Big provisional football squads are the rule ahead of Euro 2008

May 21st, 2008 - 2:55 pm ICT by admin  

Palma de Majorca (Spain), May 21 (DPA) Fancied France have 30 players, Germany 26 and co hosts Austria even 31 as the Euro 2008 finalists head into their pre-tournament training camps. Holders Greece and world champions Italy each selected 24 players Tuesday as 12 of the 16 teams have gone for more players than the final 23 which have to be submitted to the ruling body UEFA by May 28.

The only teams with a 23-player list are the Czech Republic, Portugal, Croatia and Sweden.

The reasons for larger squads are not always the same ahead of the June 7-29 finals in Austria and Switzerland.

French coach Raymond Domenech said he would have preferred the final number at the camp in Tignes but that he had no choice with French players involved later this week in the Champions League final as well as the Italian and French Cup finals.

“I would have preferred to name a definitive list but it is not possible,” said Domenech, admitting that being dropped from the list next week will “traumatise” players.

“It will be difficult, with the consequences it has. It is not easy but I have weighed up the pros and cons. And in choosing between the individual and the squad as a whole, I have thought about the team,” said Domenech.

Domenech said he knew he was in good company as (almost) “all the coaches of all the countries taking part have gone with enlarged squads.”

Domenech has to tell seven players they are unwanted, while Marco van Basten (Netherlands, 25 players), Leo Beenhakker (Poland, 26), Jakob Kuhn (Switzerland, 26) and Victor Piturca (Romania, 26) are other coaches confronted with this problem.

Germany’s Joachim Loew will have to drop three, most likely chosen from David Odonkor, Jermaine Jones, Patrick Helmes, Marko Marin and Piotr Trochowski.

“It is almost luxury for us to work with the players over a longer period. We want to be ready in case a player gets injured,” said Loew, whose team is training on the Spanish holiday island of Majorca.

Loew said he and his staff will ensure a fair competition between the players for the Euro berths, which could also be decided by how they fare in the final tune-up games over the next fortnight.

That is at least what Austrian coach Joseph Hickersberger has in mind.

“An international match under stress is the best way to see whether a player is suited (for the squad) or not,” said Hickersberger.

But Hickersberger also readily admits that “in one case or another there will be no objective criteria, it will simply be a decision by the coach.”

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |