Portugual’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the hottest player at this year's European football championship and not just because of his dribbling skills, according to a Europe-wide women's survey.
Ronaldo was voted most beautiful player of the tournament, in a poll of 12,000 women. French forward Thierry Henry came in second.
Modric raring to play against Germany
Croatia playmaker Luka Modric likes big challenges, so it’s no wonder he’s looking forward to Thursday’s European Championship game against tournament favorite Germany.
“I love the big challenges and I play better when under pressure,” the 22-year-old midfielder said. “The match against Germany is exactly what I like.”
“We have a lot of self-confidence, and despite the poor second half against Austria, I’m convinced that we can do well against Germany,” Modric said.
Materazzi and Panucci miss training
Defenders Marco Materazzi and Christan Panucci sat out training on Tuesday, a day after Italy was routed 3-0 by the Netherlands in its European Championship opener. Materazzi bruised his calf and Panucci required more rest after re-aggravating a right knee injury last week.
The training session began about an hour late because coach Roberto Donadoni held a lengthy team meeting in the locker room. Donadoni was to face his critics later Tuesday at a news conference.
Austria striker Linz fighting for his place
AUSTRIA STRIKER Roland Linz has recovered surprisingly quickly from an ankle injury and is fighting to keep his place in the starting lineup against Poland, coach Josef Hickersberger said on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old has scored seven times for his country but did not impress during Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Croatia, where he picked up the injury that forced him to miss training on Monday.
"I was surprised that he did train today but he wanted to fight for his place in the starting team. He has seen there is intense competition for that spot and he doesn't want to lose it," said Hickersberger.
Poland's loss dented economy
NATIONAL GLOOM over Poland's 2-0 thrashing by Germany in their Euro 2008 debut cost the Polish economy some 50 million zlotys (23 million dollars), experts estimated on Tuesday.
"Poland's daily GDP is five billion zlotys. If you consider that the loss in productivity was 10 percent and that 10 percent of professionally active people are interested in football, you get that figure," Jeremi Mordasewicz, an expert from Poland's employers' federation, told the daily Rzeczpospolita.
Poland's attention has now shifted to their next opponents, co-hosts Austria, whom they meet in Vienna on Thursday.
Romania’s Marica rushed to hospital
CIPRIAN MARICA was rushed to hospital with a head injury after colliding with fellow Romania striker Marius Niculae in training on Tuesday. The duo clashed heads after climbing for the ball in a five-a-side match during a light workout at the St Gallen Arena. "He has gone to hospital and we will have to wait and see," a team spokesman told reporters. "At this stage we cannot say how serious it is. It was an accident and unfortunately these things can happen."