Spain: Rink-hockey European Champion seven times in a row!
Back on the competition…
The course of the two finalists…
That 50th championship almost did not happen. Until the last minute, several national teams cast doubt upon their participation. Thus, the adopted format is very simple: no qualifying groups, only first legs… Hence the importance of the number of scored goals.
Spain starts the competition in easily beating Germany (7-0). The championships start on very high bases. As soon as the first day, Portugal only manages to win 3-1 against Switzerland. The Helvetians are obviously willing to be heard here. As for Italy, the team secures its goal average for the rest of the competition in beating England 9-0.
Second day, the game between Spain and Italy is very close with a Spanish win of 2-0 against the Squadra Azzurra. The Italians are not going to be an easy team to play against during the championship! France suffers a bitter defeat, losing 7-3 against Portugal. As for Germany, the team scores points in beating England 6-1.
Third day, the game is up for England as they lose 21-1 against Spain. The race for goals has started. Portugal wins 3-0 against Italy. Switzerland, still full of surprises, loses by only one point against France (3-2).
The next day is a day off for the Portuguese Team. Spain makes the most of it to take the lead of the ranking in beating France 4-1. The Swiss win too, by far, against the English team (13-0). And Italy dominates Germany 6-2.
Thursday! The Portuguese, who did not play the previous day, are back in great shape: 23-1 against England! The competition must have been very long for our friends from across the Channel! France is beaten 4-6 by the Italians. And the Swiss dominate the Germans 2-0.
Friday: the two leading teams of the competition are doing favors: only 6-0 for the Spanish against the Swiss, and 9-1 for the Portuguese against the Germans. France gets its second win against England (7-1).
Saturday, last day of competition. Italy beats Switzerland 1-4. That result is quite misleading, the Helvetians deserved a better place after their course throughout the championship. The other teams will have to take into serious consideration the Helvetian team in the next competitions…
France beats Germany 4-3. However, here too, the result is misleading. France, with lots of failures in its game, was threatened until the last second. That victory enables the French to end up 4th of the Championship.
At the end of the pack, there are Germany and England. A very surprising result for Germany, probably disturbed by the recent events within the German federation. The new coach, Andreas Carstensen, is probably building up a new team.
Conclusions on the competition
The 50th European Championships only confirmed the ruling over Europe of two nations: Spain and Portugal. After its half-defeat of the previous championship, Italy is back in force. France is at its right place (4th).
While the surprising Swiss reach the 5th place, the Germans do a poor performance in ending up 6th. Last but not least, England does not manage to take off from the European ranking. Rink hockey not being in great shape at a world level, let's have doubts as for the evolution of British hockey in the years to come.
Let's not forget that this was only a warm-up. Next year, the A World Cup will be held in Angola. With the taking part of the South American teams, let's hope that the European teams will be at their best for these World Championships.
Final ranking of the European Championships of Rink Hockey
- 1st SPAIN
- 2nd PORTUGAL
- 3rd ITALY
- 4th FRANCE
- 5th SWITZERLAND
- 6th GERMANY
- 7th ENGLAND
Useful linksTexte : Sébastien Balutaud
Photos : Fédération Espagnole et Hockeypista