Euro 2012: Play with Flair’s tip to win.

Euro 2012: Play with Flair’s tip to win.

With only two days until the start of the European Championships it is clear that before kick-off on Friday Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are the three favourites to win the tournament.

These three teams may be worthy challengers but I believe that France should be the team to watch this year. So, why is France my tip for the tournament?

Firstly, the French team is full of experienced and talented performers. Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra know how to play in the major tournaments, regardless of whether they have given their best performances for France in recent years.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye have been two of the outstanding performers in the Premier League this year for Newcastle. They are technically gifted and Ben Arfa especially can produce a special moment for France at any point in the competition.

The rejuvenated Karim Benzema can be the star player for France in this tournament. The Real Madrid striker has had a great season, helping his club side to the La Liga title. Ever since his move to the Spanish club in 2009, expectations have been high but Benzema’s form this season has not only shown that he can deal with the pressure but that he can help his team to win.

The French national team in training.

Out of all of the teams playing in Poland and Ukraine, France arguably have the most to prove, after the shocking debacle of the 2010 World Cup.

Yet, the arrival of their current manager, Laurent Blanc, has provided the team with a discipline and stability that was needed. They have always been a team that is bursting with talent but Blanc has added one key ingredient. Team spirit.

The fact that France have missed the ‘Group of Death’ should not be disregarded. None of the groups in the European Championships can be described as ‘easy’, but neither Sweden, Ukraine nor England will be feared by their French opponents.

Without the pressure that Spain are carrying, as the favourites for the European Championships, this developing French side can mark the start of a new era in French football with a historic win.

To read the extended version of this article, as featured on The Upcoming online magazine, click here

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