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Dublin: 9°C Monday 26 October 2020

Giants, Aliens and Bond, James Bond: nine omens which could predict Euro 2012

Short of feeling it in your waters, it’s the most reliable way of picking one winner from the field of 16.

WHETHER YOU’RE AFTER some reassurance about that wacky bet you are about to lay on Denmark to win, or just looking for some trivia to bore your bar-buddies with while waiting in a queue for the urinals, here is what omens we see lying in wait.

So throw out the tea-leaves, cancel the fortune teller and play 52-pick up with the tarot cards, we’ve got this.

Batman movie, 1992 and now

We’re all looking forward to Christopher Nolan’s conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy, but in 1992 we were getting even more excited about the prospect of Michelle Pfeiffer taking up the role of Selena Kyle.

In the European Championships, Denmark were a late replacement for Yugoslavia and, even without the expertise of Michael Laudrup, they went on to win the whole darn thing thanks, in no small part, to Peter Schmeichel.

What it all means: Anders Lindegaard could be in for a hell of a tournament.

YouTube credit: WarnerBrosPictures

A referendum in Ireland, 1972, 1984, 1992, 1996 and now.

Thursday’s Fiscal Compact referendum wasn’t the first constitution change in Irish history, oh no.  In 1972 we voted to join the European Community in the first place. Then we went back for more in ’84, ’92 and ’96.

In 1996 football came home, but Germany took it away again. Die Mannschaft were also victorious in ’72 with a Gerd Muller double helping them to a comprehensive 3-0 over the Soviet Union. In ’84, Michel Platini scored the decisive goal as Les Bleus beat Spain in Paris.

What it all means: Referendum is a win for Germany, sounds like the ‘No’ campaign.

Bond is back, 1964, 2008 and now.

Skyfall is imminent on an illegal streaming site near you, but there was none of that auld craic when Sean Connery was promoting Goldfinger in 1964. That same year, Marcelino scored six minutes from time to ensure Spain took the trophy ahead of those pesky Soviets.

By the time 2008 rolled around, Bond and Spain had been through the wilderness and back to former glory with Daniel Craig on the Walther PPK and Xavi pulling the strings.

What it all means: Does anyone know the Spanish for three-in-a-row?

Manchester City, champions of England, 1968 and now.

The climax of the ’68 season could hardly have been as thrilling as the dying moments at Eastlands, but at least the red side of Manchester would soon console themselves by wining the European Cup at Wembley.

Later that summer, Yugoslavia pushed Italy to a draw in Rome and – with penalties yet to be implemented – the tournament went down to a replay where first half strikes from Luigi Riva and Pietro Anastasi gave the Auzzuri their one and only European crown.

What it all means: Calciopoli, Scommessopoli, Nothing abates Italy like a siege mentality.

Jens Meyer/AP/Press Association Images

Borussia Dortmund, champions of Germany, 1996 and now.

Matthias Sammer was one of the stars of Dortmund and went on to dominate at the Euros alongside teammates, Jurgen Kohler, Steffen Freund, Andrea Moller, Patrik Berger and Stephane Chapuisat.

What it all means: It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming - fussball‘s coming home.

Ireland tour New Zealand, 1976, 1992, 2008 and now.

Needless to say, rugby’s answer to the boys in green lost on each occasion they headed for the land of the long white cloud. While they were away, Germnay did not have a great time of it.

First; penalties were introduced as a decider and the Czech Republic put them to good use, then Denmark and most recently Spain denied the unwriteoffable Germans in the final.

What it all means: Jogi Löw is going to have his hopes built up, and then crushed. Poor guy.

YouTube credit: 20centuryfoxuk

Alien franchise, 1992, 2004 and now.

With 1979′s release of Alien and, the sequel in 1986, just as many people were eagerly anticipating the crash of the Sulaco as were awaiting Yugoslavia dropping out of Europe’s eight-team tournament.

When the Predator decided it wanted to step outside  in ’04 Greece were shocking everyone, including hosts Portugal for an unlikely and unspectacular win.

Spain and Fernando Torres will hope that the release of Prometheus will see them to retaining the crown.

New York Giants win Superbowl, 2008 and now.

There was high drama when Eli Manning hoisted a late late pass in the air which Plaxico Burress ensured landed safely in the endzone to seal a final score of 17-14.

Spain went on to win the Euros, then the World Cup, Burress went on to shoot himself in the arse.

What it all means: Spain will reign.

The magic 24 year gap, 1984, 2004 and now.

It may or may not have escaped your attention that Ireland’s most recent  appearance in the European Championships was in the year of ’88 – 24 years ago.

It’s the joint longest absence from the competition along with France (1960 to 1984) and Greece (1980 to 2004). As it happens, the winners in ’84 and ’04 were…. France and Greece. Destiny awaits the boys in green.

What it all means: Olé, Olé, Olé…

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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