- Updates from the 7.45pm (UK time) kick-off at San Siro
- Mbappé can transform France into the great entertainers
- Get in touch! Email Daniel or tweet him here
Back to the football, I’m excited to see what steps France take to halt Spain’s passing carousel, to borrow Alex Ferguson’s lovely phrase. The most obvious one is the selection of Tchouameni, whose intelligence and dynamism should be more effective than Rabiot’s running about. I’m not sure a two, one of whom is Pogba, have much chance of getting in the road of a three – now that you ask, I’d probably have picked both and used Pogba further forward instead of Griezmann, who wins his hundredth cap.
I like to see these blogs as an opportunity to share joy, so please allow me to recommend a book, Lily’s Promise, that it seems apt to share when discussing the final of a pan-European competition. Here’s a short description, along with an encomium from someone whom you might deem more authoritative on the subject than me:
When Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert was liberated in 1945, a Jewish-American soldier gave her a banknote on which he’d written ‘Good luck and happiness’. And when her great-grandson, Dov, decided to use social media to track down the family of the GI, 96-year-old Lily found herself making headlines round the world. Lily had promised herself that if she survived Auschwitz she would tell everyone the truth about the camp. Now was her chance.
In Lily’s Promise she writes movingly about her happy childhood in Hungary, the death of her mother and two youngest siblings on their arrival at Auschwitz in 1944 and her determination to keep her two other sisters safe. She describes the inhumanity of the camp and the small acts of defiance that gave her strength. From there she and her sisters became slave labour in a munitions factory, and then faced a death march that they barely survived.
Lily lost so much, but she built a new life for herself and her family, first in Israel and then in London. It wasn’t easy; the pain of her past was always with her, but this extraordinary woman found the strength to speak out in the hope that such evil would never happen again.