Rod Liddle

Euro 2020: The joy of Dutch names

Euro 2020: The joy of Dutch names
The Netherlands's midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Netherlands: 3 

Macedonia: 0

Ukraine: 0

Austria 1 

What’s your favourite name for a Dutch politician? I always liked Rita Verdonk, because she sounds like a bit of a goer, I don’t know why. But then there’s Wim Kok — the fleeting dream of a penis. How about Lewd Rubbers? Or was it Rude Lubbers? All their decent politicians are either under permanent house arrest, murdered or forced to flee the country. Who’d be Dutch, huh?

They’re through, having beaten Macedonia (none of this 'North' nonsense here: Grow up, you Greeks). The first Dutch goal should not have been allowed because it began with a lunging foul on Alexander the Great (or someone) by the Dutch defender Daley Blind. Another great Dutch name, isn’t it? The title for a left-wing newspaper. But in truth, they coasted the game. The overrated Ukrainians are out, which is a shame as I wanted to see a showdown with Russia later on. Austria, who are nowt to write home about, go through instead.

I’m writing this midway through the Belgium-Finland and Denmark-Russia games. The Belgians are already through and stroking the ball around with a certain arrogance and disdain. Russia, having beaten Finland and been thumped by Belgium, are now losing to the forlorn Danes: it is quite possible that if they do lose in the end they will be on their way home as well.

Tomorrow England play the Czechs and Scotland play Croatia. I am trying to work up my enthusiasm for 90 minutes of backwards passing. Two England players — Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell — are self-isolating because they hugged the Scottish player, Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for Covid. For Christ's sake, keep them away from Jack Grealish.

Tournament winners: Belgium. If not them, Italy.