ALAN SHEARER ON EURO 2008

If you love the game of football then you’re in for an exciting month.

I’m bitterly disappointed that none of the Home Nations have qualified for the 2008 European Championship.

I’m an England fan at the end of the day and it was great to go to the last World Cup as part of the Match of the Day team knowing that England were involved.

But the European Championship is a fantastic competition and there are going to be some wonderful footballers in Austria and Switzerland.

The players I’m looking forward to watching most are the strikers, having played in that position myself.

I’ve been asked several times for my tips on who’ll be top scorer, but looking at the amount of talent that’s going to be on show, your guess is as good as mine.

You can go through the teams and they all have at least one likely candidate, though my own favourites would probably be Spain’s Fernando Torres, who’s had a fabulous season with Liverpool, and France’s Nicolas Anelka.

And of course the one player that everyone is talking about is Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

I think he is without doubt the most exciting talent in the world at this minute.

The amount of goals he’s scored this season is incredible. We are so lucky to see him week in, week out for Manchester United in the Premier League.

He has without doubt enough ability to set this tournament on fire.

With Ronaldo pulling the strings, Portugal have to be among the favourites to win the tournament, and you can never look past the usual suspects of Germany, France, Holland or Italy (even though three of those are in the same group!).

There will always be a surprise package somewhere down the line and Croatia were impressive when they beat England.

With the talent on show, picking a winner is so difficult to call – and that’s why we should be in for a fantastic tournament.

Former England striker Alan Shearer is part of Match of the Day’s Euro 2008 team.

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