Sat 12 June 2021 | 12:00

Off the Pitch: The Euro 2020 Opening Ceremony

What’s going on off the pitch prior to every match at the Euro 2020? Follow us below as we provide you with all the interesting details about the tournament as we progress further into the competition.

The Euro 2020 finally kicked off on Friday evening and we were treated to a beautiful, albeit one-sided match. With almost a year after the long-awaited tournament’s postponement in the summer of 2020 due to the still-dangerous COVID-19 pandemic, we finally got the chance to watch the first game of the competition unfold as Italy hosted Turkey at the Stadio Olimpico in Roma, Italy. In a group that includes




as well, the Italians went into the opening game of the tournament with the much-expected hope of winning the match and cementing their position on top of the group.

What happened before the match?

Many things happened prior to the game, with the Italian maestro tenor Andrea Bocelli performing at the opening ceremony with his silky smooth godly voice. But while the opening ceremony went on about its business in perfection, social media pages such as Twitter were bombarded with comments about other matters.

While Turkey were busy getting completely dominated by the Italian national team, who themselves made the headlines for their passionate and overly enthusiastic way of singing their national anthem, there were many other details about the European tournament that caught the attention of the viewers all around the world, with one peculiar example leaving many at the stadium in stitches for how hilarious of an incident it was. Let us see what they were.

Achilles the Cat

The main and focal point of the evening was obviously the two national teams locking horns to kick off the much anticipated tournament. But a gorgeous feline and a remote-controlled toy car managed to steal the show prior to the referee blowing the whistle.

Ever heard of Achilles the “psychic” cat? Well, he too made an appearance prior to the game as he predicted the outcome of the opening match. We already know a couple of (quote unquote) “Psychic” animals such as Paul the Octopus, Nelly the Elephant and Predictaroo the Kangaroo, but none has ever reached the success rates of Achilles the Cat, who got to keep his 100% success record after correctly predicting that Italy were going to ease past Turkey on Friday. 

How did he do it? You ask? Well obviously two bowls of cat food were placed before the oracle feline with the flags of the two nations put beside the two bowls. Naturally, Achilles went on to have himself a delicious meal, not knowing he was used to predict the outcome of a football match. Nevertheless, he once again bizarrely chose the bowl of the winner as Italy went on to beat


3-0. Achilles’s hearing ability is sadly impaired, but his caretakers at the Hermitage Museum believe that it’s abled him to focus his attention more than his pack at the museum.

The remote control toy car

With people using unaware animals to prophesize the outcome of football games, one might wonder, what else could be so silly yet entertaining enough to become reality? The answer is: A remote-controlled toy car. You heard it right, a brilliantly designed publicity stunt to make even more money. The officials in charge of Euro 2020 have obviously spent their time signing sponsorship deals with dozens of world-famous brands. So it’s not much of a surprise when a car manufacturer comes up with a way to further publicize its brand as one of the main sponsors of the tournament.

That’s exactly what Volkswagen did when they delivered the matchball onto the pitch by a remote control car. The toy car was a mini version of VW’s own designs, which was clearly an attempt to advertise their own products rather than entertaining others. The feelings about the ridiculous stunt were mixed. While some praised the move for how strangely unique it was, others were simply critical of such an attempt. One disappointed viewer sarcastically wrote: “I like that UEFA has tried to unite the warring factions of football and racism around the consensus that the remote control car to deliver the ball is really stupid.”

What do you think will be the next interesting and weird thing to happen in the competition? Who do you believe has the sheer power to win the European Championship and take the trophy home? Will France get to cement their position as the best in Europe and defend their rights to deserve the 2018 World Cup glory? We will certainly know more about the tournament and its possible winners in the coming days as the first matchday unfolds.




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source: SportMob

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