EURO 2020 - You'll Never Wonder Alone

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Tuesday, 13 July 2021

EURO 2020


So the EURO 2020 has officially over! So does my exams. #throwflowers 

Compare to previous tournament I've encountered, this time we are all confined at home due to rising covid19 cases in Malaysia. Hence, no seating at mcd watching football, no mamak session, it's just me and the TV/PC/laptop. Yep, that's how we coped with corona in Malaysia. 

Unlike Football Club, I don't have a particular national team to support. I used to support England, Spain and Germany, but it's more towards #lalang mode. Duno la somehow doesn't have this eye-blink moment after observing for quite some years. 

In the past I would update a few blogposts while the tournament is on-going. But this time it clashed with my exam period so I thought I could squeeze everything into one post. Anyway, we can't go out to watch EURO 2020 in Malaysia so no point having few posts talk about the mundane lockdown life. 

Here are my 5 taking points about EURO 2020:

#1 The unusual opening ceremony

Click on the image to watch view on Youtube. 
UEFA disabled sharing video at 3rd party website =(
 
In the past the opening ceremony was full pack with max cheers and camera lights flashing across the stadium. But this time, it was half-empty stadium due to the covid19 pandemic. What a waste for a fantastic performance. Not to mention this was at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, the place where usually jampacked with tourists (reminds me of sardin moment I'd while visiting The Trevi Fountain. Wanna take a decent picture also cannot). 

Nevertheless, I'm very pleased that the tournament can take off with SOPs in place. It was at the brink of cancellation, but for some reason it managed to went ahead. 

#2 Group of Death


Group F was the highlights of discussion when the group stage was finalized, with most of us thought Hungary will be raped by the 2014 WC champion (Germany), 2016 EURO champion (Portugal) and 2018 WC champion (France). Or it may ended up with only two teams progress to the knockout stage, depending on other group's performance. In the other words, this is an epic-fight-between-champs group!

Turns out Hungary was way more hungrier and stubborn. Not only they managed to drew France and Germany, leaving us wandering which team will actually gonna progressed to knockout stage, they kept us excited for the tournament despite being eliminated earlier.  If only the competition allows all teams in group stage progress to knockout stage. To me, Hungary deserved to progress to the round 16.


Anyway, Group F was proven to be too deadly that all the remaining 3 teams were eliminated at round 16, in just one week of time lol. 

#3 Fantastic Swiss & Miracle of Denmark

The elimination of Portugal and Germany kinda predicted, but not for Switzerland beat France and Denmark progressed to the Semis. 


I thought France was in a good shape. I mean, the team was packed with super-stars, they shown Germany who is the boss. The possibility of Switzerland beat France was something never cross in my mind.  

Hence, I was utterly surprised to see they were eliminated the next day I checked on the result. Even my dad was shocked: "Eh? The final score not 3 vs 1?? Thought no hope so I turn off!" Moral of the story? Next time don't assume too fast and turn off the TV while watching a football match. 

Anyway, you gotta give credits to Switzerland, who never gave up despite 3-1 down. France did shown their strength, but Switzerland didn't back down. Sometimes, you do need to try everything before calling everything off. 


Denmark on the other hand, had a terrible start with almost lost a team mate & losing first two matches. 


Little did we know that this Russia vs Denmark match is the turning point that kept Denmark through until the Semis. From almost loosing a team mate and first 2 matches to become Semi-Finalist, it's like a fairytale journey. I'd say it's their unity spirit that makes the whole team special. They have nothing to lose, even though many claimed that they deserved more after being robbed by England during the Semis. 

#4 What is corona?


At the beginning I thought all will be under control, and it will be served as a fine example to all major events to be held at this unprecedented time. 

After viewing some match lightings, it prompts me to presume Corona doesn't exist in Europe. It's a scary scene even though I'm not there physically. Will it turn out to be another India? Don't lah I have high hopes on vaccine. 

#5 It's Coming to Rome!


After the relatively-smooth tourney journey, laser pointing to Denmark goalkeeper, the controversy penalty, home ground advantage, booing at opponent's national anthem and nonsense #itscominghome, it ended with #itscomingrome. I knew Italy could make this far after watching their performance from the beginning. They shown who is the real boss, a truly-deserved champ. 


Say all the nonsense 'red card/penalty should be given' you want, the stats speaks for itself =)


Overall, it was an entire different EURO experience that ended well, or so it seems. Hopefully nothing drastic thing happened afterwards, at least give me new hope on vaccination lol. 

Seeing Colosseum makes me miss my Rome days. Anyhow, I would love to re-visit Europe in the future, perhaps for EURO tournament purpose? *eyes blink* Wondering who will be hosting the next EURO. 

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