What a magnificent month of football June to July has offered up. What an interesting month too, and what a special ending, writes the MoneyMan.
This past month has seen my beloved Wales sneak into the Round of 16, before getting battered by Denmark, its seen Ronaldo’s Portugal unable to double down on 2016’s efforts, but along with them the flop of Group counterparts and soccer juggernauts Germany and France.
This tournament started with a heart attack to Cristian Eriksen and we were shown the beauty of sports as Finnish and Danish fans banded together in that opening match to chant Eriksen’s name in unison. We were shown the cruelty of sport as the tournament was decided on a margin, where missed penalties overrode 120 minutes of high intensity soccer and left one nation despairing and the other crying with joy. But in it it’s cruelty, sport retains its magic. The magic of margins and the magic of moments. The magic that can see the fastest ever goal in a Euro final not ensure victory, equally the magic that can see a team unable to qualify for the previous World Cup be unbeaten in their path to European glory.
When I started filming in June with Shakes Rampedi and Oliver Keohane (MoneyBoy), we turned our focus solely to the Euros. There were differing opinions of course, but shared sentiments too. One of which was that Italy could be a dark horse.
As Italy began to cruise through the group stages they very quickly shook the title of dark horse, but among a few other early bets, I had locked Italy in pre-the-tournament on an outright win, and last night I celebrated not only a fantastic display of football, but a healthy payout on a month-long investment.
The 2020 Euros, played out in 2021, was worth the wait. It ignited in many an interest again in international football that has been lacking in a soccer climate constantly in combat with Covid. It reminded us of the necessity of crowds and it kept us up later than expected as so many games went into extra time and penalties. It showed us that anything can happen, and to quote one of the commentator’s from last night’s final, “it only takes a second to score a goal”.
It only takes a second to make a moment, to make a team and to make a tournament, and I enjoyed every second of the Euro 2020.