After bearing witness to the most disappointing football tournament since the dawn of man, The Faithful MUFC’s Nathon Woodhead takes a look at the five best moments from Euro 2016.
Forget the success of the underdog, the Icelandic thunder clap, the French people uniting after turbulent and traumatic times, or any thirty yard screamer – this is the REAL top five.
There were limited individual moments of brilliance to choose from – with even less outstanding team performances, so try and smile when revisiting the monumental steaming turd that was Euro 2016.
Harry Kane’s Free Kick Against Iceland
You are into the last ten minutes of a knock-out game, losing 2-1, and you have a free kick thirty yards out. Score and become a national hero. Miss and nobody really places blame on you (as you are not Dimitri Payet so it isn’t expected of you to find the back of the net).
However, put the ball about 800 yards wide attempting a Gareth Bale special and you become a national laughing stock. Harry Kane, your free kick makes Geoff Thomas’ chip look good.
Dimitri “Roy Keane” Payet
Known for his dazzling skill and wicked free kicks, Payet was one of the few player’s who saw their profile rise at Euro 2016. However nobody could have expected a Roy Keane-like challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo which saw the Real Madrid superstar stretchered off in the final.
The nation was divided after seeing the Portuguese star in tears. He didn’t deserve it surely?
Did Payet see red like Keano did when challenging Haaland all of those years ago? He certainly didn’t see red from Clattenburg for his nasty action. Either way, karma arrived in the form of a Swansea reject.
Those Poor Albanians
Weirdly, four teams who finished third qualified for the next round (let’s hope this gets abolished ASAP). For an Albanian side who had only scored one goal in about four hundred matches, this was enough to put them into the third place qualification area. The only problem was they needed to wait for other results to go in their favour.
After sticking around in France for three additional days and preparing mentally, emotionally and physically for a last 16 match, their big day never arrived, getting knocked out by eventual winners Portugal who took that final third place slot. What a waste of time and money.
Fire Hydrant Alert
Everybody, and I mean everybody, including your mum, Nan and great uncle from the outback has heard the Northern Irish adaptation of the Gala tune.
Yes Will Grigg was on fire. Yes, your defence is terrified. However, no amount of singing, dancing or pleading would convince Michael O,Neill to give the forward a run-out. O’Neill had no intention of pleasing his fans. He was there to win. Like, seriously!
Poor Will Grigg and poor Northern Ireland fans – your manager is a fire hydrant who put out Will Grigg’s flames before they got anywhere near the field. Unforgivable.
The French have played two tournaments on home soil in the past, and won both.
Having finished top of the group, with Payet and Griezmann in tip-top condition, the Germans were put to the sword. The French looked bloody good.
A final against a bang average Portuguese side was surely going to be a goal fest. Un? Deux? Trois? How many will we score they asked.