Euro 2016 Diary: Germany grab the sunloungers, Benzema on the beach and life through a lens


On arguably the most dramatic day of Euro 2016 so far, Iceland, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Belgium secured their places in the last 16 of the tournament.

But away from the match action, it has been another day of fun off the pitch. As ever, we present the pick of the more seldom-seen moments from France, featuring a number of pesky Germans...

The Germans put the towels down

Far be it for us to resort to stereotype but, as anyone who has been to Majorca will tell you, the Germans do have a reputation for being swift to claim the loungers around the pool.

Well pity the poor souls who are sharing the same hotel as Die Mannschaft in France.

Because on Wednesday, with qualification to the last 16 safely secured for Joachim Low's men, the players were allowed some time to relax and use the facilities.

And as the team's official Twitter feed joked, that can only mean one thing...

Life through a lens for Guidetti

Sweden's John Guidetti has always been one of football's more colourful characters.

And the 24-year-old Celta Vigo striker was attracting some funny looks one again prior to his team's game against Belgium in Nice.

On a team walk around the pitch, Guidetti was less interested in inspecting the state of the surface, instead focusing on perfecting his dance move while wearing a virtual reality headset.

As for the moves themselves? Keep practicing John.

Busking for Euro 2016 glory? A bonne idee

The dismal weather of the last week gave way to glorious sunshine in Lille on Wednesday, and fans were keen to make the most of life beneath the briefly blue skies.

One man took advantage of a rare dry day to serenade the fans in the Rihour district - all in the name of love for his team.

Rich - that's his name, honest - was busking next to a simple sign which read 'Need money for the last 16', apparently indifferent to the fact that Ireland's place was far from assured before the evening's match with Italy.

Whether or not it gave his side the edge, here's hoping that you too were able to give generously.

Paws in hostilities between Hungary, Portugal fans

Lyon has proven itself to be a unifying force during Euro 2016, with very few reported instances of trouble between supporters.

And the beautiful city on the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone was weaving its magic again on Wednesday, as fans of Hungary and Portugal mingled in the oldest part of the town.

There was a popular mascot on show too, 'Mano' - appearing to be a living, walking mop missing a handle - couldn't help attracting attention on the cobbled streets beneath the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere.

The only thing we couldn't quite work out was which team the 'chien' in question was supporting, with these two countries sharing largely the same colours.

Life's a beach for absent Benzema

With Olivier Giroud and Andre-Pierre Gignac struggling for goals, it must be galling for French fans to see Karim Benzema, without question their best striker, not at Euro 2016.

Although Giroud scored in the opening-night win over Romania, he missed a hatful of chances against Albania and then made way for Gignac, who has never convinced at international level, against Switzerland.

Indeed, it has been left to Dimitri Payet to inspire the host nation with two goals and his customary bag of tricks.

As for Benzema, who was left out of the squad in the interest of 'team harmony' for his alleged involvement in a sex-tape scandal involving international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, he doesn't seem too perturbed.