This is what I like about the Euros: the tournament is an opportunity to watch soccer as an absolute neutral. I like many players (Xavi, Robin Van Persie, Mezut Ozil), dislike others (Arjen Robben, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo), but have nothing really invested in their success or failure. I’m certain I’ll enjoy watching Ozil do well now that he’s not wearing a Real Madrid jersey, and doesn’t have a petty tyrant as coach. I’m Arsenal fan, (though really I’m more of an Arsene Wegner fan, so Beckettian in his countenance) and I couldn’t muster more than a sigh when Sczseny got that red card yesterday against Greece. And whatever I felt after the resulting penalty miss, those emotions were more like a fond echo of an emotion I felt in 2010, back when Luis Suárez used his hands to such magical effect.
As a Latin American, it’s liberating to watch quality soccer without being weighed down by nationalism (in the case of Copa América or World Cup Qualifying) or worse, by that ridiculous Bolivarian dream I can’t seem to shake, that one where to see Peru playing Argentina in a World Cup Final.
So let the games begin. My prediction: Russia will make the quarters; Germany will win beat Spain in the final.