Saturday, March 25, 2017

Euro 2016 Diary: A lost child, a football ban in Nice and one last stand for Will Grigg

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 Jun 2016

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While Iceland and Italy made the headlines on the pitch, there was the usual light-hearted stories to be seen off it.

Here’s our off-beat look at what might not make the headlines…

 

WILL GRIGG’S ON FIRE, AND HE’S BACK IN BELFAST

Few footballers have cast a spell over a tournament quite like Will Grigg.

His name has been belted out at virtually every game at Euro 2016 – and thousands have danced to the now famous ‘Will Grigg’s on fire’ song that has become the unofficial soundtrack of the tournament.

Northern Ireland’s adventure in France ended on Saturday with the 1-0 defeat to Wales – but there was still one last chance for Grigg to take centre stage when the team returned to heroes’ welcomes in Belfast.

Not bad for a man who didn’t play a single minute.

FRIENDLY FANS FIND FORLORN FATHER

There are few things scarier for a parent than to lose a child in a large crowd.

Luckily it wasn’t an issue for one Welshman ahead of Saturday’s last-16 tie with Northern Ireland in Paris.

The father had lost sight of his son but he encountered hundreds of willing helpers, all trying to reunite the pair.

The Irish hoisted the youngster onto a podium before turning silent and singing “David, David here’s your son”. Fortunately it did the trick and the man soon emerged to rapturous applause and more singing!

 

CONTE THE ELEPHANT – HE NEVER FORGETS 

Italy coach Antonio Conte gave a performance almost as stirring as the one produced by his side on the field when he addressed the media after the stunning 2-0 win over Spain at the Stade de France.

He joked that the team’s fitness coach has given him a GPS monitor to track his manic touchline activities and gave a graphic example of the closeness within his squad.

“Seeing what they give from the first players to the 23rd player, they are all involved,” he said. “Like I play the match from the touchline. We’re all exhausted and all have a shower afterwards.”

Apparently drawing confidence from his on-point personal hygiene, a buoyant Conte then demanded a question from a journalist who previously asked him whether Italy would have failed at Euro 2016 had they not reached the quarters. Chelsea journalists, beware – he never forgets a face.

 

ENOUGH WITH THE FOOTBALL NOW PLEASE       

One of the reasons for staging a major football tournament is to encourage people to take up the beautiful game.

That is, unless, you live in the glitzy resort of Nice on the Cote d’Azur where it may be considered… well, just a little unruly.

Despite staging four games at Euro 2016, including Monday’s last-16 clash between England and Iceland, it seems some at the local council are not keen on a ball being kicked around just anywhere, as this sign outside the park at Place Wilson makes clear.

 

ITALY VOTE SPEXIT FOR SPAIN

These are troubled times for members of the European Union.

Still reeling from the UK’s decision to go it alone, European leaders are now frantically trying to get their ducks in a row at home and on the continent.

And yet, one group of Italy fans managed to see the funny side after watching their team beat Spain 2-0 in Paris.

It’s fair to say the political and economic make-up of the EU was not at the forefront of their minds…

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SoccerNews

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