Dutch Doldrums and Timid Cristiano Ronaldo Among Five Biggest Surprises So Far in Euro 2012


Dutch Doldrums and Timid Cristiano Ronaldo Among Five Biggest Surprises So Far in Euro 2012With the first round of games finished, the dust has begun to settle, and five distinct surprises have already shocked fans in the 2012 UEFA European Championships.

Denmark stuns the Netherlands
The biggest surprise so far was the 1-0 victory by Denmark over the Netherlands. The Dutch team had not lost in group play since Euro 1988 when they lost against the Soviet Union. They went on to win that tournament.

Despite dominating in possession and scoring opportunities (outshooting Denmark by more than 20 shots), Michael Krohn-Dehli did what Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar couldn't do: finish.

The Euro's Latest Star
The Euro has given us some of the greatest breakout stars in world soccer, including the likes of Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004. Alan Dzagoev has been the shocking revelation, with three goals in two games.

Dzagoev is already attracting attention from several clubs in the Premier League, and at just 21, he has many parallels with his Russia teammate Andrey Arshavin who also exploded into the international scene at Euro 2008.

Andriy Shevchenko Rejuvenated
Few people expected Ukraine to win its debut game at Euro 2012, much less with veteran striker Andriy Shevchenko scoring. In fact, many believed he would be quickly subbed out after a symbolic start.

Instead, the former A.C Milan and Chelsea striker reverted to his top form, becoming the oldest player to score a brace in a European Championship to give his team the 2-1 victory over Sweden.

Spain Forgoes the True Striker
There were certainly a lot of doubts about what Vicente del Bosque would do up top: Fernando Torres, Fernando Llorente, and Juan Mata all seemed like viable options, though Torres had been lauded as the front runner.

Instead, Del Bosque chose no one. The defending champion decided to test out a formation without a true striker against the best defense in the tournament. The technique did not work as Spain barely pulled off a 1-1 draw against Italy.

Cristiano Ronaldo Continues to Fade
This may not come as a surprise. Cristiano Ronaldo still only has two goals in international tournaments with the national team, and the Portuguese striker failed to make a mark against Germany.

Ronaldo started the first game against Germany without touching the ball, while against Denmark he had two clear-cut opportunities that he just could not finish.

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