Football is much harder if you don’t have the ball – Sven-Goran Eriksson

For those who haven’t noticed yet, the EURO 2008 football (that is soccer for you Americans) championships have started.

It is a time when people in Europe start behaving weirdly for a few weeks (or at least as long as their team is still in the run).

* They hang their national flags out their windows in support of their team.
* They fix little flags on their cars.
* They group around a tv screen in pubs and drink large amounts of beer.
* They wear their team-shirt to work.
* They become all patriotic.
* When talking about the game they say ‘WE played a good match’ as if they were part of it.
* They cry real tears when their team looses.
* They cancel everything on a game night.
* Many people do a 180 degree turn, showing a side of themselves no one knew about.

What surprises me is the way football seems to draw masses of people together for a same cause who would not even speak to each other under normal circumstances. People with the most different political or religious views are sitting next to each other cheering ‘their guys’. For 90 minutes, they share the same sense of belonging to a wonderful country. It’s pathetic.

My other half hates football. I don’t hate it but I do not behave in any of afore mentioned ways either. We live in a country which I believe has never participated in any football European or World championships. So we have a good excuse to ignore the whole hoopla. But when Holland beat current World champion Italy 3-0 I smiled :-)

Euro 2008

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