• Reading Level 5
Science | Geography | Physical Education | Citizenship | PSHE | Relationships and health

Good news #1: The greatest Euros ever

Is football more serious than politics? Beauty, courage, power, nobility, why is it easier for us to associate all these heroic qualities with footballers than with our leaders? Goals in the final minutes. Goals from the halfway line. Own goals. Scrappy goals. Goals of such perfection that the ancient Greeks would have written odes about them. Euro 2020 has been a bonanza of shots, saves, stunning upsets and beautiful football. Spain's goalie fumbled a pass from his own defender, and they had to battle back against Croatia in an 8-goal nail-biter, winning 5-3. World champions France fell to Switzerland. The Czech team dismantled the Netherlands. Ukraine headed in a winner against Sweden in the last minute of extra time. On Tuesday, England celebrated its first victory over Germany in a tournament since 1966. The British pressPeople, such as journalists and photographers, who work for newspapers, magazines, television news shows and more. was overjoyed. "The Jinx, it's all over" read one headline; "Three lions thump old enemy", said another; another simply read: "Finally, something to cheer about". The face of England captain Harry Kane shouting proudly on the front of almost every paper is a rare image of national unity. In a time of often divisive politics, universal praise seems to belong to an bygonePast. age - an age of heroes. On the pitch, footballers are heroes, performing feats no mortal could hope to achieve. Spectators are lucky to admire the beauty, power, courage and nobility of the game and its players. 1. Beauty. No beautiful moment of the beautiful game has shone like the goal scored by Patrik Schick against Scotland. The Czech player was barely out of his own half when he noticed that Scotland's goalie David Marshall was away fromn the box. With perfect control, he was able to launch his shot past Marshall, the ball tracing an arc in the air on its unstoppable progress. Marshall leapt after it in vain, falling into the net. It was a work of art. 2. Power. Paul Pogba's performance in France's last match of the Euros reminded people why they refer to his shots as "Pogbooms". In the 75th minute, he let loose a thunderbolt of a goal, smashing the ball into the top right-hand corner, stunning fans and silencing doubters. 3. Courage. The Pogboom may have cemented a 3-1 lead for France, but power, in this case, was no match for courage. While most opposing teams would have given up, the Swiss soldiered on. Led bravely By Granit Xhaka, they were able to claw the game back, bringing the score level, persevering through extra time and into penalties. During the shootout they held their nerve, beating the French 5-4. 4. Nobility. It takes real strength of character to rise above criticism and keep doing what you do best. Fans, and especially the press, have often given Raheem Sterling a hard time, but he has been the most consistent performer for England this tournament. From scoring goals to speaking out against racism, Sterling has shown noble independence of spirit. Now England's dreams of glory lie on the 26-year old's shoulders. Is football more serious than politics? Life Goals No, it's not, say some. Football is just a distraction. The stuff of life is decided through politics, from vaccinations to whether you will have food to eat. Politics allows us to take control of our lives. If we are less passionate about it than we are about football, that reflects badly on us. Nothing could be more serious than the question of who is in charge. Sport is playing at life, whereas politics is life. Yes, it is say others. For starters, many people were fed thanks to a footballer last year, when Marcus Rashford fought for free school meals. More fundamentally, football is where we see what is possible for a person to achieve. It is a glimpse of human perfection. Few would ever say that about politics. Billions watch the game, and the collective joy and sorrow of fans is a deeper reservoir of feeling than anything else on the planet. KeywordsPress - People, such as journalists and photographers, who work for newspapers, magazines, television news shows and more.

Continue Reading

The Day is an independent, online, subscription-based news publication for schools, focusing on the big global issues beneath the headlines. Our dedicated newsroom writes news, features, polls, quizzes, translations… activities to bring the wider world into the classroom. Through the news we help children and teachers develop the thinking, speaking and writing skills to build a better world. Our stories are a proven cross-curricular resource published at five different reading levels for ages 5 to 19. The Day has a loyal and growing membership in over 70 countries and its effectiveness is supported by case studies and teacher endorsements.

Start your free trial Already have an account? Log in / register