5. Wales’ unexpected entrance into semis
Well the year 2016 has been the year of underdogs. First Leicester City winning the premier league, then small countries making it big at Euro. One of them being Wales. Gareth Bale showed the world his class and took his country to the semis thrashing World rank 2 Belgium in the round of 8. No one expected them to perform so well. The players themselves didn’t believe that they would go so far. One of the player had his wedding scheduled on Saturday, right after the semis; another player had tickets for a Beyonce concert in Cadriff. If they had Ramsay for semi final clash against Portugal maybe they would have reached the final.
4. Hungarian’s Jogging pant
The Hungarian team a rather unexpected entrant into the knockout stages of the tournament won many hearts by their performance. Their most inspiring player was probably their goalie Gabor Kiraly. The 40 year old showed great athleticism by making some tough saves but It was not his goalkeeping skills but his tricks with the ball and obviously his jogging pants that caught people’s attention.
3. Germany vs Italy – The penalty shootout
It was undoubtedly one of the best match of the tournament. Before the match Germany had never defeated Italy at the knockout stage of a major tournament. So it wasn’t surprising when the game went to the penalty shootouts and what happened after that will always be remembered by the football fans.
Everyone thought that it will be a battle between the world’s best goal keepers ,the valiant Neuer and the great Gigi Buffon, and moment of brilliance from one of them will set them apart but thanks to the pathetic performance of the kick-takers It took 18 shots to decide who was going to advance to the semis.
2. Iceland’s Viking roar
Iceland’s journey in the Euro was nothing less than a fairytale. A little frozen island whose Assistant coach is a dentist and the goalkeeper is a movie director managed to draw against Portugal and defeat Austria and England to reach the Quarter finals. Probably it was their pre and post match Viking roar that unnerved their opponents.
It was so epic that the France started copying it immediately.
Wildcard- Germany’s bad luck with handballs
The world champion, Germany had been playing like a champion but slips at crucial stages of the game made them pay heavy price. First it was Boateng’s handball against Italy which took the match to the penalties then it was captain Schwiensteiger’s handball against France which tarnished their record against host nations.
Maybe they should have listened to their coach and kept their hands on different ball
1. Portugal’s dream run
You can love them, you can hate them but when lady luck is so in love with them you cannot ignore them. A team which couldn’t manage to win a single game in the group stage went on to become the champion.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”-The Alchemist
It all began with the change in rule when the federation decided that top 4 third placed team will be allowed to move on to the second round. Had it been like old Euros, the third placed Portugal would have been eliminated in the group stage. Everyone criticized Ronaldo when he missed a penalty against Austria but it was all part of a greater plan. The finale was a repeat of 2004 when an unexpected finalist was facing the host and tournament favorites. Portugal couldn’t manage to win 6 of the 7 games they played in the tournament in the 90 minutes. The Portugals were like a bottle of Ketchup, nothing for 90 minutes and then it all comes out at once. Ronaldo’s injury gave them the impetus they needed and they stole the thunder in the packed stadium of French capital.