By Nate Jacobson
If there is one thing that I have learned about watching the group stage of Euro 2012 in Spain, it is to go to the Irish Pub to watch the matches.
No matter who is playing there will be fans from a variety of countries joining together. I have been to popular tourists destinations Madrid and Barcelona, and many European take advantage of their vacation time in these two major cities.
The Germans and Dutch have filled the bars I was at in Madrid and Barcelona. Of course the English fans were out in force in Madrid when the Three Lions played Sweden. There were also a number of Polish supporters watching in Barcelona when Poland played a pivotal match against the Czech Republic.
The best experience of watching a Euro 2012 match occurred when viewing Spain’s match against Croatia at Molly’s Fair City Irish Pub in Barcelona. The pub was mostly populated by a large number of very passionate Spanish fans, and some were singing chants throughout the match.
When I asked around before Monday night about where to watch the Spain match in Barcelona, the responses I got were that people from the Catalan region of Spain don’t fully embrace the national team so there would be no big public viewings. This was the case but plenty of bars and restaurants advertised that they were showing both the Spain match, and the Italy game against Ireland.
The group I was with decided on the Molly’s Fair City and there were no regrets after the fact.
The night of games seemed a little underwhelming, but that is just my opinion. I only really saw the Spain match as the other game was being played on smaller TVs. From what I saw Italy scored two nice goals, but not sure Ireland made much of a push back.
Spain played very sloppy against Croatia. The fans around the pub were nervous because if Croatia could find a goal and win, Spain would be eliminated from the competition. Spain did control the match though in a way Germany played against Denmark a day earlier.
Spain scored late on a goal by Jesus Navas and the bar erupted. Several chants were sang in Spanish by the fans who stood near the bar the entire night. It was a fun atmosphere that would be hard to beat in an average Spanish restaurant and bar.
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