By Vera Martirosyan
PARIS. – The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2016, which France is hosting, saw the two squads that showed the most confident performance, Germany and Italy, face each other in the quarterfinals.
Even though the French have organized a very nice championship, I would have to admit that football is not as popular in this country as it is in England and Germany.
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Italy were considered one of the most liked teams of this tournament. Despite not having a strong squad, they were playing a solid and intelligent football.
I decided to watch this match at the Paris fanzone, in the Champ de Mars large public greenspace at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
It is noteworthy that although Ireland have exited Euro 2016 a long time ago, their fans continue to consume the Paris beer.
For me, the most remarkable moment was during the second half of this match. More than 10 thousand people had assembled at the Paris fanzone, and all of a sudden, the ones at the first rows began running back while screaming, and the others also followed them. The first thing that came to mind was that they had seen a bomb somewhere.
We ran for about 50 meters and then stopped. Subsequently, we were asking each other what had happened. Everyone’s answer was the same: “Well, everyone was running, so I ran, too.”
Afterward, however, the crowd calmed down and continued watching football.
In the end, Germany defeated Italy in a penalty shootout.
It was a celebration at the Paris fanzone, where Germany had more supporters.
But after the match, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated in colors of the Italian national flag.
The Paris subway was free for the fans on that late evening, and I heard only “Deutschland, Deutschland,” on my way back.
The host nation, France, and the tournament “fairy tale,” Iceland, will lock horns on Sunday evening.
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