Euro 2016: when outsiders win…

ederThis is not a usual topic for me, and it’s not a usual topic for my blog. But, as an author, as a writer, I can’t help thinking that the victory of Portugal was the best way of ending Euro 2016.  It’s the story of a team going beyond its limits, the perennial runners-up finally reaching the top. It’s somehow romantic, it has the taste of a great classic novel. I read a nice article published by “Il Corriere della sera”. I added the link in Italian, but I translated it in English. I apologize if translation is not perfect…

Euro 2016, Portugal: a romantic victory for those who go beyond limits.

The winners are those who were able to build themselves with more patience, more humility and going against everything, because Ronaldo’s accident.

There is an ancient romantic echo in the victory of Portugal. It’s the school of eternal runners-up, always great players and always useless. In the big day, after few minutes. they lost their ‘man of the destiny’. At the end Eder, his second substitute, scored and won. At this point no matter who really deserved to win, France did a bit more, but Portugal went against everything, even its limits. They never lost, they played good football, they were a bit slow and fanciful, but they knew how to play, they knew that nothing is simple, and for once they got it. Alone, without Cristiano Ronaldo.

A unique award for their long history full of placing and final humiliations. For this reason, it’s a right result. The winners are those who were able to build themselves with more patience, more humility. With an almost boring regularity that comes from very far. I think it’s the right result for a European Championship better than expected. We saw good technique even if 24 teams are many. Actually we saw some novelties, like the high game of Iceland and the total and rigged up game of Wales. I think that the basic facts are four: the difficulties of centre-forwards almost excluded from the game like Portugal. They didn’t have not even one as a reserve. The vanishing of fantasy-players. It’s not a voluntary choice. They don’t exist anymore. Dribbling comes to an end, it’s not projected in any scheme. Third thing, the good average quality, a thing that makes matches more interesting, but a bit boring because of balance. Last consideration, it’s very easy to disappear between the group of great talents (Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Draxler, Ronaldo, Pogba, Rooney) and the rising ones (Joao Mario, Sanches, above all Griezmann, Sissoko, Krychowiak, Grosicki, Duda, Guerreiro, Robson-Kanu). This is the result for Europe to be a big laboratory where every race of the world plays. Maybe it’s not a chance that the winner is an ancient population who discovered the world.

Portugal's players celebrate as they pose with a Portuguese flag at the end of the Euro 2016 qualifying football match Portugal vs Denmark at the Municipal stadium in Braga on October 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ MIGUEL RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)