Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spain Wins the Euro 2012 Soccer Championship in Kyiv, Ukraine -- Sorry for Italy

We were watching the Euro 2012 soccer final game in Kyiv, Ukraine, with Spain vs. Italy, and the game was a heartbreaker for Italy, who lost 4-0. The New York Times had a fascinating article today about one of Italy's star players, Mario Balotelli, who was adopted and, after the previous, win made sure to hug his mother.

The final result is reported here.

I have many Italian friends who are very sad and, I admit, I was cheering for Italy today, since I have been to Italy multiple times -- to Catania on a Fulbright, and to the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center on Lake Como, and various conference venues, from Capri to Rome.

But the Spanish team was simply amazing and now has a trifecta -- winning this and the previous Euro Cup and the World Cup in 2010.

At a Visiting Professors' lunch in Gothenburg, Sweden,  in mid-June, several of us were having a conversation as to which country's  team would win Euro 2012 and even an economist from Italy, who has a PhD from Princeton, said that the Spanish team would win and the same was said by my Swedish colleagues.

Congrats to all the teams for such an exciting set of games, and special thanks to Poland and to Ukraine for hosting these wonderful games that we watched on TV in both Sweden and in the US.

Since my first language is Ukrainian I had a special interest in these games and in the venues in both Ukraine and Poland.

I made it to Kyiv and Ukraine two summers ago and will never forget the delicious borshcht that I was treated to in Kyiv and the wonderful network science conference that followed in Yalta at which I had the honor of giving a keynote talk.

In September, the qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup will begin, and that World Cup will be in Brazil!