Soccer birthdays: Fabian Barthez, one of the least likely goalkeepers to win a World Cup that you’ll ever run across, and a man who never seemed far from his next burst of drama or controversy, turns 41 today. If you see the man today, wish a Happy One – and then ask how it felt to be beaten out by Tim Howard for Manchester United’s starting job in 2003?
Ahead on the blog today*: All the ins and out of the Germany-Italy semifinal from Euro 2012, plus more thoughts on Spain’s attempt at further European reign, a bit of David Beckham news and some (rather lame) attempts from the Portuguese to explain why their best player didn’t take a shot in yesterday’s penalty kick shootout.
Big Important Stories of the Day: The Germans had two more days of rest than Italy. So set the stopwatch if the Germans prevail today, counting the seconds until the first conspiracy theory takes flight. Italians are generally warm and wonderful people, but they do love a good conspiracy theory.
On our shores, David Beckham was left off Great Britain’s team for the upcoming summer Olympics.
What we should all watch on TV: Just two matches remaining in a tournament that was producing goals until the last couple of matches. Let’s see what happens today when Germany meets Andrea Pirlo and the rest of the Italy team (pictured) at 2:45 p.m. ET.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Ringo Cantillo
We’ll leave you with this: Euro 2012 was a real soccer delight for about three weeks. Now, suddenly, this tournament is dying for a good match. Let’s hope we get one today.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is