While the players of the Dutch national team are forced to watch matches like Albania-Romania from their couch, nursing a bottle of beer, students at EUR are also readying themselves for the holidays. But who are they cheering for in the Euros? The group stage of the European Championship is nearing its end, meaning that everyone has been able to determine which team stirs their emotions the most, and consequently which country is best to ‘adopt’

Felix de Groene (20, Business Administration) will be cheering on England


“This Championship, I will be supporting the English team. It’s a terrifically cool team with a lot of young talented players, like Marcus Rashford (at 18, the youngest player in the tournament – eds.) and Harry Kane. Due to examinations, I’ve only managed to catch the final 20 minutes of most matches, but fortunately, that’s when most goals are scored this year. A tournament that doesn’t include the Netherlands in the final rounds takes some getting used to, but in 2018, we’ll be back in the game. After this lean period, we can expect a new generation to stand up and old farts like Van Persie to retire. In contrast with my support of the Dutch team, I’m not that knowledgeable about English football and football culture. I more or less know who are in the first team, but you can count me out when it comes to singing along the national anthem. I believe it’s something about ‘God’ and ‘Queen’, right?”

Danial Farahani (25, Accountancy) will be cheering on Italy


“Italy – that’s who I will be rooting for during Euro 2016. Since Iran, where my parents come from, is not allowed to take part, I will be supporting the team that has the most beautiful game. What’s more, Italy has a former Feyenoord player in their squad: Pellè. And Gianluigi Buffon, their goalkeeper, is another reason to cheer on this team. That fellow has been around so long (Buffon is 38 – eds.) and he’s still one of the top goalies in the world. I expect Italy will be making it to the semis, and perhaps even the finals in Paris. It may sound strange, but I kind of miss the Orange fever you usually get during the Euros. Right now, not that many people are following the Championship, so you don’t have that cosy atmosphere. Some Dutchmen have decided to support the German team this year. I would never do that: I would feel really uncomfortable cheering on the Germans.”

Rick Vermeijs (20, Management) will be cheering on Ireland


“Actually, I’m not supporting any particular team during this tournament. It’s easy to support a number of different football clubs, but choosing another national team is different thing altogether. I mean: you cheer for your own country, right? I’ve been watching the Ireland matches in between studying for my exams. A friend of mine is Irish, and the supporters even manage to turn a defeat into a party. So even though I couldn’t name a single player on the Irish team, I’m rooting for them. As long as there’s a friendly atmosphere, the quality of the team doesn’t actually matter that much. At the end of the day, only one country can win – and this year, it will be Spain. I hope that two years from now, I will be able to cheer on a Dutch team again, but we definitely aren’t there yet. I’m quite concerned actually.”

Bard Gillis (19, Business Administration) will be cheering on France

“If there’s one country that should win the Euros this year, it’s France. The country has been through tough times recently, with a lot of unrest, and I hope that football will be able to bring some peace and solidarity. In addition, they’re hosting the tournament, which is incredibly nice of them, and they have a really great team. Dimitri Payet (French midfielder, already scored two goals – eds.) counts as the biggest surprise of the tournament and guys like Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba are fantastic players. In other words, I would have no issue with the French winning this year’s title. If the Netherlands fails to place for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, I’ll quit supporting Oranje for good, and stick to France from then on.”