An oil company from Azerbaijan is among the list of official UEFA sponsors and they are faced with the task of choosing the ‘team of match-day one’. With the completion of the first round of group games it was somewhat surprising to see the omission of Iniesta from this selection! The Barcelona player’s performance against the Czech Republic was hailed as one of the finest of the tournament to date and apparently UEFA have asked questions about the selection and tried to distance themselves from the result despite this nonsense being published on their official website. So the question needs to be asked: Just how did they come up with this list? An algorithm apparently, someone that cannot be detained or expelled from France despite the crime in question.
This decision along with the shock that Albania was close to pulling off against France were the talking points of the day. The French managed to bag two goals late in the game with ‘Les Bleus’ striking even later than Piqué did in Toulouse. France deserved the win with Deschamps finally getting it right with his changes but one has to feel for Albania and De Biasi. The Italian coach has put together a team complemented with many of the Albanian diaspora. His side is a tight knit group and have shown that they are at the tournament to do more than simply make up the numbers.
It was thought before Euro 2016 started that a competition featuring 24 sides would be somewhat diluted but that has shown not to be the case Today we’ll see Gareth Bale and Wales in action, another supposed outsider. A match that has all the hallmarks of a Six Nations game. England have improved with Rooney playing in a deeper role and could be excellent if the get their strikers firing (I’d like to see Sterling starting). It’s a shame that they team is accompanied by an undesirable element who along with a group of Russian fans been the negative aspect of the tournament to date.