More than Football
Football is the one sport that no matter which street you walk on, or which city, village, country, wherever you go, you are bound to find kids playing it. This is most inexpensive game to play and the highest paying for professional players. One of the most recent deals was when Manchester United signed Jose Mourinho as the manager for a whopping amount of 10 Million Pounds annual contract of three years.
Currently ongoing is the UEFA EURO 2016 and is the 15th tournament for this European continent with over 20 teams playing across 10 venues for about 6 weeks of football fun, frenzy and fever for the coveted trophy and winning prize of 8 Million Euros. After the receiving global attention on the migrants crisis, Europe can turn to a lighter topic. There has already been a few first celebrations, from the host nation winning their first match against Romania, to Northern Ireland winning their first Euro 2016 match and Sweden already predicted to be the worst team ever for this tournament.
The UEFA EURO 2016 has unfortunately kicked off on a few sad notes. Starting from the pressure for security measures since being hosted in France and then the England and Russia football fans hooliganism. However the overall objective of the trophy, national pride and winning matches has managed to override these issues and sports is prevailing. The focus returns on triumphs and losses and people continue to enjoy or flinch.
This tournament affects fans of all the premier leagues and their stars for the worldwide followers. While we are not loyal to their nations, we are loyal to their craft, we laugh when they score and cry when they fail. The top player in for this tournament is Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and his strongest contender is Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden. Cristiano is net worth over $80 Million and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is double, so very quickly this game is also about big money and big bets. But this tournament is also going to offer breakthrough opportunities for 18 to 21s year olds who will become the future captains or assets for their respective countries in matches all the way to World Cups and so forth.
The biggest favorite to make it to the end is the host France. Many football pundits are pinning their bets on France, Germany and Spain to make it to the finals. The dark horses are Northern Ireland and Belgium. Unlike cricket where anything almost does happen, with football the extra time and penalty shoots too can avert the fate of a team, unless their star players who are highly paid to perform in their respective clubs, shine and score big.
The real winner for this tournament needs to be integration of the different cultures who are attending and leaving behind a positive impression to the rest of the citizens of France including the migrants who are still grasping with a new country, new life and new people. Their support and the bigger picture that we are all one and can achieve good things together will beat any insecurity issues.
France is the world’s destination of love and it is getting an opportunity to show the world that is indeed the heart of the globe.