Even as a Non Football Fan, I’ve Been Caught Up in Euro 2020

Group of supporters crying for the disqualification of their football team. Unhappy and frustrated fans at the stadium.

Like most of the country, well England anyway; last night our household watched the England vs Italy game in the final of the Euro 2020 tournament. Staying up late through extra time to watch the deal-sealing, nerve shredding, penalty shoot-out.

Needless to say, the rest is now history and England continue to endure another year of ‘hurt’. Well done to Italy though, pundits on the news tell me they deserved to win and I would tend to agree. That said, I think the England squad did a fantastic job to not only get as far as they did, but also to get that close to lifting the trophy for themselves.

When I Were a Lad

That young player, Bukayo Saka – just 19 years old, who missed the penalty can’t be blamed in any shape or form. It’s the way it goes. As I watched him, I thought about what was I doing at 19? Mostly spending my time in the pub, chasing after women or going to festivals. I certainly wasn’t competing in sport at international level for my country and carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on my shoulders.

Give the lad a break!

Did You Watch the Match on Saturday?

So what’s so unusual about all that? Well the thing is that no one in our household is a football fan, normally we have the TV programmed to automatically change its channel when the footy comes on

Over the years we’ve surrounded ourselves with people of a similar ilk, and I’ve become very adept at moving conversations on to other matters should the subject crop up if I find myself in the company of blokes (let’s face it – it usually is), hell-bent on analysing a recent match. For men who don’t know each other very well, football tends to be an ice-breaker conversation piece that presents a common ground if other topics are thin on the ground or there’s not much happening with the weather as is the typically English way!

However, I think that given England’s success in this tournament, coupled with the fact that the nation has been starved of anything positive over the last 16 months or so during Lockdown, this tournament has really given everyone a boost. Football and non-football fans alike. Everyone really invested in it and there was a sense of commonality in the air which I haven’t felt for a while.

The 32 Stages of Being a Non-Football Fan

This article from the Huff Post takes a humorous look at the stages a non-fan takes in these tournaments. It sums how we non-footie fans have been, I think. Especially those like me, who only became interested at the Germany vs England match stage!

Will I be continuing with my newly found football enthusiasm? I doubt it! Well, not until the World Cup next year – I had to google that snippet of information in case you were impressed that I knew it!

Even then, it’ll only begin if England reach the quarter-finals. Fingers-crossed!

Well done England on making England proud last night. Congratulations to Italy on a well deserved win.

Image credit: Jacob Lund Licensed through Adobe Stock Photos.