European Championship 2024: What a wonderful contrast to the World Cup in Qatar!

European Championship 2024: What a wonderful contrast to the World Cup in Qatar!
European Championship 2024: What a wonderful contrast to the World Cup in Qatar!

Football celebrates itself, and everyone celebrates with it. The European Championships in Germany show that the game touches the soul. To this day. star-Reporter Tilman Gerwien takes stock of the European Championships.

Sure, the weather: sometimes this way, sometimes that way – so very German. The train is notoriously unpunctual, the “volunteers” in their green Adidas jackets are super nice, sometimes overwhelmed. And poor Gelsenkirchen is a “shithole”, as one British blogger put it, which makes you want to shout to the dear man: Looks like your home, doesn’t it?

EM 2024 in Germany: No kebab shop without live TV

All the whining and howling doesn’t fit with what we experienced: warm nights in which the excited voices of reporters could be heard throughout the streets, no kebab shop without live TV, even if it was just Serbia versus Slovenia. The budgetary problems of the traffic light coalition: relegated to the “Heute-Journal” at half-time. But everyone has to go to the toilet then anyway. What’s important is on the pitch, that’s where the real world history is written, what a miraculous shift in significance.

Croatian fans with water polo caps, Dutch fans in orange garbage collection suits, in front of the arena in Leipzig two girls selling homemade lucky charms: on the left, heavenly support for Croatia, on the right, for Italy. And in the stadiums, when “Fire” blared out of the speakers at a mega-loud: thousands dancing in anticipation of what was about to happen, great drama, great emotions.

What a contrast to the soulless desert World Cup

There really was one: the great Cristiano Ronaldo, who hugged his crying teammate Pepe, actually one of the toughest kind, and comforted him like a little child. The national coach after the defeat against Spain, with a broken voice and tears in his eyes. Despite the Turkish wolf salute, despite UEFA’s commercial crap in the stadiums (seven euros for half a liter of beer!), despite full trains and broken air conditioning: what a contrast to the soulless World Cup in the football desert of Qatar in 2022!

Football is celebrating itself, and with it everyone who cares about this wonderful game is celebrating themselves. It’s been a billion-dollar business for a long time, but it’s still indestructible. It touches the soul, even today. It was great. And it will stay that way.

Tilman Gerwien experienced the World Cup in Germany in 1974. The DFB team won the title. The mood was worse back then, as was the weather.

Source: Stern

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