For the benefit of the three or four of you guys that have been living under a rock this past month, the Copa America Centenario has been going down in the United States. In fact, it has reached the semi final stage, with Argentina, Chile, Colombia and USA through to that round. I got to say, this competition has been quite exciting, with goals coming in left, right and center from all the teams (or almost all of them. There have been some lame teams too), and some really scintillating football from all the participants.
The Euro 2016 is also being played right now in France, though the competition is still in the group stage. So far, only two teams have qualified for the next round (Spain and Italy). This tournament has been exciting too, with electrifying performances from some top teams, and big surprises from some of the underdogs. So far, there have been a few upsets, with Wales beating Slovakia, and Iceland holding Portugal (and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo) to a goalless draw. Well, like some people would say, so far so good.
Which do I prefer? I remember waiting with bated breath for the Euros to begin. Not that the Centenario was not exciting; in fact the games palayed up to June 10 were quite breathtaking. But I was waiting for the Euros to begin, simply because the Euros has the larger representation of the world’s biggest football stars. Copa America has a large number of players playing for European clubs, but they have more local-based players than foreign based players. Anyway, the Euros has begun, and so far it has been less than exciting. There have been some great games, but we have not seen enough goals. Most of the games played so far have ended with a score line of 1-0, 2-1, 0-0, or 1-0. Spain and Belgium are the only teams that have scored three goals in the tournament, and some teams have failed to find the net in two consecutive matches (read: Portugal). There have been 47 goals scored so far in Euro 2016, with a goal-per-game ratio of 1.96. On the other hand, there have been 84 goals scored so far in the Copa America, with a goals-per-game ratio of 3. Guess who I think is the clear winner here.
Another thing that baffles me about this Euro 2016 competition is the fact that there have been serious cases of fan violence between several countries. I’m kind of surprised, because I was expecting the Euros to be all about peaceful co-existence and all that. But Russians, Brits, and even the French themselves, have found themselves at the wrong end of the bottle this year, and have created some forgettable memories at this tournament.
Therefore, here is my verdict: the Copa America has been far more interesting than the Euro 2016 so far. Let us keep our fingers crossed and see if the Euro guys can get their act together.