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Evening News Euro 2012 Panel: Norwich football fans cheering for all teams in the tournament

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 June 2012

Raymond de Waard in action against Portsmouth in 2000.

Raymond de Waard in action against Portsmouth in 2000.

Norwich football fans will be supporting teams from around the continent as Euro 2012 gets under way this weekend and the Evening News has found supporters from 14 of the countries taking part with links to the city.

They will be offering their unique take on the tournament as part of our fans’ panel over the next three weeks.

Ex-Norwich City player Raymond de Waard who played for the Canaries in the 1999 season is the latest addition to our panel.

The former midfielder believes his country, the Netherlands, could lift the trophy in three weeks time.

He said: “I really feel we have a good chance of winning it.

“We have England and Germany’s top goal scorers in the squad. Only our defence is a bit poor.

“There is a lot of discussion in Holland about which formation to pick. Our manager is being criticised for not playing both Van Persie and Huntelaar.”

He predicted a two-nil win in their opening match against Denmark today.

But Danish fan Ellen Ellwood, who works for Norfolk County Council, is hoping for a victory.

Two of the favourites, Germany and Portugal, will also face each other tonight.

Rita Gomes, 29, from Lakenham, who is originally from Portugal, said: “I’m not sure if we are going to win, but we will see.”

Julian Turek, from TuS Koblenz, the football team of Norwich’s twin city in Germany, is tipping France to win the tournament and expects a draw against Portugal.

He said: “Before our friendlies against Switzerland and Israel I had a good feeling, but now I’m very nervous.

“Ronaldo will score the first goal with a free kick and Klose will score a few minutes before the end of the game.”

On Sunday, favourites Spain open their defence against Italy.

Chef at Cafe Italia in Orford Street, Vincenzo Garguilo, said the match fixing scandal in his home country had cast a long shadow over Italian football.

“I’m very disappointed about the scandal,” he said. “Obviously there is going to be an effect on the pitch.”

The Republic of Ireland play Croatia on Sunday evening and UEA student Ciaran McCabe, who is from County Monaghan, said he would be happy with a point.

He said: “I think everyone is upbeat about just getting to this stage.

“I think we are going to try and play deep with set pieces our best chance.”

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