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The Cinco: The Five Strikers That Matter In Euro 2012
By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
These may not be the best five, but these five could drive the biggest opportunity for their respective squads starting on June 8th.
1. Karim Benzema, France: Gone are the days of Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka to anchor the offense for Les Blues, and now the next phenom to try and step up for France will be Benzema. Acting (and excelling) in a supplemental capacity for Real Madrid’s championship run in La Liga, the striker from Lyon will now be asked to lead up front.
Benzema will have plenty of help, as veteran midfielders like Franck Ribery, Samri Nasri and Florent Malouda will help facilitate plenty of opportunities for Benzema. If Benzema can produce, then France could turn into darkhorse candidates to win it all.
2. Pavel Pogrebnyak, Russia: The Fulham striker was labeled by his Russian teammate Andrei Arshavin as “Velikiy Po” or “Po the Great.” Po, will need to be as great for Russia as he was for Fulham after transferring from Stuttgart. Pogrebnyak lit it up for Fulham, as he made league history by being the quickest player to ever score five goals in just three games.
If Pogrebnyak could find a way to score five goals for Russia in their first three games, then Russia could find themselves on the path to reaching the semifinals again like in 2008.