Finland has waited so long for this: at Euro 2020, it’s our turn at last | Tim Sparv

As a child I dreamed of becoming a professional footballer – now I’m captaining my country at its first major tournament

Supporting the Finland national team has rarely been a comfortable and enjoyable pastime. Last-minute fluked own goals and year-long winless droughts have all helped shape the image of an unlucky and unsuccessful country.

We have certainly had some brilliant individual players and the occasional high but they have often been overshadowed by the team’s inability to qualify for a major tournament. Every other summer we’ve watched in disbelief when our Nordic counterparts are having the time of their lives at a World Cup or a European Championship while we are forced to watch the whole thing on TV. Every other summer we’ve bitterly asked ourselves: “When is it going to be our turn?”

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