Saturday, June 14, 2008

International football

I'm not an everyday footballing punter but I do love the international footballing championships and have been watching them for so long that they mark out my history.

Italia 90:
Very cheap t-shirts being sold on O'Connell's bridge, updated daily to add in the scores of the Ireland matches. Staying out late in the local pub to watch the England/Ireland game, and having to get up the next day to do my Leaving Cert Irish exam.

Sweden 92:
Watching the Germany v Denmark final in my friend's mother's house with an old East German friend. Supported Denmark just to oppose him and they won in an all-time under-dog win.

USA 94:
Was in love with Roberto Baggio's hair.

And this song was played on the radio just after the finals ended:

I was sad that it was all over.

England 96:
Watched one of the England games at home by myself and served myself some fancy yogurt from one of those giant cartons into a small glass. The glass was in my hand resting on the right arm of the chair in front of the telly. My brother called in and left. I watched the game. Out of nowhere, with no physical interuption of any sort the glass exploded into tiny fragments. It's in my top two weirdest things that have happened to me to this day.

France 98:
Being fully engaged with a friend talking about Bergkamp's performance, partly because of the excitement of the football, partly because of my audience, a matter of future shame.

Belgium/Netherlands 00:
A few of us watched the finals in a friend's house. A firm supporter of Italy since 94 (not just because of Baggio's hair). Italy are 1-nil up, all looking good. My friend walks in for a moment and out of nowhere predicts exactly how France would come back and win the title. And they did. Ever since I've hated France's football team with a passion.

Japan/Korea 02:
Walking down Baggot St and 100% of passing conversations were about Saipan-gate. Watching the Ireland/Spain match in a pub in Earlscourt, London. Game went into extra time and penalties, and as a result we missed our flight home. Went on to watch the Brazil/Germany final in a room with 4 others where we weren't allowed talk or make noise so our cheers were whispered.

Portugal 04:
Portugal/England and Czech Rep/Netherlands. Two games packed with the tension and excitement of 20 games.

The third Czech goal (8.35 mins in) is one of my all time favourites. Was also quite excited by Nedved's hair, but quite disturbed by the white selotape the newbie Ronaldo used to cover his earrings.

Germany 06:
I watched the final in the Italian quarter and after the win, spilled over into Temple Bar where hundreds of Italians had gathered to celebrate Mediterranean style. On the way back to the car, singing the Fabio Cannavaro chant, we passed some Kuwaitis outside the GPO who gave us their Italian flag.

Euro 08:
I'll save judgement on this til the end.

1 comment:

  1. This is my favourite post in SUCH a long time with so many memories. Thanks Milan :)