‘Live’ing & loving it

With the finals set for this Sunday, the Euro Cup 2024 fever has gripped the city as many Bengalureans share their experiences of having their dream football moment from the stands and the electrifying atmosphere they have been a part of.
Abhijith R Priyan with his wife at Spain vs Croatia match on June 15
Abhijith R Priyan with his wife at Spain vs Croatia match on June 15

BENGALURU: Varun Mundkur, currently somewhere in Germany, is living every football fan’s dream of watching the Euro Cup 2024 games live from the stadium. The experience is thrilling for sure, more so because it’s a solo trip and a spontaneous decision. The first match he went for was Spain vs Germany, followed by England vs Switzerland in the quarter-final.

Mundkur recalls not being sure about going on a trip like this even though some of his friends had already planned it. It was when he found various websites reselling tickets that he made the decision. “Usually the match tickets are sold out. But there are marketplaces where these tickets are resold. It was all worth it to get that live experience,” says Mundkur, a self-employed stock market trader.

He further mentions that tickets range from 150 to 600 depending on the seat category and match, but one has to pay a 2x premium to buy them from these marketplaces. “Getting a finals ticket, which is happening on July 14, would be a jackpot, but even if I don’t, I am happy with all the matches I got to watch,” says Mundkur, speaking to CE from Munich, where he watched Spain vs France semi-finals.

It was a dream come true for Arul Oli Thangaraj, who works for the FMCG industry when he planned his trip to Europe for The Netherlands vs Austria. Thangaraj says, “I was supporting The Netherlands but Austria played amazingly well to beat the Dutch, although the Dutch went through to the knockouts. The experience was once in a lifetime, the electrifying atmosphere at the stadium was simply mind-blowing.” Having been planning this trip for more than six months, Thangaraj says he extended the trip by visiting other countries in Europe. “Other than Germany, I travelled to Luxembourg and The Netherlands for a week...Watching the games at the ‘fan zone’ in other cities was also a different experience,” says Thangaraj.

A fan cosplaying as celebrated singer Elvis Presley during the England vs Switzerland match on July 6
A fan cosplaying as celebrated singer Elvis Presley during the England vs Switzerland match on July 6

Not just the teams, but many wanted to see their favourite player in action. Arun Kumar Ganesan,a marketing professional, wanted to see French footballer Kylian Mbappe in action. “I went to watch France vs The Netherlands at the Leipzig Red Bull Arena. But I missed seeing Mbappe play as he had gotten injured in the previous match,” says Ganesan. He adds, “Being European heavyweights, I expected the support to be even. But the city was a sea of orange (supporting The Netherlands). There were a few French supporters but they were easily overrun by the Holland supporters.”

For some, the Euro Cup experience was not limited to the love for the sport but also had a romantic touch to it. Entrepreneur Abhijith R Priyan took his wife for an anniversary date to watch the match between Spain vs Croatia in Berlin. He says, “Everywhere you go in Germany, people are talking about the Euro Cup.

The hype was more in the fan zones and metro stations where trains were running full and everyone was singing. At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, there was a super fan park setup and we missed meeting legends like the Brazilian former footballer Kaka by minutes. I only wish Indian football would rise to such levels and we would be able to experience the same for an AFC Asian Cup game soon.”

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