Euro 2016 Diary: Wails for Bale, a grumpy water carrier and the inevitable return of Will Grigg


On June 30, we discovered Euro 2016 to be inspiring songwriting and campaigns grounded in economic common sense. Just no jokes. Well, not for a certain curmudgeonly coach.


Wales have written a glorious chapter in their football history by reaching the Euro 2016 quarter-finals at their first major tournament for 58 years. Along the way, they are amassing a hefty songbook.

Rock icons Manic Street Preachers penned their official tournament song, Together Stronger (C'mon Wales), while their anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau arguably lays an emotional charge before kick-off unlike any other at Euro 2016.

Gareth Bale's three goals in as many group games before prompting Gareth McAuley's decisive own-goal in the last-16 game with Northern Ireland have now paved the way for a musical homage from the city where he plies his trade.

Emmet Crowley, a British music lecturer at Madrid university Alfonso Xel Sabio and his Costa Rican wife Pahola have composed a tribute to Bale. "Gareth, Gareth," he drawls . "The canon fires, rips the world apart. Gareth, Gareth, Ev'ry shot straight from the heart."

Pahola has already penned a song about Keylor Navas, so what's next for the Real Madrid squad? A Modric mamba, some Pepe punk or a bit of Ronaldo and Ramos rock'n'roll?


It sends a chill down our spine to ponder what this diary might have looked like without Will Grigg stories. We might have even had to try hard to find some stories.

Anyway, Northern Ireland's highly flammable phenomenon is a transfer target for fans of Bundesliga club Hamburg. It all comes down to Grigg's infectious terrace song, given the striker failed to play a minute at Euro 2016. That or Wigan Athletic are big in Hamburg. Either way, a fan petition has attracted thousands of signatures.

"Grigg has a market value of EUR1.5m (£1.2m). The striker enjoys an international reputation and would probably [pay for himself] several times over through merchandising."

Way to kill a feel-good story with cold, hard economics. Thanks, folks.


France defender Patrice Evra gleefully latched on to becoming an internet meme earlier this week, re-posting numerous Instagram efforts mocking the bizarre stance he took up as the Republic of Ireland won a penalty against the host nation in last Sunday's last 16 clash.


This Is too much guys !!! Why ?? Haahahahahhah i love this game !!!

A photo posted by Patrice Evra (@patrice.evra) on

Unfortunately, not everyone in Les Bleus' camp is so game for a laugh.

"Didier Deschamps is very demanding," Evra explained. "He really wants to do something great. He's there he tells people he's not there to laugh. He tells you what he thinks. He doesn't laugh with anybody."

Who knows, if France can lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy next weekend, perhaps their redoubtable coach will crack a smile?


We have all been there; desperately trying to follow a football match at work. 

The advent of social media has made it a much simpler job than it used to be, but it's still a poor substitute for a live stream.

Well, German techno DJ Sven Vath found the answer while performing at Awakenings festival in Netherlands last weekend. 

Vath just couldn't miss Germany's win over Slovakia so watched it on his phone, perched on his decks.

It was an approach that was met with approval by the German camp.


James Collins has enjoyed some great nicknames in the past - 'the Ginger Pele' being one of the best - but Marc Wilmots took the assessment of the Wales defender to another level entirely on Friday.

The Belgium boss was asked to assess the strength of the Wales side he is preparing his team to face in the Euro 2016 quarter-final, and his description of Collins has caused a stir - especially among West Ham fans.

"They're a tricky side, they really scrap and have two or three players on a free role who can make the difference. That makes them dangerous," he said. Then...

"They have James Collins who plays almost like a libero. You need to keep the ball on the deck and not play it in the air."

Collins, of course, has yet to play a minute of Wales' campaign in France. But maybe 'the Ginger Beckenbauer' could have a decisive say in Lille.