The debut at EURO 2024 and the sand castles at the North Pole

The debut at EURO 2024 and the sand castles at the North Pole

Dan Nicolaie
English Section / 17 iunie

Versiunea în limba română

Dan Nicolaie

The national team debuts today at EURO 2024, against Ukraine. We can still dream and it would be a shame not to. The time of critical realism is coming, inevitably, but until then, until the referee's first whistle, we can build as many sand castles as we want on the beaches of the North Pole. We know the stats, we've seen the games, we're aware of the team's limitations, but we still have the right to say despite all the evidence "what if...?".

I constantly criticized the current national team, but every time I noticed the ambition and fighting spirit shown by the players trained by Iordănescu the Younger. Football has changed, we still have a Hagi, although it is a different Hagi, in current football the ingredients of success are different, but our problems (including the lack of official games for many members of the team) can be turned into advantages.

Interest in the team is at an unprecedented level in the last 20 years, and that's another great thing. Thousands of people come to the training sessions, the stadiums are full for the friendly matches, the TV audiences register records for the matches of the tricolors. A friend, also sick of football, has been showing me team options for two weeks, introducing players to the first eleven, removing, changing the playing system (with three central defenders, for defensive safety, with three forwards, for offensive strength, with one shutter, with two...) and I note that I haven't seen him so "agitated" since the 90s.

We know that the society we live in does not allow the luxury of naivety, but at least in football we can be naive, even every 8 years, when the EURO qualifiers come.

We meet Ukraine, a solid team, which also has its problems. Without geopolitical connections (at most some geographical ones) 34 years ago, we met the USSR team at the WC debut in Italy, against which we were not really credited with many chances, and the result is known, a 2-0 for us, not at all dry

Maybe maybe...

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