So after what seems like an eternity, we finally have all qualifying matches completed and the full and final line-up of nations who have successfully qualified for next Summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament can be revealed!!
Sadly Northern Ireland were taken to extra time by Slovakia but suffered a 2-1 defeat in their play-off and so they unfortunately miss out. However Hungary, North Macedonia and Slovakia all successfully negotiated their play-off matches to qualify and are no doubt thrilled!…However one small but perfectly-formed nation rejoiced just that little bit more loudly and fervently than the rest as we saw Scotland end an agonising 22 year wait to qualify for a major Men’s Football International tournament! And boy, was it dramatic!!!
Ryan Christie appeared to have scored the avital goal that would see Steve Clarke’s side home and dry. But since when do the Scots do things the easy way? Serbia equalised with a late header to force the match into extra time, where the teams could then not be separated.
An unbearably tense penalty shootout ensued but it was a delirious Scotland who came away with the win to reach the Euros with a dramatic penalty save!
Go on, admit it….We’ve all secretly missed our tartan-loving friends from North of the border being present at football tournaments! They were heartbroken on numerous occasions since 1998, no more so than in the last World Cup in Russia 2018 when all the other Home Nations qualified and even prospered. So this is extra sweet this time for the mighty Scots and you sense they plan to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of it!
No one can deny that Scotland are blessed with some of the most passionate, fervent footy-mad fans anywhere in the world and that next summer’s rescheduled tournament will be all the better for their presence. There will be swathes of Scotland flags swaying in the crowds (hopefully!) at all their games, which can be a real sight to behold. Classic Scotland bunting will be adorning walls, gardens and pubs between now and then, not to mention Scotland table flags and St Andrew flags, so get used to it! Scotland fans love a sing-song, and their acerbic and playful humour really does help to illuminate a tournament.
Scotland’s last appearance at a European Championship came in England back in 1996 and who could forget their classic match against the host nation, in the game best remembered for Gazza’s iconic goal and equally-iconic dentist’s chair celebration? Well in a beautiful twist, the rivalry will finally be renewed as the resurgent Scots will face the Three Lions in the group stages at next summer’s delayed tournament on June 18th! Now that will empty the streets! Domestic bragging rights are at stake in that match of course, but more than that, both nations will be desperate for the points to help progress out of a tough group that is rounded out by World Cup 2018 finalists Croatia and a solid Czech Republic side. Only time will tell, but make no mistake, England v Scotland will be a titanic battle not to be missed!
If you’re a passionate Scotland supporter desperate to shout it from the rooftops, customised Scotland flags are available that allow you to adorn the classic St Andrew’s cross with some personal touches! Scotland Car flags are also highly likely to be very evident as the fans celebrate and anticipation builds for next summer’s event.
The rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament takes place in June 2021 across various European locations in an unprecedented structure. Bafflingly for some, it is still going to be known as Euro 2020 in spite of taking place the year after! It’s a marketing thing, apparently…But Scotland will be one of 24 nations battling it out for supremacy so if you’re planning to attend, or just want to pin your colours to the mast to get into the spirit then you can find Euro 2020 flags and take your pick! It may be that you fancy adorning your fencing or hedges with some Euro 2020 bunting, which always adds that lovely colour and vibrancy during a football tournament!
Who will you lend your support to? Defending champions Portugal (See, you’d forgotten that hadn’t you?) are still led by talismanic figure Cristiano Ronaldo, who will surely see this as his last chance to add a second Euros winner’s medal…Meanwhile the mighty France will possibly begin as tournament favourites as reigning World Champions. Can England finally end the 54 (and counting) year wait? One thing’s for sure, after such a tumultuous year, it will be a much-needed festival of football that cheers everyone up – Just maybe that little bit more for the average Scotsman!!