As the final whistle blew on Iceland’s 1-1 draw with Portugal — as the roar of 30,000 Icelandic faithful echoed around the beautiful Stade Geoffroy-Guichard; as Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt remained, for a change, on Cristiano Ronaldo’s back — so did the first round of group stage matches at this year’s European Championship come to a close. Continue reading
Saturday was undoubtedly overshadowed by the terrible scenes in Marseille’s Old Port and, later, the famed Stade Velodrome itself — an all-too-vivid reminder that the violent elements of European football’s past are far from condemned to the pages of history.
But as for the football itself, the second day of the 2016 European Championship was nothing short of compelling, and offered hope that what some have predicted will be a bloated tournament, diluted of quality and sure to skew toward staid and defensive tactics, could prove anything but. Continue reading