Well, the 1/8 finals (the round of 16? what kind of a lame name is that?) is now behind us and the quarter-finals are looming ahead. After the first fucking boring and horrible not-so-good day of the 1/8 finals we were fully compensated by the two days that followed. And especially by Italy’s marvelous win over the evil Sith empire from Spain. What a revenge for the past two Euros!
So yeah, why not have another round of “Random Euro 2016 Thoughts”? I just hope it won’t be like “The Godfather III” and instead be more like “Toy Story 3”. Yeah, I don’t know either why I denoted “The Godfather” with Roman numerals and “Toy Story” with Arabic ones.
- Damn, Mats Hummels (Germany) is elegant as fuck! Not only is he perhaps THE BEST centre-back in the world and one of my favorite defenders, but he also does his work with such elegance… I tried to think of the last centre-back who was not only world-class but also soooo elegant in his work (sorry Chiellini), and I realized I had to go back to Fabio Cannavaro. Wow.
- Thank you Xherdan Shaqiri for stopping me from killing myself after the 1st day of the 1/8 finals, by scoring this beauty:
- I reckon Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian goalkeeper, is the player with the highest dissonance between the impression he makes about his ability when one simply looks at him – and his actual ability. Seriously. He looks so clumsy with all his height and long limbs and his somewhat weird posture, but he is undeniably one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Well, at least he was such until the last season. I still would have preferred Petr Cech to start in Chelsea’s goal and not him, although Courtois is great too. AND he has one of the best-sounding last names in the tournament. Just say it: “Courtois”. Sounds awesome, right?
- The biggest disappointments of Euro 2016, ranked from the least disappointing to the most disappointing:
- 3) Hungary losing 4-0 to Belgium in the 1/8 finals despite a good performance from the legendary goalie Gabor Kiraly, who has already entered his fifth (!!!) decade (WTF. This is true but still sounds unbelievable when I write it).
- 2) The über-low amount of goals (albeit it improved a bit after the last two days of action) – only 88 goals in 44 matches, an average of 2.000 goals per game.
- 1) Will Grigg not getting ANY playing time in the Euro. What the fuck?! He’s the most famous anonymous footballer in the world! It’s such a peaty he didn’t see any action. He’ll go down as one of the most remembered players of Euro 2016 and I still don’t even know what he looks like! Will Grigg’s on fire, your defense is terrified!
- Still on the Will Grigg subject, I reckon this is the greatest question anyone ever asked in the history of the Euros press conferences:
- The biggest advantage Wales has over every other team in the Euro? No, not Gareth Bale. It’s the Manic Street Fucking Preachers!
True, it’s not “Autumnsong” or “Anthem For A Lost Cause“, and it’s not on the same level as the two best ever songs-accompanying-football-teams-to-a-big-tournament: Stromae’s “Ta Fete” from Belgium’s 2014 World Cup campaign, and of course “Three Lions On A Shirt“, but this is an awesome song in its on right, and hey – it’s the Manic Street Fucking Preachers!
- I would like to nominate Yannick Carrasco of Belgium to the All-Handsome Eleven of Euro 2016.
- Lionel Messi announced his retirement from international football. Well, I actually think he will reverse this decision before the 2018 World Cup, but nevertheless, I think it is understandable – after all, Cristiano has 8 goals in the Euros and Messi is still stuck on 0 goals in the Euros. He realizes that he has no chance of catching Cristiano in that department, and so retiring is the only remaining logical option. I truly understand him.
- Iceland, bloody hell!!!