Maybe, just maybe, this will be the week Tottenham announces a manager.
Ramble of the Day
The one year delay of international tournaments meant a couple of things: one, I barely felt the buildup for the Euros and Copa América because I never quite go used to international football in the pandemic era; and two, I did not remember all of the fuss that comes with international tournaments. I was reminded, just hours before the start of the Euros on Friday, that people really love to incorporate animals into the festivities.
Before a ball was kicked at Euro 2020/21, the genuine first battle was between an oracle cat and a psychic dog. A cat named Achilles in Turkey and a dog named R2D2 in the UK were tasked with guessing how the tournament’s opening match between Turkey and Italy might go. They had different answers.
Forget Paul the Octopus... R2D2, 'The Psychic Sausage Dog' is back for #Euro2020 and has already made his #ITA v #TUR prediction! pic.twitter.com/lz0nhjskf9— Sky Sports (@SkySports) June 11, 2021
In a scientific experiment that involved treats from both Turkey and Italy, R2D2 took a liking to both and therefore predicted a draw.
Turkey has been immediately betrayed by its own oracle cat, which has picked Italy to win the #EURO2020 opener. https://t.co/Ri0V6eXsVc— Brooks Peck (@BrooksDT) June 11, 2021
I’m not sure what Achilles was eating, but it seems like a similar concept to R2D2’s experiment. Achilles ended up going with Italy over his native Turkey, and was on the money.
I could not track down further predictions from either R2D2 or Achilles, but Achilles won the all-important first battle. Maybe it’s a victory for cats everywhere, or maybe it’s just a victory for Achilles. Either way, it looks like we have a couple more friends to add to the list of oracular animals.
tl;dr: International football is back, and so are the animals tasked with predicting outcomes!
Stay informed, read this: Mauricio Savarese on the Brazil women’s team’s protest against sexual harassment as the federation president is being investigated for the same thing for the Associated Press
Links of the Day
Portugal’s João Cancelo, multiple Venezuela and Bolivia players, and two members of Colombia tested positive for COVID-19.
Belgium’s Timothy Castagne will miss the rest of the Euros after suffering a double fracture in his eye socket.
The German FA suspended Stuttgart’s Silas Katompa Mvumpa for three months after he was pressured to use a false name and birthdate by a former agent.
Amazon won the domestic broadcast rights to Ligue 1 from 2021 to 2024.
Transfers: Manchester City women signed Ruby Mace from Arsenal; Watford men signed Ashley Fletcher on a free
A longer read: Rory Smith profiles England’s Harry Kane on how his life on and off the field is in service of his footballing ambitions for The New York Times