In the European Football Championship, Finland does not have to beat Belgium, Denmark or Russia nine times out of ten. It is possible that a single time will make Owl’s great dream a beautiful realism.
Deuce! I do not believe it! Once the Finnish men’s national team enters the football championships, the competitions will be postponed.
I remember this mood from well over a year ago.
Like numerous other fans, co-workers, acquaintances and friends had been able to get tickets to the Finnish matches of the European Football Final in St. Petersburg and Copenhagen. They squirmed with excitement and happiness. Many had been waiting for this opportunity for as long as there was enough memory. Me too.
Then struck by a small virus that continues to plague the world.
But now one major thing is otherwise. On the twelfth of June, Finland will indeed face in the opening match of the Danish European Championships in Copenhagen, and from then on new chapters will be written into Finnish sports history as long as there are enough European Championship games.
On June 16, the owls will receive Russia in St. Petersburg and on June 21 in the same place in the men’s soccer world ranking number one in Belgium.
Head coach Markku Kanervan and the dream of the national team players is to reach from the tough B-block to further games.
But is it possible?
Not even a wild dream is an impossible journey to a realistic goal and then to the realization of the goal.
Who believed before the French European Championships 2016 that Iceland would first make it to the Games, then go from second in the starting block to second before the future champion Portugal, knock out England and only bend in the semi-finalist and later world champion against France?
In the French Games, Iceland and miracle became synonymous, although instead of magic, it was about realism and a strong belief in one’s own abilities.
Iceland had its own way of playing that relied on the strengths of the players, as did Finland.
Iceland sought its victory and points for uncompromising co-operation as a confident united team, as the Owls have done.
Iceland was a difficult opponent to defeat, as has Finland.
And Iceland did not even have Teemu Pukk as Finland has had.
Football one truth is this: one match can happen in any way. Iceland can drop the country of birth of football, Finland defeats the world champion and 54th in the ranking.
The top two from each of the 24 countries in the European Championships will advance to the playoffs, as well as the top four from the top three – a total of 16 teams. And to climb into the top three of the blocks, a single win is probably enough.
Finland does not have to beat Belgium, Denmark or Russia nine times out of ten.
One single time in the next couple of weeks can make Owl’s Dream a beautiful realism.
As events The European Football Championships are unique and Finnish football fans should go on a trip to St. Petersburg and Copenhagen with joy. But also remember that the era of the virus is not over in the world or in the neighboring areas of Finland.
In both St. Petersburg and Copenhagen, the corona situation is much harsher than in Finland.
Careful precautions, such as the use of masks and adherence to restrictions, make racing enjoyment safer – even in domestic race stands.
Excite me. Encourage. Enjoy.
The moment of the owls is now.
The author is the head of Helsingin Sanomat’s sports editorial office.
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