Two years on from South Africa’s Jabulani snooze fest and haunting memories of bore draws and Rob Green howlers, these memories can finally be laid to rest.
Indeed, Euro 2012 has arrived at long last. And with the competition in full swing, MouthLondon has a treat of continental calibre as we look at five stars who can lead their respective countries to international glory.
Age: 21 , Russia, 22 Caps 7 Goals
Worth a reported £13 million pre-Euros, the CSKA Moscow forward is a rising star in no danger of fading away. Ability on the ball, effective passing and clinical finishing has seen Dzagoev already slot in three goals from two matches.
Age: 33, Italy, 85 Caps 10 Goals
Veteran midfieder who was outstanding in Juventus’ unbeaten league campaign. With an 86.9% pass success rate and 13 assists in Serie A, this metronomic playmaker is considered one of the best passers in football alongside Spain’s Xavi Hernandez.
Age: 26, France, 6 Caps 1 Goal
Demonstrated attacking prowess against England and was widely seen as the game’s best player. Surging right back for Lille but subject to much rumoured interest. Possessing pace, vision and astute defensive capability, Debuchy is central to French progression this summer.
Age: 23, Germany, 35 Caps 8 Goals
Already heavily experienced internationally, the Real Madrid midfielder is fast developing into a star of the global game. Alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ozil dictates play in a formidable midfield that may just see tournament success this summer.
Age: 26, Croatia, 20 Caps 3 Goals
Bargain buy for Everton in January who has continued his superb domestic form. Goal against Ireland shows the striker is now proving himself on the international stage, adding to impressive performances in the Scottish and English Premier Leagues.