The big tournament has started, and they’re going crazy over there! We’re taking a look at why Europeans are obsessed with soccer, and why Denmark will be crowned European champions.
Soccer – a European phenomenon
Some Europeans feel that soccer – or “football”, as they refer to it over there – is the most important thing in life. A German proverb refers to it as the “most important unimportant triviality in the world”. Soccer is the great unifier of the masses. There are no class distinctions in soccer, and there’s a peculiar kind of fanaticism that takes a hold of everyone. Bank clerks, chimney sweepers, accountants, and shop assistants all go crazy when their team’s club colors are at stake. At stake, you may ask? Yes, it’s actually a bit like going to war. You expect your team to fight for the colors of their shirt until they drop, particularly when it comes to playing for your country. The lord may have mercy on anyone who puts on a lackluster performance when putting on your country’s jersey. He’ll be sure to be taken to the cleaners in the press and the pubs.
Soccer is still a sport loved by most men
In most European countries, soccer has long become the most popular sport. The rules haven’t changed in 125 years, and there have been generations of fathers who passed on the craze to their sons. Why not daughters, you may ask? Of course, many women are interested in soccer as well. These days there are many teams for ladies that enjoy an increasing popularity. But the big money – and we’re talking billions and billions of turnover – is with the male teams that enjoy a huge supporter base consisting of predominantly male fans.
What makes soccer the last male stronghold?
Those of you who have visited a soccer stadium in Europe will know the answer. And we’re talking any stadium in any kind of league. The audience will consist of about 90% males, many of them already slightly tipsy when entering through the stadium’s gates in the early afternoon. Then there are huge lines for the beer stands, sausage and meat-pie stands, and grown men standing in line to get the match scarf of the day – also in temperatures of 90° degrees and more.
Once you get into the main stand or take a seat anywhere in the stadium, people indulge in songs devoted to the team and the players as if their life depends on it. And this is even before the actual match starts. Once the game gets underway, there is no stopping a 90-minute outpour of human emotions. You have never seen such suffering and such joy. Your team conceding a goal results in the kind of desperation akin being made privy to the news that your house has just burnt down. And your team scoring a goal may feel like the jubilant exaltation of winning the lottery, becoming a father, and getting promoted at the same time. We’re not kidding – a raucous goal celebration is second to no other human emotion.
The Danish soccer team – refreshingly light-hearted
So, why do we think that Denmark will become European Champions of soccer? Since soccer has such a huge cultural standing and history in most European countries, you can imagine the pressure that comes with playing for your country. Look no further than England to see how success on club level with many talented home-grown players doesn’t automatically translate into success at tournaments. England haven’t won a trophy since 1966 – a whopping 55 years.
In come Denmark, the secret favorites of the Euros. The small Scandinavian country has great players like Christian Eriksen, been able to qualify for the European Championship and World Championship in recent years, while also causing a major upset when beating bigger countries in the process. It’s interesting to note that Denmark became European Champions in 1992, and they hadn’t even qualified but were called up as a late replacement. Having nothing to lose and playing without the weight of expectations can surely give you wings. So, if you’re looking for a dark horse to put your money on, the Danish horse would be it. And the odds are currently 50 to one!
Create your own custom soccer fan shirt
Here’s an easy and fun way to create custom fan jerseys:
- Pick a free design
- Add your text
- Place it in the cart
In a matter of days it’ll land in your mailbox, and you can cheer on your team in style. Of course, this is not only reserved for soccer fans.