The euro has a few days left, but some initial trends have emerged. Here’s what we learned after the opening weekend of the tournament.
Just three days and the euro has also given us goals, drama and heartache.
Since Italy won six games last weekend against Turkey on Friday, it was a pandemic last summer and the European Championship, which was delayed, has been a showcase for the high-level football we all expected.
We didn’t expect it to be as emotional as it could have been. Watching Italy finally organize a game with the fans in March 2020 when COVID-19 stopped a sudden illness that hit Danish midfielder Christen Eriksen was a human element that covered his goals.
Eriksen’s health was trampled on during Saturday, although the love and solidarity that surrounded him and the Danish team were heartfelt and reminds him how important this game can be.
There are also tournament games, here’s what we’ve learned so far.
There is no place like Rome
One of the nations most affected by the pandemic, Italy, was Turkey at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. A team without a big name, the Italians won 3-0 after coach Roberto Mancini spent the last two years assembling a young team that wanted to win what was just their second European title in 1968 after their only success.
“It was important to start well and it is gratifying for us, for the people and for all Italians,” Mancini they told reporters after the match. “It was a wonderful evening and I hope there will be many more.”
Forwards Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne, both with goals, looked solid in front, and while Jorginho anchored in the middle of the team’s pitch, the key to the success of the opening game was key.
Azzurri are unbeaten in 28 games and will play Switzerland on Wednesday in the match to secure another victory in Group A and seal their ticket to the knockout stages.
The fragility of life
The Eurocup opened in Rome amidst hope and joy and a day later, Eriksen fell in Copenhagen on Saturday in Group B of Finland.
The following difficult moments doctors were working from the brake on performing CPR about the midfielder will soon be forgotten. The team members cried and the fans were shocked to see that he had come out of Eriks ’pitch. He remains hospitalized as Eriksen is undergoing further testing.
A few hours later the match started again Finland won 1-0 and was named the Eriksen Match Man. In the afternoon, Belgium beat Russia 3-0 in St. Petersburg. Romelu Lukaku, Eriks’ teammate at Inter Milan, scored two goals – even for his friend.
“Denmark has lost, but life has won”: That was the title on Sunday Danish Extra Blade newspaper. It’s hard to disagree.
The Dutchman has won but questions remain
The Netherlands may be a nation with a long football tradition, but winning on Sunday against Ukraine will not be remembered because it was one of their best. The Dutch opened the Group C campaign with a 3-2 thriller, but the draw was an easy victory.
With the score at 2-0, the Netherlands scored two goals four minutes later in the second half and finally needed a header from defender Denzel Dumfries five minutes from the end to score Amsterdam points.
The narrow victory raised more doubts for director Frank de Boer to gain enough strength to win the championship. In the second half he made two substitutions which injured him. The move put pressure on the Ukrainians to put pressure on Oranje.
“You have to try not to give dangerous moments to your opponents,” de Boer said accepted after the match.
We’ll see what the next week brings. Luck can change quickly in short tournaments. It will be the teams that can be consistent over the next three weeks that will go far beyond those euros.