Croatian Supporters in Hight Spirits @ Piccadilly Circus

Croatian Supporters @ Piccadilly Circus

今日、リージェント・ストリートを歩いていると、どこかからたくさんのだみ声がが聞こえてきた。よくみると、赤と白の格子模様のそろいのシャツを着た集団が、ピカデリー・サーカスの噴水前に集まって、気勢を上げている。そう言えば、今日はサッカーのワールド・カップ(W杯)2010予選のイングランド対クロアチア戦があることを、ふと思い出した。クロアチア人のサポーターたちは、皆ビールを飲みながら、歌ったり叫んだり、赤ら顔でだいそう盛り上がり、辺りはスーパーの買い物袋とビールの缶が散乱していた。

クロアチアと言えば、イングランド・チームがEURO2008(UEFA欧州選手権)予選で敗れ、まさかの本戦出場を逃した因縁の相手。だから、サッカー発祥地の自負を持つイングランド・チームの、来年夏のワールドカップ本戦出場にかける意気込みは強く、イタリア人コーチ、ファビオ・カペッロのもと、欧州予選で負けなし8連勝中。今日も、グループ2位のクロアチアと対戦し、5−1で完勝。見事、屈辱のEURO2008予選での雪辱を果たした。あんなに盛り上がっていたクロアチア・ファン、今頃はやけ酒だろうか。

When we were walking down on Regent street, we heard screaming and shouting from somewhere. We looked around, and saw that a large group of people in white and red cross stripes shirts gathering around the fountain in the middle of Piccadilly Circus. Then I realized that there were a World Cup 2010 qualifying match England versus Croatia tonight. Red-faced Croats supporters were singing or shouting in high spirits with beer cans on their hands. There were supermarket plastic bags and beer cans all over the place.

Croatia is the team that ended England’s hopes of reaching Euro 2008, and hurt the pride of England as the birthplace of soccer. Therefore the England team must feel an enormous pressure to go to World Cup 2010. So far England team has been doing great under the Italian coach Fabio Capello. England beat Croatia by 5-1 tonight  and made a record of an eighth successive win of a qualifying campaign. England got their pride back and secured qualification for next summer’s World Cup in South Africa. The Croats supporters we saw today probably get drunk again in disappointment now.

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