BNTL for adidas Euro 2012June 29th, 2012 by @nick1lewis1
We’ve been out on the Eastern Block visiting Warsaw and Donetsk for the final stages of Euro 2012. Taking in the atmosphere in the lead up to the first of two semi-finals, Warsaw proved a hospitable base. Working with adidas to create content for their Euro 2012 Tumblr, we spent the majority of time in Poland before flying to Ukraine for Spain vs. Portugal.
Holding up a chartered flight of adidas Big Wigs wasn’t the smoothest of moves but we made it to the Ukranian city of Donetsk on time and with plenty of hours to kill pre-kick off. Famed for it’s mining and steel industry, Shakhtar’s home proved a surreal experience including khazikstan families and Russian Mafioso. The Donbass Arena is impressive, overlooked by an imposing monument to Miners and Soldiers, the city felt Soviet. A pretty decent documentary on Shakhtar and the city titled “The Other Chelsea” breaks it down and is well worth a watch. The game saw Portugal lose out on penalties, in a fairly flat atmosphere. A fair few empty seats, a scattering of Spanish fans and certainly not many Portugese in the ground. Sat seven rows back, dead centre we couldn’t have asked for anything more, Ronaldo in ear shot of heckles and Iniesta and co pulling the strings, a fully amazing experience.
Flying back that same night, we arrived in Poland at the crack of dawn. Staying at the Marriott hotel alongside pals; Strachan, Shearer, Ferdiand, Bright and Wenger we were in good company on the 34th floor of a plush hotel with great views across the city. We headed out to explore Warsaw some more. The town buzzing with 25,000 Germans transformed the subdued city of two days prior. We checked out a number of spots and took in the plazas and squares of the old town. Our local guide Adam gave us a good tour which finished at the villa adidas had taken over for pre and post game hospitality. We kicked plenty of ball in the garden and sank several “Mad Dogs” before heading to the stadium for the Italy Germany game. A twenty minute walk to the ground, taking in impressive bridges and lots of local madness with Old Poles smashed on Vodka creating chaos. The ground if less impressive outside as Shakhtar’s Donbass Arena certainly didn’t underwhelm once through the turnstile. The atmosphere was lively, not an empty seat in the house with Italians and Germans setting the tone for the big stage. Super Mario stepped up when most needed with a sharply taken header and a thunderous strike before Half-Time. Our German hosts had their spirits dampened but the drinks continued long into the night.
Massive thanks to Alan and Rob from adidas, Adam our tour guide and shout out to Kickette, Lawrence aka Podcast and Ravi.