Monday, July 15, 2024

Euro 2024 social round-up: Belgium´s deleted Mbappe jibe, Gordon´s new wheels

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jun 2024

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After two long days without any Euro 2024 action, Saturday brought the start of the knockout round.

But aside from the first two last-16 ties taking place in Berlin and Dortmund, there was plenty else going on around the tournament.

From Belgium’s Kylian Mbappe gaffe to Anthony Gordon receiving a tongue-in-cheek gift, here is the best of the social media output from Friday and Saturday at Euro 2024.

Belgium backtrack on Mbappe video

France will take on Belgium in perhaps the most high-profile round-of-16 tie on Monday, and the Red Devils’ social media accounts have upped the tensions between the neighbours.

A video posted to Belgium’s channels showed comedian Pablo Andres, who works extensively with the Belgian Football Federation, asking; “who will kick Mbappe’s shin?”

Midfielder Amadou Onana then answers with his own name.

The video was swiftly deleted and was the subject of an apology from spokesperson Stefan van Loock, who said: “The video was intended to be humorous but has since been taken offline.

“We would like to apologise to anyone we may have offended. This concludes the matter for us.”

The video was not received particularly well in France, and on Monday, we will find out whether it provided Mbappe with any additional motivation… not that any is required.

Birthdays and anniversaries in England camp

It was a big day in the England camp on Saturday, and not just because Gareth Southgate’s men were put through their paces for the final time ahead of Sunday’s clash with Slovakia.

Both Jude Bellingham and Eberechi Eze celebrated their birthdays, the former turning 20 years old and the latter 26.

Saturday was also a big day for the Three Lions for another reason, though, as it represented the three-year anniversary of their memorable Euro 2020 last-16 victory over Germany.

Harry Kane was on target in that match, his diving header giving England a two-goal cushion and clinching their most famous win of recent years.

A repeat performance on Sunday would certainly be welcome.

Buffon still has it

Italy goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon took up a role as delegation chief with the national team last year, succeeding the late, great Gianluca Vialli.

The Azzurri’s touchline representatives always look effortlessly cool, and Luciano Spalletti’s Armani suit turned heads during the group stage.

Buffon took the style stakes to a new level when he arrived at the Olympiastadion in the Friday evening sunshine, though.

Food fights continue

A bit of friendly back-and-forth between opposing groups of fans helps to make a major tournament special, and throughout the group stage, supporters clashed over food.

Albania fans snapped spaghetti in front of their Italian counterparts in one viral clip, while France’s baguettes got similar treatment ahead of one of their matches.

On Saturday, the official Euro 2024 account on X attempted to settle some scores by running through the most popular half-time snacks across the continent.

Gordon gets given stabilisers

England and Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon raised a few eyebrows this week when he was seen with a grazed chin, having fallen off his bike during what was supposed to be a recovery ride.

On Friday, he was presented with a pair of stabilisers by the Daily Mail, which Southgate will hope can prevent any further mishaps.

With England crying out for dynamism on the left flank, the last thing they need is another fall for Gordon.

Records tumble as group stage closes

Finally, Saturday saw UEFA publish a summary of the group stage, which many onlookers believe to have been the most entertaining since the Euros expanded to 24 teams for 2016.

From the Tartan Army’s short-lived German adventure to the Netherlands’ fans painting host cities Oranje, we have seen plenty of outstanding footage from UEFA’s fan zones.

A record number of people, between 430,000 and 440,000, attended the zones through the group stage, while the tournament has also made waves online.

UEFA says the tournament’s official social media channels accumulated 145 million engagements and 1.35 billion video views in the group stage – both more than in the entirety of Euro 2020!

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