The preview: Internationals Drienerlo about the European Football Championship

| Stan Waning

A few hours before the start of the European Football Championship, four international football players from vv Drienerlo will give a preview. What do they expect from their country, who will win the European Championship, how far will the Netherlands come and how will they follow the matches? ‘I am jealous of my brother, who is sitting in the stadium tonight.’

Can Germany reach the final?
Roberto Venezian (26 years, Italy), futsal player and Biomedical Engineering student.

How will you follow the European Championship?

‘I am busy with my Master's degree, but I hope to miss as few minutes as possible. I cherish beautiful memories of European and World Championships. Sitting in front of the television together and drinking beers. Italy is playing the opening match tonight and I am watching it with Italian friends. Hopefully we can follow the final in the city centre on a big screen from the terrace.’

What do you expect from Italy?

‘We have a decent team with good players, but we are missing a star to really have a chance of winning. Hopefully we are strong enough to make it to the final. I don't expect any problems in the group stage. My brother is in the stadium in Rome tonight. I'm quite jealous of that.’

Who will win the European Championship?

‘France is by far the strongest. They are the team to beat, but football is unpredictable. Behind France there are still a few countries that can win with a bit of luck, but then everything has to go their way. Italy is one of them, as is the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a young team, with a lot of potential, but for this tournament it is not enough, I expect.’

Which country will surprise you?

‘Portugal, Germany and France are in the same group. It could well be that one of those countries does not survive the group stage. That would be a big surprise and a shame. Those countries should all get far.’

Jenny Hapke (20 years, Germany), treasurer, Drienerlo VR2 and Psychology student.

How will you follow the European Championship?

‘I won't watch everything, but I will certainly follow the top games. The same goes for the German and Dutch matches. Hopefully we can get together with the Drienerlo players and the board in the Sports Centre. I hope that Germany and the Netherlands will come far. If the countries meet, I’ll support Germany.’

What do you expect from Germany?

‘I'm not very convinced. At the 2018 World Cup we were already out in the group stage and we are in the toughest group. We are certainly not favourites this tournament.'

Who will win the European Championship?

'France have the strongest squad and they are the favourite for me, but behind them are about five countries that can also win.'

Which country will surprise you?

‘Difficult to say. As long as Germany doesn't become the surprise of the tournament, everything is fine, because that wouldn't be a good sign.’

 

Miquel Sellés Valls (23 years, Spain), futsal player and Electrical Engineering student.

How will you follow the European Championships?

‘I will not watch everything, but I will pick out the interesting matches. The matches of Spain of course, but also those of the Netherlands, other big countries and the matches in the knock-out phase. Some matches I watch with friends or with players from Drienerlo. Halfway through the tournament I’ll travel to Spain, so I will follow the final phase of the tournament there.’

What do you expect from Spain?

‘Not much unfortunately. You never know, but this is not going to be Spain's tournament I fear. Sergio Ramos is missing – although in this physical condition he would probably not have been of value – and there has been commotion in recent days with possible corona infections in the squad. I see the quarter-final as the maximum.'

Who will win the European Championship?

‘Everyone sees France as the biggest favourite – logically so. At the same time, it also means that France is the country that has the most to lose. I am curious to see if they can handle that pressure. Belgium is also favourite for me.’

Which country will surprise you?

‘Maybe the country is too big to mention as a surprise, but I expect a lot from Portugal. It's been a while, but they are still European Champions. They might just stay that way.’

 

Felix Schwenniger (33 years, Austria), Drienerlo 2 and associate professor Applied Mathematics.

How will you follow the European Championships?

'I try to follow as many matches as possible. Even matches that don't look that interesting can be exciting. Especially in the pandemic it is nice to watch a tournament. I will be in Austria for a few days during the tournament, so it is possible that I will follow the game between the Netherlands and Austria there.'

What do you expect from Austria?

'Austria often did not participate in tournaments in the past. As my mother is from Germany, I am usually for Germany at World Cups and European Championships. At the 2008 European Championship they even played against each other and I was for Germany then. Of course, I hope that Austria will surprise. Most of the squad plays in the German Bundesliga, so it's a good team, but that also makes the expectations high. They will get through the group stage, but after that it will be difficult I think.'

Who will win the European Championship?

'Spain. They have a young team with the absolute will to win. Therefore they are my favourite. Italy also has a good chance, as they have been unbeaten for so long.'

Which country will surprise you?

'Maybe Germany. The expectations in their own country are not high and they are in a tough group. It would be typical for Germany to play a strong tournament. France is most people's favourite and could therefore surprise with an early elimination.'