The aftermath of that "handball" (yes, it's in quotes because it gave France just what they needed to win and yes it was a conspiracy against us Portuguese to get a penalty just at the right time - Abel Xavier explains it in the video below, but sorry, it's in Portuguese) will never leave my memories.

How can I forget all those sad people dragging their flags through the sidewalks of Dundas and Ossington?  No honking, no cheering, just sadness.  You'd hear a mumble or two about "well, at least we made it this far..." Blah blah blah.  I swore to never watch another soccer game in Toronto ever again.

World Cup 2002
I do not want to discuss this one.  The evidence of how horrible this world cup was is still all over Youtube. 

Euro 2004
Oh yes!  This is the one!  We are hosting it, no referee is going to eff with us!  Well, we lost the first game which opened the tournament, we kicked some ass all the way up to the final, where we lost again.

World Cup 2006
After the Euro we had, how could we not kick the greatest amount of a**, right? 
Well, we definitely tried. 

Euro 2008
I don't remember much from this Euro, probably because we made it out of the groups only to be beaten by Germany.  This does not help me feel better about this year's tournament.   You can't even find highlights for Portugal on Youtube for this tournament, because we sucked so much.

World Cup 2010
Again, we made it out of the group stage, and then lost on the round of 16 to Spain.  Blah.

I would have to say that my favorites have to be Euro 2000 and World Cup 2006, because of the apparent effort by the team to really give it their all.  I'm sure they tried in the others, but the way we left in 2002 was bad, the way we lost in 2004 was sad, and the last four years have been just frustrating to watch.   This time, we have to think positive (again) because we will not lose (by much) to the other three rivals in our group!   We will win (tickets back home)!

Yes, I'm still conflicted about our chances, but have to say - Dá-lhe dá-lhe Portugal!

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