At home and in Paris: a guide to Euro 2016
June 24 2016
Allez les Bleus; again France is gearing up for a major football tournament- Euro 2016 will not alter football as such, rather it will confirm what many feel about the sport, which is to be played on home soil. Most recently French land has been tainted. In the days and weeks after the attacks in Paris the City of Lights dimmed and darkened ever so slightly. However, football once again showed solidarity. On November the 17th England played France at Wembley stadium, a mere four days after the tragedy. The prelude to the game typified its support for footballs fallen brother as the slogan Libertė, Egalitė, fraternite (liberty, equality, fraternity) was emblazoned upon the stadium, the tricolour draped from the stands, while the English fans bellowed the marselillaise. This was the greatest outpouring of emotion and support for French football since les Bleus lifted the world cup in Paris.
At this present time we as football fans are being treated to the European Championships, a 24-team extravaganza bringing together the continents elite. Until England crash out prematurely, the three lions will dominate conversation, England once again failed to start a major tournament with victory as Vasili Berezutski gave Russia a draw they barely deserved. However, due to Wales’s earlier triumph, this was to form the undercard before the main event. The clamour of Britain lived up to its rėclame as the gallant English lion tamed the abject Welsh Dragon with goals from Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy prompting some to audaciously recount the summer of Euro96, while some courageously utter the mantra “this could be our year”
As the host nation and tournament favourites, France are likely to turn heads with West Hams Dimitri Payet and Juventus’s Paul Pogba revolutionising the personification of Zizu and Thierry. Gary Lineker once said that “football is a simple game” adding that “twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end the Germans win”, therefore overlook the current world champions at your peril. I would also add the matadors Spain and the forever present, forever tasteful Italians into the European mix. Next you have the underdogs, the teams that become second teams, Robert Lewandowski’s Poland, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s captained Iceland, or even Jonny Evans’s Northern Ireland will be serenaded with no thought as to why.
One’s place in Paris recounts how “there are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home and in Paris” (Hemingway). Nevertheless, if the footballing pathways of Paris are unobtainable, at home in Liverpool there are countless settings in which to digest 4 months of the beautiful game. Rack and Dollar situated on Berry Street is an authentic, all American sports bar serving both liquors and dishes from across the pond. Countless screens and a HD projector means you’re unable to miss a minute of the soccer. Moreover, The Camp and Furnace on Greenland Street has the qualities of an industrial film-set, a perfect place to watch football; a somewhat type of urban park. The Camp and Furnace takes the best international football and provides people an opportunity to watch it communally. Finally, Fly in the Loaf; established in 1927 provides an alternative setting in which to cheer on your team. Based on Hardman Street, The Fly offers a fantastic range of specialist beer and ales from across the world.
Will Euro 2016 allow the three lions to dance at our heels, will we hear them vigorously roar. Both the country, England, and the championships are sensationally simmering nicely so far.
By Jack Connor.