Originally published as a FB Note, on 8 June 2008 at 13:05
Back in November last year, England lost to Croatia at Wembley and we failed to qualify for Euro 2008. The hapless Steve MacLaren was duly fired (although that may have been a smarter move much sooner) and we realised we would be facing a summer without the relatively recent tradition of decking anything that doesn’t move with a St. George’s cross.
Now the European Championships have started and last November’s wounds have been re-opened somewhat, I’m in the (hopefully rare) position of choosing which team to support instead. Indeed the whole pre-tournament publicity on the BBC has centred around exactly that question. I suppose it’s the only way to make the best of the situation.
So, as a United fan, I have been tempted to transfer my allegiance to Portugal (as many others have), given the link with Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. They were finalists in 2004, they play attractive football and they have a reasonably good chance of winning. Who else then? Well, let’s just say that it’s rather difficult to want our traditional rivals such as France or Germany to win!
Back in February, when England’s abject failure to qualify was still raw, I found myself discussing the tournament with my Swedish friend, Joachim and I promised then that I would support Sweden. The fans are passionate, the players are capable and let’s face it, no-one predicted that Denmark would win in 1992 – or Greece in 2004.
That’s why I’m flying the Swedish flag at home for the next few weeks!