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The Euros

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I think it has been a great European championship after an uncomfortable start (England aside of course, who performed to their usual standard, no doubt in part because I drew them in the office sweepstake). I have really enjoyed watching the likes of Wales and Iceland perform at least in the case of the latter, above their (and everyone else’s) expectations.

Generally the quality of football has been pretty high and there have been some excellent goals fully justifying the decision to extend the competition to 2014. There has been more to enjoy than just the football. I thought the Icelandic chant was really entertaining although I am not sure that it is in fact based on a Viking war cry (I read somewhere that it might have started in Motherwell and that it was picked up by the Icelanders after a European game!). None of that really matters, because the effect is electrifying and how cheering it was to see the Iceland team take part in it with their fans.

For me, though, the best bit has been the national anthems. I don’t include our own in this I am afraid, because it is a bit, well, dour and slow. On the other hand I can appreciate the classical background of the German anthem and the power of the Russian. “Land of my fathers” is a brilliant and moving tune, especially when sung by 30,000 or so Welsh people, but as far as I am concerned the clear winner is the Italian anthem. I wasn’t impressed when I heard it start for the first time but it is really melodic and the way it builds to a stirring crescendo is genuinely inspiring (as was the sight of the entire Italian team shouting out the final words at the end). No wonder they performed so well in the tournament.

Posted: 06/07/2016 15:56:20
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