Italian soccer legend Christian Vieri has given HollywoodLife.com his EXCLUSIVE lowdown on the Euro 2016. But who does the former most expensive soccer player in the world choose to win the tournament? Click to read his verdict, as well as his own experience of playing in the prestigious soccer championships.
HollywoodLife.com caught up with beIN SPORTS’ Christian Vieri, 42, to talk about the upcoming Euro 2016 soccer tournament, and asked him who he believes could be victorious come final time on July, 10. The Italian soccer legend also shared his thoughts on Cristiano Ronaldo, 31, as well as how he managed to keep himself relaxed while playing in the major tournament. Click down to read what he says!
Christian, who now works as a pundit for the internationally renowned sports TV channel, thinks it’s going to be a close tournament with two teams vying for the Euro 2016 title. But who does he think will be champion?
“Either Germany or France because I think they are the two strongest teams,” Christian tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “Germany is a solid team, they have been playing together for a lot of years, so they know each other very well. They have fantastic players and the Germans are always very hard to beat at Euros or World Cups. They always reach the semifinals, they are like machines, so I think Germany is the most complete team. However, France has a lot of young talent, a lot of players that are playing very good like Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Anthony Martial, and they are getting better and better every year. They have players that are at a fantastic age, playing big games with their teams. France is very strong and they have a good coach (Didier Deschamps) with a lot of experience – he played in Italy and France, he won everything and knows how to prepare the team and has the players that can win. They are also at home, the stadiums are going to be full which is a little bit of an advantage.”
Not that Cristiano Ronaldo can ever do any wrong with us, often when he’s performed in big tournaments with Portugal, he has failed to deliver like he does at Real Madrid on a consistent basis. Christian believes that CR7 is going to need help from his teammates if he is to succeed, but understands he’s under intense pressure to appease his country’s fans. However, he’s still backing him to shine.
Christian told us, “Cristiano is one player and it is very hard to win games all the time. If the team is in good shape, then he is going to do better. If they give him a hand, he will perform. He is dangerous, but he always has a lot of pressure. If the team plays a good Euro, he is going to be scoring, he scores everywhere. He won’t have a problem.”
In the past, teams have come to the Euros and shocked us with some incredible performances. Greece surprised everybody when they won Euro 2004, and who can forgot Denmark’s road to glory in Sweden in 1992. Christian believes that Belgium could be this year’s dark horse. “Maybe Belgium, but I don’t think it’s a dark horse,” Christian said. “They have a lot of good players, but is it enough? I don’t know, they are young players and I am curious to see how they play these teams in this big tournament.” He added, “But a dark horse could be England.”
Christian, who represented Italy 49 times and scored 23 goals, isn’t ruling out his own country too. “Italy is going through a change of generation, so its not a period where we have big players like we normally have,” Christian admitted. “It’s a hard change for us, but we have one of the best coaches in the world, among the top 3, and he knows how to prepare for games. He is going to make them work, he knows what he wants from the players and the players know what he wants from them. We have a goalkeeper and a defense, who are all Juventus players, so that’s going to help the team because they have a lot of experience. We know that we don’t have a super team, but they are going to give their all and that makes it very hard to beat us. We are used to these games, just like Germany or Brazil, we are born to play World Cups, we have four, and Euros. This is our competition, Italy is going for a good performance, we can dream…dreaming is ok. If they work their ass off, like they are doing, anything can happen with Italy.”
Speaking from his own experience, Christian has his own advice when it comes to players spending their downtime. He advises them to work, work, work. He said, “Some play billiards, PlayStation… I used to go see my physiotherapist, do a lot of prevention work. I would do that most of the time to be prepared. I would prepare every day, do my things, fix problems, preparing is key. You are going to need everything you have for these games. I looked at videos of myself playing, scoring goals, videos of the other team’s defenders and prepare.” And that’s why he was one of the best! Follow Christian’s tweets during the tournament here!
HollywoodLifers, do you agree with Christian? Is it France and Germany’s to lose? Tell us who you think will win Euro 2016 below!