Euro blog: a trip across Europe for the quarter finals

Football stadium Kiev
Football stadium Kiev Photo: PA

Day One: Travelling Across Europe by Jonathan Hill

So here I go again. Suitcase packed and off to a major football tournament. However, there’s a different feeling in the air this time. A feeling of excitement, as I’m not watching any old team play – I finally get to see England in the quarter finals. I’m used to sitting in stadiums wearing my England shirt and supporting the underdogs. I was in South Africa for a mere ten hours before England were knocked out. By the next morning, all the England fans were gone and I was surrounded by German fans still celebrating.

This time is different - I’m going to Kiev and England are still in the running. I’m excited, yet a bit worried about the team. Pundits and some fans are already asking, “Who will take the penalties?” Why? Let’s worry about that if it comes to it. I’m hoping England won’t play for a draw, like the Czechs, and that they'll give Italy a run for their money. I’m quietly confident in Stevie G (along with some of the other players), and with Hodgson’s tactics, we have a chance.

I’ve never been to Ukraine before, so that’s an experience in itself. The one place I am looking forward to is the fan zone. These places are filled with locals and football fans from around the world. Everyone is usually quite friendly and they are there to watch the football, drink and have a good time.

But first of all, a one night stop over in Switzerland to meet up with my parents and my younger sister. We will pack the flags and red and white hats. Perhaps I’ll go all out and buy some face paint before we all troop off to Kiev via Dusseldorf. And why not? It’s not every tournament that you get to see England play.