Category Archives: European Cup

The Danish Fairy Tale

A friend of mine is a fan of F.C. København, the most successful Danish league side of the last 10 years. København have won 7 of the last 10 Danish Superliga titles, but are more famous for being a Cinderella team that beat Manchester United and drew Barcelona and Manchester City in the Champions League.… Read More »

Mario Balotelli and the New Europe

During international football competitions like the European Cup, eleven players briefly become their country, for a time, on the pitch. A nation is a difficult thing to grasp: unpalpable, mythic, flighty. Historians might labor away to define the precise contours of a country’s culture and institutions, and even sometimes attempt to delineate its soul, while… Read More »

What Would Thuram Do?

In 1996, after France narrowly defeating Bulgaria to move on from the group stages of the European Cup competition, the French defender Marcel Desailly made a striking accusation during a press conference. Hristo Stoichkov, the star Bulgarian striker, had racially abused him during the game. “Hey Desailly, do you know that little kids are dying… Read More »

The Blues in Bucharest

There was something oddly consuming about the dullness of today’s France-Romania European Qualifying match. It was played in Bucharest, in front of a packed and energized crowd of Romanian fans, who understood that this was probably the pivotal moment in the country’s attempt to get to the European Cup next year. The legendary, shiny-headed Howard… Read More »

Karim!

France, happily (for me at least) continued it’s strong run in Euro qualifiers with a convincing victory over Luxembourg, which is reassuring since the team has a bit of tradition of wasting such games with draws. The first goal by Benzema was a beauty.