I/Footie Fan am in Innsbruck, Austria. Which will host some of Group D games with Sweden, Spain, and Russia. It the 3rd largest city in Austria and is located on a river that runs through the Swiss Alps.
Anyway, I arrived here on Saturday right before the 6pm game. The city has a organized a Fan Mile which is a street festival all throughout the major city streets, with jumbo viewing screens at certain squares.
Although Saturday’s opener were Group A games not played here; the streets were packed for the first game Switzerland vs Czech Republic. Although the Swiss are Austria’s neighbors to the east, the locals did not seem to care who won (you would think the 2 worst teams would have supported each other and are only in the finals due to hosting). In the first game, the Czech controlled most of the game but when Jan Koller was subbed the Swiss seemed to get the better of the Czech Republic and put a couple nice opportunities together that almost got them a point. The biggest event in this game is Alexendar Frei of Switzerland got injured (out for the remainder of Euro)-without him they have even a more impossible chance of getting through the group. He was the country’s only shot at scoring goals as they are a defense-only capable team.
Portugal v Turkey- The Turks came out of the woodwork for this one in Innsbruck. I could not figure out why they would come to innsbruck when the game was played in a another city. Then I figured it out-they are EVERYWHERE you go in Europe. What would a city in Europe be if you did not find a Doner Kebab shop (e.g. knock off of the better tasting gyro). Anyway, this game showed Portugal, with the much touted offensive playmakers that were hyped up from the get go. Also, there defense pretty much shut down Turkey’s skilled front line. Never heard of any of these new defenders but with names like Pepe, you got to love to watch both the offense and defense of this team. Turkey will get back to work and most likely will give Czech and Swiss a run for second place-so don’t count them out yet. Also, beware of portugal’s cockyness-which led to The coach naming a 5 captain rotation.
PS. I don’t know why, but there are more Portugal supporters in Innsbruck then Austria supporters-then I figured it out-they are another sad footballing country that got to the Euro only by hosting. Therefore, everyone in Austria must support another country’s club..so why not be a fairweather Portugal/Ronaldo fan.