Posted: 6/23/2016


        Well, we are finally down to 16 teams, the same number that we started out with in EURO 2012 and before.

       It's nice to see first timers such as Wales, Iceland, Northern Ireland making it this far with their raucous but merry hordes of followers bringing life to the 10 stadiums and the fan zones and streets. It took for uminutes of added time at the Stade de France for Arnor Ingvl Traustason to score the winner in Iceland's 2-1 victory over Austria and to learn their fate in the Round of Sixteen. He is on the books of Norkopping in Sweden but will be joining Rapid Vienn soon. All the player's names end in SON which they attach to the first name of one of thei parents.. In the case of their female players they add 'dottir' or daughter instead.

      It seemed as if England would be facing Ronaldo and Portugal at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice next Monday evening after the exciting 3-3 draw with Hungary, another surprise team. but now, with another late, late show it will be OUR BOYS (Strakamir Okkar) v The Three Lions. The stadium is 10km from the centre of Nice and 5 kms to Nice Cote D'Azure airport. If Roy Hodgson fails to take his team to the quarter-finals, all he needs to do is walk down the tunnel and on to the free 95 bus and get off at the airport and into the sunset.

       Did you ever watch the cult footie movie ESCAPE TO VICTORY , or VICTORY as it was titled in USA with Sly Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele, Bobby Moore etc? . The jerseys that 'The Allies' team wore are very similar to the 2016 Iceland ones.

       All four British Isles teams are through to the play-off round with an English referee Martin Atkinson from Leeds in the middle of Wales v Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes in Paris.. Italy v defending champions Spain will be at the nearby Stade de France in Saint-Denis at 6.00pm local time prior to the last round of 16 between England and Iceland at 9.00pm in Nice.

       With lots of torrential rain a few of the pitans with French labour troubles and strikesches have cut up badly. At Lille Metropole they began replacing the surface before midnight in time for Germany v Slovakia at 6.00pm on Sunday evening. Pity the poor fans once again. With France's many labour disputes and a 35 work week over 100 flights from UK to France were cancelled yesterday alone.

       If you are interested in statistics the Ronaldo who was goaless in his first two matches and then scored a brace against Hungary,  had 30 shots on goal, more than all of Albania,, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Turkey, Italy, Iceland, Sweden and Northern Ireland. Second was his Real team mate Gareth Bale with 17 and Kevin De Bruyne with 10. Most passes by Toni Kroos with 323 followed by Granit Xhaka with 281, Andres Iniesta 248, Sergio Busquets 230  Eric Dier 214..

      The most dribbles? Gareth Bale 13, Eden Hazard  and Vladimir Weiss 10 and Kingslet Coman 9.

      Zlatan Ibrahimovic Bowed out quietly as Sweden were on of eight teams that failed to make the next round, along with Albania, Austria, Czech Republic, Russia Turkey and Ukraine He also failed to get his team to Brazil and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. HIs next task is to get Manchester United into The Champions League and a top four EPL finish at Old Trafford.

      Let the real games begin !!