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European Football Championship: Kwaratschelia’s happiest day: Georgia celebrates European Championship party

European Football Championship: Kwaratschelia’s happiest day: Georgia celebrates European Championship party
European Football Championship: Kwaratschelia’s happiest day: Georgia celebrates European Championship party

Georgia has pulled off the biggest surprise of the European Championship so far. The newcomer is in the round of 16, not least thanks to its most famous professional. A billionaire is promising an extraordinary bonus.

After the historic round of 16, Georgia’s football hero Khvisha Kvarachelia fulfilled his next lifelong dream. The match winner in the 2-0 win against Portugal proudly reported on his personal moments of happiness with idol Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I have a Ronaldo jersey. I got it,” said the goalscorer in Georgia’s first ever victory in European Championship history, smiling. “Even before the game, he wished me luck. That was so important to me. I never imagined that he would come up to me and talk to me.”

Kwaratschelia praised Ronaldo as a great personality and a great player. On the pitch, however, it was Ronaldo who put on the big show, not Ronaldo. Kwaratschelia and his teammates gave their country a memorable night of partying.

“We are no worse than others”

In the capital Tbilisi, people celebrated with car convoys and danced in the streets. Fans spontaneously set off fireworks. Members of parliament celebrated the European Championship success in the Georgian parliament at the beginning of their session with songs and national flags. Many of them wore national team jerseys. Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili promised the team a bonus of 30 million lari (around 10 million euros).

The players had given free rein to their joy by singing in the interview zone of the EM Arena in Gelsenkirchen. “It is the happiest day of my life,” said Kwaratschelia. With regard to the solidarity between the team, the coaching staff around head coach Willy Sagnol and the fans, he added: “We have shown that we can do anything together. We are no worse than others.”

“Kwaradona” shines, but the team also gives it their all

Kwaratschelia impressively demonstrated why he is the big star of the Georgian team. For the first time at this tournament, the SSC Napoli professional gave an idea of ​​why he is also called “Kwaradona” in Italy in reference to the great Diego Maradona.

The 23-year-old used Georgia’s first chance to take the lead. The offensive player was on the move and could often only be stopped by Portugal’s B team through a foul or as part of a team. He was involved in almost every Georgian attack. Kwaratschelia repeatedly relieved the Georgian defense with his runs and dribbling.

He deservedly received the “Player of the Match” award. Nevertheless, Kwaratschelia stressed: “There was no individual best player. It was a team effort. It doesn’t matter who plays with whom, because we go onto the field as a team to win.”

In fact, everyone in the Georgian team fights and runs for each other. In addition to Kwarachelia, striker Georges Mikautadze, who scored again from the penalty spot against Portugal and leads the scorers list with three goals, and goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili also stood out in his European Championship debut.

Georgia also a big outsider in the round of 16

Title contender Spain awaits in the round of 16 on Sunday in Cologne (9 p.m./ARD and MagentaTV). As in Group F, in which Georgia emerged as one of the four best third-placed teams in the tournament behind Portugal and Turkey, Sagnol’s team is a clear underdog.

“Spain is perhaps the best team in the group stage,” said the former Bayern player. “It will be a huge challenge for us – maybe too big? I don’t know, but we will fight until the last minute.”

The courageous performances at this European Championship and especially the surprising victory against Portugal are encouraging his most important player. “Even if there is only a one percent chance, you can do it if you believe in it,” said Kwaratschelia. “We showed that.”

Source: Stern

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