Thursday, July 08, 2021

When winning is secondary

Today's semifinal match between England and Denmark was a dramatic fight between the English home-stars and the hard-fighting Danes. The result of 2-1 for England was perhaps not as surprising as how it happened: Denmark taking the lead on a spectacular free kick goal by the young Mikkel Damsgaard and then an own-goal equalizer by Simon Kjaer, before the game went into extra time, where a very weak penalty call gave Harry Kane the chance to score the winner for England after he caught the rebound from Kasper Schmeichel's save. 

Denmark lost with their heads held high. It is of course always disappointing to lose, but if this great tournament has shown anything, it is that winning is secondary. 

What happened to Christian Eriksen in the match against Finland should have underlined the forgotten truth in our post-COVID world: football is not why we celebrate, it is our excuse to celebrate together! Danish fans have every reason to celebrate and be proud of their team and of themselves; decent and hardworking people who just want to enjoy a friendly contest!

Just as the vast majority of fans all over the world.

Maybe it was not a penalty; maybe England did not deserve the victory (I think they did), but in the end it does not matter much, and I am just happy I have been able to enjoy this tournament and a Danish National team that in my view are as much champions as the legendary teams of 1986 and 1992!

For many people it will be impossible to support England in the final: it was disappointing that many English fans booed the Danish national anthem, and as often happens, English media appears only too happy to pour gasoline on the fire of nationalism that sadly continues to haunt football. I will certainly support Italy: I love how they are playing and the joy that some players (notably Chiellini) appear to have at playing.

I hope it will be a great final, and whoever wins will be a great winner (because just as there are bad losers, there are really bad winners), and that fans will celebrate the sport that brings us together, so that we can all be champions!

In the meantime I shall have a beer to celebrate the champions from Denmark!

1 comment:

Stig said...