Great ideas from Europe

Soccer fans all over the world are having a feast with Euro2012 taking place in Poland and Ukraine right now.

I’ve been having sleepless nights watching two matches each day at the unearthly hour of 2am and then again at 4.45am. It’s like working on the split shifts in newspapers. But thoroughly enjoyable.

What’s more enjoyable, however, is to read newspapers from all over the world, courtesy of Newspaper Direct (www.newspaperdirect.com) and looking at the ideas that are flowing as freely as Mario Gomez of Germany is scoring goals.  Pity my favourite striker, Robin van Persie, isn’t playing to his usual standard.

I’ve been looking, in particular, at some of the newspapers in the UK. As usual, they are doing a sterling job. I think they still have the best journalism in the world (I don’t include the Sunday Sport and the other racy tabloids of course although they are masters of headline writing).

For example, I love this idea from the respectable tabloid, Daily Mail:

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Discussing the June 15 clash between England and Sweden, the paper has put in a nice sidebar on one of England’s defenders, Joleon Lescott. Football fans would have seen Lescott many times playing for his club, Manchester City, and before that, at Everton. They, too, would know that Lescott, like many other footballers, have tattoos all their body.

But the Daily Mail has responded to our curiosity with this sidebar that tells why he has that scar on his forehead, what the tattoos are about and a bit of background about him. Nice work.

Would love one on David Beckham’s canvas.

Then there is a column about what fans think in The Daily Telegraph:

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I like it because it combines a bit of journalism with marketing (which seems to be happening with a lot of newspapers these days in the face of stiff competition online).

The Tele has got Sharp, the Japanese electronics and consumer goods giant, to sponsor the column.

Best of all, fans get to say what they think of their teams.

A winner, surely!

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The Independent is not sitting still while its competitors are crowing. It too has a good idea – getting former Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez to write a column.

Every self-respecting football fan would surely want to read the thoughts of Rafa.

Across in Germany, Der Tagesspiegel (translated “The Daily Mirror”) has some nice pictures of WAGs, i.e., wives and girlfriends of soccer stars.  Nice eye-candy.

Here it is:

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Sadly, I couldn’t find such nice ideas in French papers nor the Italian ones. Like their soccer teams, they appear to be off duty.

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