Euro 2016 Diary: Antonio's singing makes everyone blue

Updated: 

Italy eased past Sweden, Spain stunned Turkey and Croatia fans disgraced themselves in a 2-2 draw with Czech Republic in another eventful, and controversial, day at Euro 2016.

As ever, we present the pick of the more seldom-seen moments of gold from the tournament in France, featuring Fernando Santos toying with the idea of writing a letter to Austria counterpart Marcel Koller and the Stade Velodrome's bid to tone up members of the press...

 

STICK TO THE DAY JOB, ANTONIO

Italy boss Antonio Conte was a fine footballer.

He's also developed into a wonderful coach. His eye for tactical detail has helped Italy through to the knockout stages with victories against Belgium and, on Friday, Sweden.

Renown for his passion on the field, Conte has taken that into the dug-out with frantic hand gestures and loud vocal communication with his troops on the field.

Passion was sadly lacking, however, when he volunteered to sing the Italian national anthem to camera.

Ten out of 10 for being willing to make himself look a little foolish, but nothing more than a five for the execution...

 

PANTS WOE FOR CROTCHETY CRISTIANO

Cristiano Ronaldo's feud with Iceland appears to have hit him where it hurts: right in the Y-fronts.

The Portugal captain caused consternation when he accused Lars Lagerback's side of having "a small mentality" for celebrating a credible 1-1 draw in Saint-Etienne.

Ronaldo has been criticised by a number of people across the continent - even if Iceland's president praised him for giving them extra publicity - and one Norwegian chain store has taken its own stand.

The Real Madrid star's branded underwear has been placed in one supermarket's bargain bucket, with the tagline '50 per cent off after Iceland-Portugal'.

To make matters worse, a company executive was quoted as saying "I still don't think we've sold any". Ouch!

 

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN? NO THE MEDIA ROOM ACTUALLY...

Journalists tend to not be the fittest group of people involved in the beautiful game.

Yet anyone stationed in Marseille for the month-long Euro 2016 can expect to shed a few kilos in the call of duty.

The press room at the Stade Velodrome is on level six of the cavernous arena while the press conferences take place on level zero.

To get from one to another is 175 steps. Try doing that three times a day!

 

SAY IT WITH A LETTER, FERNANDO

Coaches are as generally as likely to divulge tactical plans at their pre-match media briefings as Russian sports ministers are to condemn hooliganism. But at the Parc des Princes on Friday, Portugal boss Fernando Santos offered his Austria counterpart Marcel Koller an olive branch by suggesting the revival of a lost art.

"I'd never tell you who will take our free-kicks," Santos boomed. "I might as well write a letter to the Austrian coach saying A, B and C will take corners and D and E will take free-kicks.

"If he tells me, I will tell him! Then we would be on an even footing. Then otherwise, no."

SMS messages, emails, instant messaging - it's all so impersonal. Here's to Saturday's Group F meeting in Paris leading to an exchange of addresses and a blossoming pan-European 'pen pal' relationship between these two tactical titans.

 

ALBANIAN DUO CAPTURE HEARTS, IF NOT A HUSBAND

For most fans, Antoine Griezmann's opener was the highlight of France's 2-0 win over Albania on Wednesday. 

But many Les Bleus followers would admit the moment the cameramen at the Stade Velodrome caught sight of Albania supporters Rike Roci and Irid Oxa ran it a very close second.

Both ladies have received their share of attention since their moment of fame in Marseille, including the occasional marriage proposal. 

"Some crazy stuff has happened since that moment. Inside the stadium, a fan asked me to marry him! But I turned him down," Roci told Sport Bild.

For what it's worth, dark-haired Oxa is still single...