Greece, Portugal and Italy: in this century these three countries managed to succeed, consecutively, in both events. And Spain joins, to remember the troika.
The coincidence began to be spread on the Eurovision page in Portugal and revealed what links the European of football and the Festival of the Song of Eurovision, in three of the five editions of the European in this 21st century: the winning countries.
In 2004, when the European was held in Portugal, the presence in the finals of the tournament would already be a victory for the Greece (who had only been to the Euro once, in 1980, and was in last place). At the second participation, the conquest. Greece arrived at Estádio da Luz and beat Portugal in the final.
The following year, in Kiev, the final of the Eurovision Festival was also won by Greece. Number one was for ‘My number one’, a song performed by Helena Paparizou, which earned an average of just 6.05 points by each national jury – the lowest average ever for a winner. As in football, in music this was also the first Greek achievement (and the only one so far) in Europe.
The 2016 European was won by Portugal, with the goal of eder in the final to dictate the triumph over France in France. Another newcomer to the European Football Championship winners list.
And another newcomer to the list of winners of the Eurovision Festival: the following year – interestingly also in Kiev, as in the Greek case – Salvador Sobral and ‘Love for both’ conquered Europe. There ended the longest journey of a country without any victory in Eurovision. And this victory featured several records: highest score ever (758) at the Festival, highest score ever (382) given by national juries, more countries (20) to award 12 points, only song in the decade to win among national juries and in televoting… Among others.
This year it was the turn of the Italy, albeit with a different chronology. The Euro 2020 kept that designation but it was disputed in 2021 and it was the Italians who got the cup. Like Greece and Portugal, Italy weren’t exactly in the list of three or four favourites, but beat England in the final.
The Eurovision 2021 Song Festival, which this time took place a few weeks before Euro 2020, was also won by Italy. the group’s rock Moonlight and their song ‘Zitti e buoni’ won the event.
Greece: Euro 2004 and Eurovision 2005. Portugal: Euro 2016 and Eurovision 2017. Italy: Euro 2020 and Eurovision 2021. In this century, the two events seem linked. The exceptions were 2009 (Norway won at Eurovision) and 2013 (Denmark winner) – in these years the Spain it was the European football champion but, in both the first and the second case, Spain was…in penultimate place in the Eurovision Song Contest.
And yet another curiosity: about a decade ago, when troika was a widely heard word, probably the four European countries that presented the most worrying numbers were Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy – who were the European football champions in this century, since 2004…?
Nuno Teixeira, ZAP //