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The Craziest Moments of Euro 2024 So Far

euro 2024

This year’s Euros have already given us plenty of memorable moments for both good and bad reasons.

We’ve said goodbye to a number of once-in-a-lifetime talents and also said hello to others who will soon take over the game. Now at the business end of the tournament, there are surely going to be a lot more shocking moments but we wanted to take a look at the craziest things that have happened so far.

Lamine Yamal: Spain’s Young Sensation and German Labor Laws

One of the standout new talents at this tournament is Lamine Yamal. The youngest player to ever feature at the Euros has been pivotal to Spain, who now find themselves in the semi-final. Yamal has been causing the most damage during the first half of matches, as manager De La Fuente has been subbing him off midway through the second half.

Most people thought this was either due to homework or not overworking him, but it turns out it’s actually because of German labor laws. According to the host nation’s law, people under the age of 18 cannot work past 8 pm on any given day. However, there is leeway for athletes, who are allowed to go on until 11 pm. Spain has mostly been playing at the late kick-off times, risking their games going past 11. De La Fuente thus takes precautions and makes sure to sub him off before it’s too late, or else the Spanish FA would pay a fine of €30,000. Now in the semis and potentially the finals, they might consider taking the fine if it means winning the tournament.

France’s Unusual Path to the Semi-Finals

Spain will face off with France for a chance in the Euros final in what is sure to be an amazing game. The French haven’t been playing great football but have managed to get the job done when needed. A crazy fact that has been circulating lately is that they’ve gotten to the semis without scoring a single goal from open play – the first team to ever do this. In five games so far in the tournament, all of France’s goals have come either from own goals or penalty kicks. They’ve also had two goalless draws, with the most recent one against Portugal going to a penalty shootout.

Surprisingly, an attack with the likes of Mbappe and Dembele has struggled to score, but their defense has been solid. The only goal they’ve conceded so far was a penalty to Lewandowski. Let’s see if they can keep this up against the highest-scoring team in the tournament.

Jude Bellingham’s X-Rated Gesture and UEFA’s Response

England recently had a very tense game against Slovakia, where emotions ran high. They eventually made the breakthrough in extra time and won the game, but their star Jude Bellingham was caught on camera making an X-rated gesture towards their opponents’ bench. UEFA launched an investigation into his actions and fined him €30,000 for “violating the basic rules of decent conduct.” He was also given a one-match suspended ban, meaning he can play against Switzerland but will have to serve a one-match ban if he breaks any conduct rules within the next 12 months.

On the same day, Turkey’s Demiral was handed a two-game ban for making a nationalistic gesture during their win against Austria. This led to fans questioning the two decisions, wondering why the Turkish player had to miss his country’s immediate games but Bellingham can still play. Perhaps the severity of gestures isn’t considered similar, or maybe they simply didn’t want England to lose their golden boy. What do you think?

Ousmane Dembele: Ambidextrous Penalty Hero

During the penalty shootout against Portugal, Ousmane Dembele stepped up to take a spot kick and calmly slotted it home. Sounds pretty normal so far, right? The surprising part is that he scored with his right foot, which is supposed to be his weaker side. An old interview he once did has resurfaced where he said his stronger foot is his left. When asked why he takes penalties with his right, he said he shoots better with that foot. This versatility makes Dembele a nightmare to defend, as he can shift the ball onto either foot and still score.

Mikel Merino’s Nostalgic Celebration

Spain played a great game against hosts Germany to book their semi-final spot, thanks to Mikel Merino, who produced a huge leap to head the ball past Neuer in the dying minutes of extra time. His goal sparked joyous celebrations among the Spanish supporters in Stuttgart. An incredible detail that got a little lost in the mayhem was Merino’s goal celebration. After being mobbed by his teammates, he trotted over to the corner flag and ran around it while pumping his fist. This routine appeared odd but turns out Merino was replicating the celebration his father performed 33 years ago in the very same stadium. Even crazier, the same commentator was in the booth to commentate on both goals for Spanish TV.

Own Goals: The Main Character of Euro 2024

We finish off by talking about the main character of Euro 2024 – own goals. There have been nine own goals in 44 games so far. To put this into context, the joint top scorers of the tournament only have three goals each, and the highest-scoring nation Spain has only netted 11 times. In the last 16 Euros before this year, there have only been 20 own goals, with a whopping 11 coming from the previous edition in 2021. That record is seriously under threat with the remaining games to come.

So, what exactly is going on, and why have own goals become so common? We’re going to leave you with that question. Let us know what you think in the comments. Remember to leave a like on the video if you enjoyed it and subscribe to the channel. Also, be sure to turn on bell notifications so that you never miss out on any new content. Catch you in the next one, bye!