SoccerEuro Zone

Euro Zone: Reporters left red-faced as Scotland fans turn the air blue

Liverpool player Dominik Szoboszlai looks on the birght side of not playing

Scotland fans in Munich for last Friday's Euro 2024 match against Germany. Best not to ask about their underwear. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

You might have seen last week that the age-old question about what Scottish men wear under their kilts was finally answered when one of the Tartan Army revealed all live on air in Munich in the company of Welt TV reporter Steffen Schwarzkopf, who didn’t know quite where to look.

Sky News’ Scotland correspondent Connor Gillies was, no doubt, hoping for a less eventful visit to a pub in Dunfermline before Friday’s game against Germany where he spoke – live – to eight-year-old Dylan and his da. While the da chatted away, Dylan spoke up.

Dylan: “Can I say something?”

Connor: “What are you going to say?”


Dylan: “**** you Germany.”

You know what they say, never work with children or men in kilts.

Word of Mouth

“Why has no airport security scanner been devised to learn that bagpipes are not – repeat: not – an offensive weapon? What is the point of AI if this simple thing cannot be done?” A peeved Alastair Campbell (author, podcaster, bagpiper, Tony Blair’s former right-hand man, etc) after his arrival in Germany for Scotland’s opening game. Most would, of course, argue that the bagpipes are indeed an offensive weapon.

Spain's Fabián Ruiz. If only his name were, say, Séamus or Cathal. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

“If his name wasn’t Fabián, you would be talking about him non-stop.” Spanish coach Luis de la Fuente’s unique theory on why his midfielder Fabián Ruiz is underappreciated.

“I said there would be a draw or the Scots would win, but I realise that I don’t know anything about football. They didn’t even have a single shot.” Ukraine’s Vitaliy Mykolenko on his malfunctioning crystal ball.

“It didn’t bother me that I played a smaller role at Liverpool at the end of the season. At least the chance of injury was lower and I could focus on the European Championship earlier.” Hungary’s Dominik Szoboszlai seeing the upside of spending the bulk of the closing weeks of the club season on Liverpool’s bench due to his iffy form. That’ll go down well.

Word play
Photographic evidence that Spain had some of the ball against Croatia. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Wind-up merchant of the weekend? We’ll go with the Dublin legend that is Philly McMahon. “Not one Spanish player singing their national anthem, not even when the camera scanned to the bench,” he tweeted. “Am I missing something or is that their tradition?”

“Ah Philly, it has no words,” replied RTÉ’s George Hamilton, as did in or around 50 other folk. Then there was “scarlet for you” and “thick Dub! shock horror”. Rude. Philly returned. “Some mileage out of this one,” he wrote, along with four ROFLs.

Mind you, the news that the anthem is lyric-less came as a surprise to one English paper. “Many will have noted that the Spain players do not sing their national anthem. The reason behind this has now been revealed . . . it doesn’t have any official lyrics.” Well, yeah.

More means little to Croatia

It’s not much of a consolation prize for Croatia after their 3-0 defeat on Saturday in their opening group game, but according to The Athletic’s Dermot Corrigan they achieved something no nation has pulled off since the Euro 2008 final – they had more possession in a game than Spain, 53 to 47 per cent. That brought to an end a gobsmacking 136 competitive-game run in which the Spanish had the majority of the ball, dating back to that 2008 final in which they beat Germany ….. a fortnight before Lamine Yamal celebrated his first birthday.


“They spoke before the game about creating history – they created history all right by playing as bad as that.” Roy Keane after Scotland’s 1-5 hiccup against Germany.

By the Numbers: 99

The percentage of passes completed by Germany’s Toni Kroos against Scotland on Friday. when one of his 102 efforts was misplaced. Sloppy.

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Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times