European Football Championship: The tournament is already making a comeback

European Football Championship: The tournament is already making a comeback

Every match day morning we look back at the past and the coming European Championship, give lessons in European football clichés and let a colleague from abroad take a look at this country. You will also receive these texts as “The Summer Mail” by email in the morning if you subscribe to our “What now?” newsletter here.

The scene of the previous day

It took 23 seconds and a botched throw-in for a historic moment. The match between Italy and Albania had barely started when the Italian Federico Dimarco threw the ball almost directly at the feet of Albania’s Nedim Bajrami. He shot it into the near corner. The Dortmund stadium shook, sounds like a phrase, but it really was like that: The TV cameras were shaking. Surprisingly, the fezthe traditional white felt caps, on the thousands of Albanian heads. And even though the Italians quickly hit back, dominated and won 2-1 – the fastest European Championship goal of all time belongs to Albania.

Nedim Bajrami after his 23-second goal © Alberto Pizzoli/​Getty Images

The game of the day

England against Serbia. The most perennial favorite against a highly motivated first-time participant. It promises to be passionate. Off the pitch too. The authorities have classified the match as a high-risk game. It is well known that the Three Lions fans do more than just shout loudly. But they are particularly concerned about the Serbian hooligans, some of whom are linked to ultra-nationalist, right-wing extremist groups and organized crime. More than a thousand police officers are to prevent clashes. Another measure: only light beer with 2.8 percent alcohol content will be served. Considering what is served in a pint in pubs, the English are unlikely to notice the difference.

Who will be important today?

It was the most dramatic moment of the last European Championship. On the second day of the tournament, Denmark’s Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field, cardiac arrest. His teammates formed a circle to protect him from the gaze of spectators and cameras while he was resuscitated on the pitch. “I was dead for five minutes,” Eriksen said later. The doctors brought him back. He watched from his hospital bed as his team made it to the semi-finals. Eriksen also wanted to play again. He had an implantable defibrillator inserted – and will now play his first European Championship game since then against Slovenia (6 p.m., ZDF). A comeback in the truest sense of the word.

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen © Lee Smith/​Reuters

Dear Germany…

(von Marcel van der Kraan, TelegraphNetherlands)

© ZEIT ONLINE

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For years we have envied the Americans who fire up the grill in the parking lot at big baseball games and then walk harmoniously into the stadium together. Fan violence has often overshadowed major events in Europe. But the many Scottish fans who hugged and entertained the German audience proved in one fell swoop how beautiful it can be here too. The Scots may have lost heavily on Friday evening, but their fans triumphed with their party spirit: a victory for international football. With the thousands of liters of beer and above all the joy of the opening game, as a football reporter you could almost start drinking too. But we’ll save that until after the final with our team and coach Ronald Koeman.

Phrase of the day

“Een engeltje op de lat” (an angel on the lattice), Dutch

In German you may have been quite simply lucky, but in Dutch there is more otherworldly support. At least if you are a goalkeeper who has had more luck than brilliant saves. Then there must have been an angel on the crossbar. (Note from Marcel van der Kraan)

Who is already European Champion?

Sweden. At the ninth European Championships in Kanin-Hop, a jumping competition for rabbits. Tina Nylund won the long jump, high jump and obstacle course disciplines with King’s Sch Shiloh Noelle. An astonishingly bumpy-sounding name for such a supple hopper. After all, the competition took place in the melodious Swiss town of Küssnacht. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of this fluffy European Championship, but here is a cute rabbit.

Ein sehr süßes Kaninchen © Unsplash Stepana/​unsplash.com

What was the quote of the day?

“We’re sorry. More than sorry.”

(Alessandro del Piero, former Italian international, live on German television with a long overdue apology for the victory and goal in the semi-final of the 2006 World Cup against Germany. Expressed in Dortmund of all places. Trigger warning: An image follows.)

Alessandro del Piero in the 2006 World Cup semi-final against Jens Lehmann © Bernd Thissen/​dpa

Every match day morning we look back at the past and the coming European Championship, give lessons in European football clichés and let a colleague from abroad take a look at this country. You will also receive these texts as “The Summer Mail” by email in the morning if you subscribe to our “What now?” newsletter here.

It took 23 seconds and a botched throw-in for a historic moment. The match between Italy and Albania had barely started when the Italian Federico Dimarco threw the ball almost directly at the feet of Albania’s Nedim Bajrami. He shot it into the near corner. The Dortmund stadium shook, sounds like a phrase, but it really was like that: The TV cameras were shaking. Surprisingly, the fezthe traditional white felt caps, on the thousands of Albanian heads. And even though the Italians quickly hit back, dominated and won 2-1 – the fastest European Championship goal of all time belongs to Albania.

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