Saturday 21 April 2018

Euro 2012 diary

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

WHATEVER the location, some things will always remain the same at major tournaments.

The huge corporate brands tend to dominate the landscape. Indeed, on the 60km spin from Gdansk to Spain's camp in Gniewino on Monday, the number of McDonald's drive-ins at the side of the dual-carriageway reached preposterous levels. The count stopped at nine.

Sure enough, Polish TV have released the figures on advertising during the group stages. During that period, they earned close to €25m from advertising, and there's no surprise about the most prominent brands. Coca-Cola top the charts with an investment of €2.5m, McDonald's are second with a slightly smaller amount, and Hyundai and Sharp fill the top four. The only Polish group to register on the scale is Zywiec, a popular local beer, with a €1m outlay.

premier league posse belies Trap's moan

WHILE Euro 2012 draws to a conclusion, the Irish players are on holidays, but the majority have their phones on, given the need to resolve their club situations.

In his final debrief, Giovanni Trapattoni was keen to stress to the world's press that he only had a small pool of Premier League players available. Indeed, with Keith Andrews opting for Bolton, it means that only five of his starting XI are set to kick off next season in the English top flight: Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Glenn Whelan and John O'Shea.

But that number could increase before the new season, with Everton and Sunderland eyeing up Kevin Doyle and speculation linking Aiden McGeady with the Black Cats -- Martin O'Neill is a huge admirer of the Irish winger from their Celtic days.

So, despite Trap painting a slightly inaccurate picture to unknowing Italian media, it's possible that Ireland could again have more than 30 players lining out in the Premier League next season. It's just a matter of whether he is willing to pick them.

80The percentage increase in airport traffic in Gdansk between June 8 and June 19. No prizes for guessing which country's supporters contributed the most to that statistic. Poznan received the second biggest kick, with 60pc more people passing through than usual. In Wroclaw, which co-hosted Poland's games, there was a 50pc lift.

stat OF THE DAY

It is slightly surprising that Germany have never registered a competitive victory over Italy. Tonight's semi-final is a meeting of heavyweights, but it's only the eighth time they have met in a meaningful match. The first was a scoreless draw in Chile in '62, followed by a seven-goal semi-final thriller in '70 that Italy won. There were draws in the group stages of World Cup '78, Euro '88 and Euro '96 and, while Italy's semi-final triumph six years ago in Germany is on the agenda, the most famous showdown is the World Cup final of '82 -- where Irish assistant Marco Tardelli scored that crucial goal and embarked on his famous celebration.

Daniel McDonnell

Irish Independent

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