Last year really shook the football EURO up, and the whole competition was — due to the COVID pandemic — postponed indefinitely. This year, however, everyone who loves football will surely be in for a treat! And you'll be surprised, but everyone and their mother really love football. From our grandfathers and grandmothers, to wives and girlfriends, to world-famous celebrities. EURO football tournament – a pleasure long overdue – is here!
The European Football Championship, abbreviated as EURO, is the main football competition for men's national teams in the UEFA federation. The tournament, the first edition of which was held in France in 1960, is usually held every four years. The year 2020 has taken its toll as far as football is concerned, but we have all the more to look forward to this year.
A love called football
The world of football is not just for players and mere mortals admiring them. There‘s a whole host of celebrities — including some of the biggest names in Hollywood — watching this wonderful game and supporting their favourite teams. We're not just talking about the celebrities tweeting "Go USA!" every few years just to have something to write about. There are people on this list who literally live for football! No surprise, really – names like Beckham and Ronaldo are known and loved by absolutely everyone!
James Bond has to be neutral, but...
You might expect to meet James Bond just about everywhere but a football game. And yet, Agent 007’s actor Daniel Craig is literally THE dedicated Liverpool supporter, having attended numerous games at Anfield over the years.
However, his open support for the Merseysiders has attracted criticism regarding his role as Bond. TalkSPORT presenter Mike Parry declared that as the character of Bond "belongs to the whole of England", he should be a neutral football fan. Although Parry reiterated that Craig is free to support whoever he pleases, Bond as such has no affiliation to any particular team. Quite predictably, his comments garnered a lot of criticism on social media.
Women want to be fans, too
If you picture all football fans as men, you’re in for a surprise. Among those who love the sight of a soccer ball, you’ll find even the famous Hollywood star Keira Knightley.
Knightley portrayed a footballer in the cult classic "Bend it like Beckham", her role being a girl who started to play football and had to keep it a secret from her conservative parents. However, Knightley has a lot in common with this role in everyday life. Although the London native doesn't play football, she is a passionate West Ham fan. She has spoken about her love of football and the "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" chant in many interviews (www.goal.com).
"The song that is played before the game is great. Suddenly you're part of the crowd that's blowing bubbles and it's an indescribable feeling. The only problem I have with it is that this song is actually really sad," said Keira.
"The song is about the fact that when you want to win really badly and you end up failing, your dreams gradually fade until they disappear completely. It's synonymous with the fact that even in everyday life we kind of keep losing something that matters to us."
Run, Football, Run
Even the beloved actor and star of "Forrest Gump" and "Saving Private Ryan" Tom Hanks is an avid football fan, although you might be surprised who this popular actor actually roots for. We're talking about none other than Aston Villa!
However, Tom Hanks himself has admitted that his fondness is more about the name of the club itself, rather than its image or history. In fact, Hanks proclaimed that the name Aston Villa simply sounds "nice" to his ears.
But Hanks also used to be a Real Madrid fan. The reason was obvious, he was a diehard admirer of David Beckham.
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill, on the other hand, happened to stumble across football fandom completely by chance. When asked on Twitter whether he liked wolves (Molineux is the home stadium of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club) he thought we were talking about animals and not a football club!
The moment he realised what a mix-up there actually was that he issued a statement on Twitter:
"Since everyone was so excited - I MUST carry on! I MUST be a fan!"
And just like that, a strong bond was formed between him and the Midlands, the central part of England.
The "Pulp Fiction" star fell in love with Liverpool when he was filming the 2002 movie "51st State" in the city and got a taste of the football atmosphere watching the game at Anfield.
Since then, Jackson has been a devoted Reds fan and often posts tweets on his Twitter account such as:
The True Fan Royalty
Since England is the cradle of football, it’s probably no surprise that Queen Elizabeth herself is a football fan. She even has her own favourite club! Elizabeth II supports Arsenal and regularly attends Gunners games, and she never misses any of the Wembley matches, where the FA Cup and EFL Cup culminate.
The Pot and Kettle Situation
However, you don’t have to be royalty to have a grand time at a game – many Czechs can do that, too. Former health minister Roman Prymula caused a great, literally "lockdown faux-pas", as he attended the Europa League football match between Slavia Prague and Leicester at Prague’s Eden this February, while still being the health minister of our country.
"There was a reason for my visit to the football match. I wasn't there just to hang out,"
said Prymula said on "Otázky Václava Moravce" ("Václav Moravec Asks") talk show on Czech Television, when he tried to justify the whole situation and set the record straight. Eventually, he was removed from his post (www.novinky.cz).
The "Miss Turf"
Former Czech Miss Tereza Kadeřábková is also a big football fan. Since her father is the football referee Bohumír Chlebovský, football has always been a part of her world. Later, her relationship to the sport became even stronger through her marriage to footballer Pavel Kadeřábek – so much so that Tereza eventually left the catwalk and became a sports journalist for TV iSport.
Of course, not every football fan is satisfied with watching from the stands. There are also those who, for their immense love for the sport, have put on a jersey and taken up the fight for victory as amateur athletes. Prague's Amfora is a true rarity in the rank of amateur football clubs, as it can boast with having such stars as the late Karel Gott, actress Jiřina Bohdalová (90) or presenter and entertainer Karel Šíp (76) on its base. The club was founded more than forty years ago by DJ Petr Salava (66). Amfora was all about fun and friendship, yet it showed everyone that the Czechs are truly a football nation.
"It actually began altogether by chance. I would say it was more of a gamble. I was playing football competitively and found out that I was not going to be the world number one."
admits Petr Salava. Still, he was eager to get to the famous stadiums, thus awakened his inner club manager.
"When I arranged the first match, I didn't yet have my "dream team" assembled at all. I started to put it together like in the Magnificent Seven western."
Amfora is clear proof that football is supposed to be all about having a good time and entertaining people. (www.ahaonline.cz)
New FAČR chairman: Here comes trouble!
However, that’s not always the case. When it comes to money and power, some people stop at nothing. This is proven by the competitive battle for the post of the new chairman, in which Vladimír Šmicer, Karel Poborský and Petr Fousek competed outside the turf. Three friends, who currently find themselves at odds with each other. Šmicer feels that Poborský is not playing fair, which was also the reason why he withdrew his candidacy:
"With my agenda, opinions and attitudes towards the problems in Czech football, I have become the main promoter of the reformist current, which is also professed by Petr Fousek, who is therefore closer to me as a candidate. Karel Poborský stands elsewhere. I want changes in the association's main positions; he does not. According to his own claim, he went into the elections by himself, whereas I did not; I have always had a quality team around me, as you can see in what we have achieved. Both Petr Fousek and I made public who nominated us for the chairmanship, Karel did not. Such is his right, but if we want to be transparent to the public, we should set the main example."
Šmicer said. (www.expres.cz)
A butt tattoo counts as well!
Football, as it seems, makes the world go round. David and Jakub Prachař, who declare their loyalty to Prague’s Slavia publicly, know something about that. Out of the two, it’s Jakub Prachař who took his passion for football a step further, as he came back from a match adorned with a tattoo on his acting behind. To pay a tribute to Slavia’s coach Jindřich Trpišovský, Jakub got the initials "JT" tattooed there.
Whether you are or are not a fan of this sport, we sure can all agree on one thing...football connects people. All the more for the long pause the football EURO had! Now that it’s finally here, we’re going to cheer together with you, as today’s the day when our team plays its first match against Scotland!