Sun, 11 Jun 2000

Which teams people follow in Euro 2000

JAKARTA (JP): As Euro 2000 approaches, soccer fans are busy predicting who will win the title. Despite the excitement of being able to watch all 31 matches on TV, aired live by RCTI and SCTV, some people have opted to watch the live matches in the company of others at cafes or hotels.

The Jakarta Post interviewed public figures to ask their opinion about who they think will win the second biggest soccer championships event on earth after the World Cup.

Gadjah Mada University lecturer and political observer Cornelis Lay:

My favorite in the Euro 2000 is definitely the Netherlands because it has good players and an interesting style of playing. Their loss in previous matches was merely due to the players wish to play beautifully. The Netherlands also has the advantage of being one of the hosts.

First, the Netherlands team is lucky to have a good goalkeeper in Edwin van de Saar. Second, it has tough midfielder Edgar Davids who has a mobile character on the field and can be dangerous if he is allowed to control the ball. Third, the country has well-known strikers Patrick Kluivert and Dennis Bergkamp. Minister of Finance Bambang Sudibyo:

My favorite team is Turkey. The team seems to be the weakest, so I have sympathy for it. Facthur Rohman, president of construction firm PT Bangun Cipta:

I think the German team will win the competition. The team is very highly skilled and has good technique. The team has the mentality of a champion.

My guess is that Germany will meet with the Netherlands in the finals. Prominent legal advocate Todung Mulya Lubis:

I see Italy and England as the teams with the greatest possibility of winning the Euro 2000. The Italian team -- treating soccer as an art -- has been playing beautifully, despite its defensive style. Italy is endowed with the best soccer players. Its soccer team should be taken very seriously.

The English team is supported by physically strong players with a high level of fanaticism in soccer. It will match up with the team from Italy. Ary Sudarsono, sports presenter at RCTI private TV station.

I'm a fanatical supporter of the Italian team. Don't ask me why I love the Italian team because my answer would be very subjective. Basically, Italy has its own playing style which is different from the others.

But my favoritism for Italy might emerge from private TV stations' routine airing of live Italian Serie A matches. They have brainwashed me and I love this team more than anything. If Italy loses in the first round of any world soccer championships, I'm not so eager to stare at the TV and watch until the event is over. Former Jakarta Police chief and now official at the National Sports Council Mochammad Hindarto:

Actually my wife doesn't let me watch any soccer matches because she was traumatized by the riots at a national league finals in 1997.

But I consider Italy and the Netherlands the most likely to win the title. The Dutch team has highly skilled players and their teamwork is solid. Rafael, 19, a student at Sebelas Maret University in Surakarta, Central Java, and also a soccer player at the university:

I am confident that either the Netherlands or Spain will be the winner of the Euro 2000 soccer championship.

The Dutch team is famous for its skillful players at all lines. It is proven by the fact that the team members are also recruited by other famous clubs.

While Spain is another big name mentioned many times in discussions on the Internet. Moreover, Spanish soccer clubs were successful in getting to the semifinals of the Champion's Cup, which was won by Real Madrid. Dandoel Hardoyono, head of the public relations department of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah recreational park in East Jakarta:

I won't miss even a single game during the championship even though it runs past midnight. Watching the games is a must for me. It's kind of entertainment in the midst of all the boring political news.

My favorite is the Netherlands. I am sure the team will win the championship, followed by Spain. The two teams are dominated by young players compared to others like Germany. Siliwangi Military Commander overseeing West Java Maj. Gen. Slamet Supriyadi:

I hope England is the winner of Euro 2000. I'm an ardent fan of Manchester United (MU) and I believe all the top players in MU will defend Britain.

I believe the English team is solid as its soccer league shows high quality, strong teamwork and individual players. Solihin GP, former West Java governor and Siliwangi Military commander:

I bet Germany gets to the Euro 2000 finals. The team, especially under the leadership of Oliver Bierhoff, will be able to defeat England and the Netherlands.

The Dutch has experienced problems with player turnover and has showed inconsistencies. The team is just like Persib (the Bandung soccer team).

The German team has a low player turnover, and I believe with its champion strength and Aryan spirit the team will make it to finals. Pattimura Military Commander overseeing Malukus Brig. Gen. Max Tamaela:

Watching soccer on television is the only relief I've had since I've been busy handling riots. My favorite team is the Netherlands as it is already the star team in the world. All players are from top soccer clubs. The Netherlands also has a long-rooted tradition of soccer and has the advantage as host.

My second favorite team is the Blue Prince France. It is the defending world champion and the team's lineup has not changed a lot. I think the Netherlands will play against France in the finals. Ayah Muni, Free Aceh Movement (GAM) commander in Banda Aceh and the restive Aceh Besar regency:

I've been busy fighting for Aceh's independence so I rarely watch TV. But for Euro 2000, I pick the Netherlands as I'm an ardent fan of Edgar Davids. He's fast, efficient and tactical. Hasnan Habib, military expert and member of the expert team for the investigation into human rights violations in East Timor:

I prefer tennis to soccer, but I would like to see the French team win the Euro 2000. All the best players are on the team, especially Zinedine Zidane. I admire him. Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso, also a patron of Persija:

I still don't know which team I will support because I haven't paid much attention due to my hectic schedule. Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta of India:

I don't follow soccer considering my background. I'm more into cricket than soccer. Tom Beanal, a Papua independence leader:

To tell you the truth, I hardly ever keep up with daily news, much less sport. I'm too busy dealing with the independence struggle for Papua, I don't have time to watch the game. Sangkot Marzuki, director of Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Central Jakarta:

I love soccer but I don't have time to watch it these days. I pick the Netherlands as the winner as it has a harmonious team besides skillful players. The Netherlands also has a quick, fast and accurate style.

Remember that it was the Dutch team which introduced the "total soccer style".

I also predict that the English team will come second. Teten Masduki, a member of the National Ombudsman Council and coordinator of the Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW):

My favorite teams are the Netherlands, Germany and England because they have great players, good history and solid teamwork. I predict Germany will meet England in the finals. My favorite players are David Beckham, Marc Overmars, Oliver Bierhoff and Zinedine Zidane.

I plan to watch every game at ICW's office along with my colleagues as always. We usually divide ourselves in two groups in every game and the one who loses has to massage the winners. Political observer Azyumardi Azra:

England is my favorite team but I think the Netherlands will win the Euro 2000 because the team is more solid and has the advantage of hosting the venue. I am sure the Netherlands will be in the finals. It will go up against England or Spain and it will win.

Actually I hope England can win but the team has several weakness, especially since Alan Shearer is too old to act as the main striker while Michael Owen does not have equal partners in the left wing. Indonesian Military spokesman Rear Air Marshall Graito Usodo:

I'm confident that the Netherlands will win the European championships because the team is upstanding. And Frank Rijkard, who coaches the team and is a former playmaker, definitely will determine their chances of winning. I have watched some teams with a playmaker as coach, and they always succeed in many events.

The Dutch players have more time to meet and coordinate their team since most of them played in the European league.

I expect the Dutch, with their style, will meet France in the final game and win the event with a score of 2-1. East Jakarta Police chief of detectives Capt. Agus Irianto:

I'm one of the biggest Italian soccer fans. It's not only because the Italian players are excellent but they're also clean. They can make soccer an interesting game. Central Jakarta Police chief of detectives Capt. Hendra Suhartiyono:

My favorite team is Germany because it groups excellent and aggressive players who can play fast. I really enjoy watching their games. (team)