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Gen Z's view on Euro 2024: 'I cringe when I have to watch a match'

Gen Z's view on Euro 2024: 'I cringe when I have to watch a match'

Image source: © canva
Maja Kozłowska,
08.07.2024 16:37

The European Football Championship is creating a lot of buzz. Does the younger generation share the same excitement for Euro 2024?

Every four years, football fans experience a surge of dopamine as they follow the players' struggles in one of the world's most significant tournaments. Euro 2024 attracts a massive audience, even among those who typically show little interest in sport.

Securing a ticket to a match at the stadium is no easy feat, akin to obtaining a ticket for a concert by major music stars such as The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, or Harry Styles. This challenge is perhaps even greater, as attending matches is a collective experience, with emotions best shared among friends supporting the same team.

However, does Euro 2024 evoke as much passion among Generation Z as it does among the older generations? Will the love of football and the sport’s popularity endure among Zoomers?

Romanian Zoomers highly engaged in Euro 2024

"I've never felt this way before when I came to the market square to cheer on Romania with other people. I've never experienced anything like it," a Gen Z representative told the VOX website.

Euro 2024 marked a breakthrough for Romanian footballers, achieving their best performance in 24 years. The national team topped Group E, defeating Ukraine 3-0, losing to Belgium 2-0, and drawing with Slovakia 1-1. In the round of 16, Romania was overwhelmed by the Netherlands, losing 3-0, but this did not lower the enthusiasm of their supporters.

"We will continue to love Romania. I feel that our country is starting to wake up in every possible way. It has to keep going that way," said a young Romanian.

"We are 21 years old. We have never experienced anything like this. Maybe we will experience it again when we are 40. This is the first time we really felt that Romania is where it should be," added a group of 20-year-olds from Romania.

From the testimonies of the younger generation, it seems that Euro 2024 has awakened a sense of agency among them. Notably, after losing the match against the Netherlands, the Romanian players cleaned up the locker room and left behind a thank-you note. "They made us come out and celebrate in the streets, and that's the most important thing in the world," emphasised one young Romanian woman.

Euro 2024: Mixed Reactions from Bulgaria's Generation Z

Journalists from vbox7.com polled the streets of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, asking Generation Z about their attitudes towards the European Football Championship. Unlike their Romanian peers, Bulgarians were not as moved by the event.

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"I watched most of the matches with my dad," one girl admitted. "I watched Spain once, but I don't remember who they played against," confessed another. "Germany will win 100 percent. I like the Netherlands too, but I'm betting on Germany," declared a teenager. "Bulgarian footballers? I'm ashamed to admit it, but the truth is I don't know any," added another.

Euro 2024: Polish Gen Z's contradictory views on football

In theory, football is Poland's national sport, but in practice, consensus is elusive. As with every major tournament, the question resurfaces online: why isn't volleyball Poland's national sport, given the immense success of Polish players and substantial viewership of their volleyball matches? While this question remains unanswered, we polled several Gen Z representatives about their thoughts on the European Football Championships, revealing surprisingly contradictory responses.

"I don't follow football regularly, but I always watch the Euros and the World Cup. I guess I get caught up in the atmosphere. My biggest disappointment this year was the Italian national team. They played poorly and didn’t deliver a satisfying performance. Now, I don't even know who to cheer for," commented 25-year-old Lilka.

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"Football doesn't interest me at all. I'm more into basketball or volleyball. I'm completely out of touch with the European Championships. I only know Poland was eliminated very quickly," added 19-year-old Oliwia.

"I'm a fan and attend matches but couldn't get tickets to see the Euro live. I was targeting the Spain and Germany matches anyway, not Poland," said 23-year-old Kacper.

"I cringe when I have to watch a match, but when it's on TV in the background, I admit it can sometimes be engaging. I certainly won't turn it on by myself. Okay, I'll survive during the Euros or another big event; I might even enjoy it. But league matches? Not a chance," stressed 27-year-old Maja.

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