Monday, 13 June 2016

Memorable moments from 2012 and 2014

Avoiding EURO 2016: A self-experiment — Day Four

It had to happen rather sooner than later: Some friends asked me who I support at EURO 2016. I explained that I do not follow the tournament, and why.

Before that, they asked me if I was also joining to watch tonight’s match on a big screen on the city’s central square. It brought back memories of the Match of the Century two years ago when Germany crushed the Brazilian hosts in the World Cup semifinal. I watched it right there, on that square.

I also saw a car with a Polish flag drove through my street. It is the first and so far only sign of supporters I have seen this year. I wonder if it is because interest this year is actually lower in general, or if it is that I simply do not see it.

Anyway, I was happy it was a Polish flag as I have close connections with Poland. It turned out they had beaten Northern Ireland 1:0. That’s all I know. The first actual result that I have seen, of course by accident, through a Facebook post. I also learned that Robert Lewandowski had shouted at team mates because he was unhappy with the performance.

Whether Lewandowski was the one who scored the goal, I do not know. But I have a fond memory of him. Four years ago, when the European Championship was held in Poland and Ukraine, I placed a 10 € bet on him being the tournament's first goal scorer. And he was. I watched the game in a pub with the local Polish community — beautiful girls with red and white flags painted on their cheeks.

I don’t recall if the bookmakers credited 40 or 60 € to my account — ‘first goal scorer’ is a risky bet with consequently high odds, on the other hand Robert Lewandowski must have been among the favourites and thus among the lowest odds in this category — but I do recall that all in all I lost money on that won bet, as people expected me to celebrate it by buying drinks. Heck, it’s just a game.

Na zdrowie.

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