The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA Euro) Championship 2012 (aka, the European Football Championship) begins this Friday, and the German national team is the clear cut favorite going into the tournament. Poland and the Ukraine are hosting. Earlier in the year, some nations considered boycotting the tournament over the political turmoil in the Ukraine, but that seems to have evaporated. 

Germany was perfect in the qualifying stage, going 10-0. Their likely opponent in the final is Spain, the 2010 World Cup winner. Other teams to watch are the Netherlands, Greece, and France. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on the Dutch team. They’ve been struggling lately with a 3-0 loss to the German team; but they’re deep in talent, and they learn from their mistakes. They nearly took the 2010 World Cup. 

Berlin is going crazy in preparation for the Championship. Football mania abounds with shops selling hats, flags, horns and other football paraphernalia. Restaurants, pubs, and cafés are getting out their big screen TVs, and the Fanmeile is being set up in the Tiergarten, Berlin’s version of NYC’s Central Park. The Fanmeile will no doubt cause all kinds of traffic problems as it did during the World Cup.