Euro 2012 | Defying Death

The countdown is almost over and soon enough Europe’s best football teams will battle each other until only one is left standing

With the Euro 2012 championship just around the corner, The Copenhagen Post decided to ask its very international staff where their football loyalties and expectations lie.

Regardless of where you are from, you most likely support one of the 16 teams vying to be crowned Europe's football champion. Hosted by Poland and the Ukraine, the much awaited football event kicks off on June 8. So get your team's jersey and colours, download The Copenhagen Post's Euro 2012 Wallchart and get ready for some football.

Journalist Christian Wenande and intern journalist Malene Ørsted are both ‘Danish Dynamite’ to the bone, but they realise that it will take a minor miracle to get out of the ‘Group of Death’. “I was five years old the last time Denmark won the Euros and remember my dad shouting and jumping up and down,” recalls Malene. “I didn’t get it then, and not much has changed. Still there’s always the hope one of the players will take their shirt off.” Christian is also hopeful. “I have the faith. That and my lucky Denmark underwear from 1986,” he explains. “Not sure what would be more of a miracle, Denmark progressing from the group stage or me fitting into drawers I had when I was eight.” Either way they’re in for some ‘tight’ games.


InOut’s resident ballet expert and writer, Franziska, has led a very sheltered upbringing. Failing to qualify, crashing out in the group stage, and playing brilliantly but going out on penalties are all alien concepts to her. She is of course German and quietly confident that her countrymen will once again deliver. Beaten finalists four years ago, and in the semi-finals in the last World Cup, both times by Spain, they are already looking beyond the group eyeing revenge. But they need to be careful and not fail to advance from what is a very tricky group like they did in 2000. “My first memory of watching football were the pirouettes of Jurgen Klinsmann,” says Franziska. “On reflection, he was one of the reasons I started liking ballet instead.”


Portuguese intern journalist Claudia Santos has been living in Denmark for the past 17 years so confesses to mixed loyalties when the two countries closest to her heart play – which in recent years has been a regular occasion. Both countries were in the same group for qualifying for Euro 2012, and also for the 2010 World Cup. But while the Danes finished top both times, winning two of the four meetings with one draw, Claudia is confident Portugal will win when it really matters. “Whenever they play, I always try to keep a low profile. Almost everyone I know texts me clever things like ‘Ha ha, your team sucks’ or ‘the current score is …’, as if I didn’t know!” she says. “The funny thing is that I get these texts from both Denmark and Portugal – I’m getting harassed by both sides!”


England always expects but managing editor Ben Hamilton and journalist Peter Stanners, seen here doing their best impression of their country’s bulldog spirit, aren’t getting carried away with their chances. “Nobody goes into a major football championship not wanting to win,” says Ben. “But you’d have to go back to Euro 1992 to find an England team I was less confident about.” Or maybe that’s just his age talking! England face France, Sweden and co-hosts Ukraine. “We never, ever beat Sweden,” moans Pete. “Can’t remember the last time we beat France, and didn’t we lose in Ukraine in 2009?”   


Intern journalist Jessica O’Sullivan, the co-author of the acclaimed Dating the Danes column, was only 15 last time Ireland qualified for a major football championship, so we’ll forgive her excitement about the chances of the boys in green getting out of a tricky group, which includes world and European champions Spain, 2006 World Cup winners Italy, and the always dangerous Croatia. But while Jessica is only slightly more Irish than Tony Cascarino (Australian by birth, one of her grand-parents is from the old country), she’ll be rooting for them all the way, sport. “I really hope the luck of the Irish is with us, it’d be great for us to finally win something” says Jessica. “But I guess if we lose we’ll still win the award for best fans and drinkers though.”


Dutch intern journalist Mike Hofman, InOut’s film editor, like 99.999 percent of the Dutch population takes his football very, very seriously. Orange is, and has always been, the only colour … unless they’re playing in black. The Netherlands comfortably beat Denmark at the last World Cup and have not lost to the Danes since Euro 1992, but then again, they did recently lose to Sweden and any Dane will tell you that they’re rubbish. “It happens to the best,” says Mike. “But the 6-0 farewell victory in their final warm-up match against Northern Ireland should give them enough confidence for the next match.”



Follow along with the action, download The Copenhagen Post's Euro 2012 Wallchart


(Photos: Peter Stanners)

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