Alexa

Questionable music choice lifts morale of Croatian players at Euro 2008

Questionable music choice lifts morale of Croatian players at Euro 2008

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic may need more than a questionable music choice to boost his player's morale at the European Championship.
Bilic, himself a self-styled rock guitarist and singer, said that instead of criticizing his players for a poor performance in their 1-0 win over co-host Austria on Sunday, he put on some music in the locker room afterward.
"I told them, 'Boys, but we have won,'" Bilic said. "Then I played them a song from a cassette player ... that one 'You Are so Beautiful' by Thompson, but I don't believe you would know him."
Many know Thompson well, however, as one of the most popular Croatian rock acts.
Marko Perkovic, whose folk-inspired, heavy metal music has filled concert venues all over Croatia, has been criticized for songs that incorporate slogans used by the pro-Nazi Ustasha regime during World War II. Critics say some of his fans have used the Nazi salute during his concerts and worn black T-shirts and caps styled after the uniforms of the Nazi-linked government.
Several of his concert abroad have been banned after protests by Jewish groups.
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DOMENECH'S DIARY: France coach Raymond Domenech is keeping a diary at the European Championship, which only his children will ever get to read.
Having isolated his team in the Swiss foothills at the Mirador-Kempinski hotel in Vevey, Domenech has plenty of time to put his thoughts down on paper.
"To pass the time, I read, I make phone calls, I scribble things down," he said. "I write about everything that is happening, everything we're going through, how it happens. It's what I think."
Asked it he intended to publish his Euro 2008 memoirs, Domenech gave a firm "No," insisting that only his daughter Victoire, who is 4 years old next month, and his son, Merlin, who is 1, will eventually get to read it.
"It's my children's inheritance," Domenech said. "It belongs to me. It won't come out (in the press)."
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CZECH REPUBLIC VS. PLATINI: The Czech Republic was ready to acknowledge the team didn't play its best in a 1-0 win over Switzerland at the European Championship on Saturday, and pledged to improve in their second Group A game against Portugal.
But comments by UEFA president Michel Platini, who maybe a bit undiplomatically said that "the worse team" won the match, took them by surprise.
"I have no idea why he said that," Czech Republic coach Karel Bruckner said.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech and captain Tomas Ujfalusi said also had an opinion about the comments.
"If Platini said we were better and yet we kept losing, I wouldn't be happy about that," Cech said. "The tournament is about points, about the winners and the losers."
Ujfalusi said: "The history doesn't ask who was better and who was worse."
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ROMANIAN INVASION: Thousands of Romanians are expected to watch their team play at the European Championship in Switzerland and Austria, especially because they no longer need visas to travel to Western Europe since joining the European Union in 2007.
Cars from the western Romanian cities of Cluj and Timisoara and the capital Bucharest were seen along the St. Gallen to Zurich highway in recent days, with hundreds of Romanians moving into hotels in St. Gallen, the mountain resort where the team is based.
"All teams have a chance here because there's not much to separate them," said Maxim Andrei, a 32-year-old marketing consultant from the Transylvanian city of Cluj, dressed from head to toe in the red, yellow and blue "tricolor" of Romania.
He was traveling with 11 others, and planned to stay in Switzerland until the end of the first round.
Romanian President Traian Basescu was to watch the opening match against France on Monday in Zurich. Officials say they expect about 6,000 Romanians to attend the games.
Ligia Hergheligiu, a 34-year-old legal expert who lives in the Austrian town of Traisen, left her home at near Vienna at dawn and traveled westward to Zurich with her husband and friends for the opening match against France.
"I'm hoping for a win _ 1-0, 2-0, 5-0, it doesn't matter," she said.
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GUESS THE PLAYER: As a passionate golf and chess player, Austria coach Josef Hickersberger likes to play games.
For many months, Hickersberger let the public guess who would be Austria's No. 1 goalkeeper at the European Championship. That mystery was revealed Sunday _ the correct answer was Juergen Macho _ so Hickersberger launched a new guess-the-player question on Monday.
After Sunday's 1-0 loss to Croatia, Hickersberger got a phone call from French coach Gerard Houllier, who said his former club Liverpool was interested in one of the Austrian players that was in action against the Croats.
"Good luck in founding out which player Houllier meant," Hickersberger said. "I would be amazed if one of you came up with the correct name."