For Indonesian Football Fans, One Last Big Night … Then Some Sleep
Wimbo Satwiko & Sandy Pramuji
Starting Monday, football fans in Indonesia can have their eight-hour nights back.
Euro 2012, co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland, will reach its finale on Sunday (early Monday morning Jakarta time) as defending champion Spain meets Italy in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.
For almost a month, fans in the country have stayed awake until as late as 4 a.m. to watch European football stars vying for the coveted trophy.
“I didn’t watch all the matches but I did watch most of them, so it’s been an energy-sapping month,” said Italy fan Fanny Pardiansyah, who works as a copy writer for Lowe Indonesia, an advertising agency in Jakarta.
“But I’m pleased with the football quality. There’s only one match to go and Italy, of course, will beat Spain in the final. It’s been a while since they won the Euro.” Italy has not won the European Championship since 1968.
Fanny is not alone in backing the Azzurri. Persisam Samarinda star forward Yongki Aribowo also picked Cesare Prandelli’s squad as his favorite for the title. He said Spain was a good team but lacked finishing touch.
“Italy showed good consistency during the tournament. In the semifinal, Mario Balotelli played very well and scored two goals when it beat Germany 2-1. He will make the difference in the final,” the 22-year-old striker said.
Meanwhile, Danurwindo, a former Indonesia national team head coach, played it safe, saying: “Both have equal chance to win the final match.”
“But Italy is more aggressive and also has good passing game, just like Spain,” he added.
“Andrea Pirlo will provide leadership for Italy, while Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta will be the key player for Spain. So it’s hard to make a prediction.
“But personally, I opt for Italy. I have fondness for Italy as I had a stint with Indonesian youngsters in Italy,” added Danurwindo, who led the Under-23 national team to train in Italy during the early 1990s.
The 61-year-old coach said that Euro 2012 produced many great games and that local players could learn something from watching.
For local fans who don’t want to watch alone at home, there will be lots of public screenings around Jakarta.
Host broadcaster RCTI will hold a public viewing at Cilandak Town Square, South Jakarta, from 9 p.m. while the Italian Culture Center will also hold an event.