Euro 2012 - Euro 2012: European paper review

The Spanish and Italian press have called for togetherness from their teams ahead of the Euro 2012 final in Kiev.

Euro 2012 - Euro 2012: European paper review

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Italy celebrate their Euro 2012 victory over Germany

Let's start in Spain, where As's headline reads 'Together we can!' below the words: "Neither Madrid nor Barca, from Andalusia to Catalonia…"

It is illustrated by Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and Barcelona's Gerard Pique holding up a scarf - the central defensive pair were involved in a mini-feud in 2010 when the former took exception to the latter answering questions in Catalan - joking that he should start speaking Andaluz.

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If this all seems a bit defensive for a team that is on the verge of winning three consecutive major tournaments, you have to remember just how partisan the Spanish sporting press is.

They often resemble fanzines instead of newspapers (Marca and As for Real Madrid, Sport and Mundo Deportivo for Barcelona) and spend the whole season tearing each other to shreds.

Throw in Spain's chequered 20th century history, and unity does not always come easily, even when you are the best team in the world.

The Barcelona dailies rather embarrassingly go with exactly the same headline - 'Date with history' but at least choose a different Barca player to adorn their front page.

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Unity is also the theme in Italy - 'Together!' shouts the front page of La Gazzetta Sportiva, while Corriere dello Sport leads on a big picture of the Azzurri's semi-final celebrations and says: "This is what we want!"

To France now, where Laurent Blanc's departure as national team coach dominates the sports pages.

The consensus is that Blanc's former team-mate Didier Deschamps is in position to succeed Blanc.

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L'Equipe's headline 'The captain after the president?' references Blanc's nickname as a player - Le President - and the fact that Deschamps captained France's World Cup and European Championship-winning sides.

Andy Murray's late-night battle at Wimbledon allowed football to sneak onto the back pages of some early editions in Britain.

It's largely prosaic stuff, though the Daily Mail runs an intriguing story about LA Galaxy's concerted efforts to bring in Frank Lampard from Chelsea.

In many ways, ageing English midfielders are like Chinese food - you think you've had enough, but you're soon left wanting more.

In any case, what better place for an inevitable barrage of Hollywood balls than southern California?

Speaking of Beckham, the Daily Star has some first-rate baloney on its front page about Olympic bosses wanting his wife Victoria to take part in the Games, but not poor old David.

Elsewhere, there are quotes from Steven Gerrard saying the level of expectation placed on Wayne Rooney is too great, and that he should not be expected to win matches on his own.

This is the same Gerrard who said of Rooney's return to the England team at Euro 2012: "Everyone knows what Wayne Rooney is all about. He certainly makes us a lot more threatening going forward.

"He's a world class player and I know Wayne quite well, I'm quite close to him, and I can see it in his eyes that he's just itching to get out there and perform.  Hopefully he can get out there on Tuesday night and make the difference for us."

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