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Thompson: Ronaldo and his father

Euro 2016

Who do you love?

Blog - Wright Thompson

Under Rio ...

Blog - Wright Thompson

Watching Italy's win with the most interesting man in Milan

Carlo Feltrinelli thinks football in Italy has become dangerous 'because of the racism. Because the stadiums are ugly,' he says.

MILAN -- A real-life contender for the world's most interesting man invited me to Milan to watch the Italy-Spain match, so I met him at a construction site, which were his instructions. I got there, and the security guard clearly expected me, handing me a hard hat and letting me through the gate. An enormous silver and glass structure rose into the sky in the center of Milan. It was blisteringly hot.

Wearing a linen shirt and khaki jacket, Carlo Feltrinelli came to get me.

"This is the most...

First couple of Iceland not ready to go home from 2016 Euro

Aron Gunnarsson, Kris J
Aron Gunnarsson and Kris Jonasdottir have enjoyed Iceland's run into the Round of 16.

PARIS -- Since her partner, Aron Gunnarsson, is the captain of the Iceland team, the darling underdogs of the 2016 Euros, that sort of makes Kris Jonasdottir the first lady of the darling underdogs. She acts the part: funny, smart and, as evidenced by the pictures of her that melt the internet, abs you could crack an egg on. Speaking of eggs, just now she was ordering an omelet, which wasn't on the menu, and instead of eye rolls and grumbles from the French waiter, the person simply left and came...

In Liverpool, Wayne Rooney's world is the Oyster

A half-dozen members of Wayne Rooney's family have played for the neighborhood's beloved amateur football team, Oyster Martyrs FC

LIVERPOOL, England -- The bartender's parents haven't come in for a beer today on account of their blistering hangover -- "even Mum," she says. A few Croxteth regulars sip lagers at a pub named The Lobster, most well-known in fancier parts of Liverpool as the place where a guy got shot in the parking lot by street toughs brandishing a shotgun. The furniture is mismatched and the barstools look rotten, and every few minutes, a song plays on the stereo. The first was by the Police, and then after...

Oxmo Puccino raps about Paris, the World Cup, a world beyond our control

'To me, rappers are the last thermometer of a society' says Oxmo Puccino.

PARIS -- Before he became a rapper, a French hybrid of Biggie and Chuck D, Oxmo Puccino lived in the bleak 19th arrondissement. He and his friends didn't know there was such a thing as the Mona Lisa hanging in a museum across town. Their world revolved around the Danube metro stop, about three blocks west of the ring road that forms the boundary of the city. He never ate in a sit-down restaurant until after his first record came out in 1998. Driving through the "dix-neuf," giving me a tour three...

Darijo Srna mourns father in his own way as Croatia compete at Euro 2016

Darijo Srna is fulfilling his late father's wish of competing at Euro 2016 for Croatia.

LILLE, France -- The Srna brothers have mourned their father these past two weeks in their own ways. On Saturday, Darijo will take the field once again as the captain of the Croatian team, his 133rd time to represent his country, and his older brother, Renato, will be in the stadium cheering him on against Portugal.

Friday afternoon, Renato drove into Lille, a 1,200-mile road trip from Croatia heading west across Europe. The brothers are close, a bond they learned watching their father and uncle,...

England's Lovesick Ballad: Football, Brexit and a Rock 'n' Roll Eulogy

The seaside town of Cleethorpes has fallen on hard times, a vestige of what the coastline used to be.

CLEETHORPES, United Kingdom -- A rock and roll singer named Rob Cross walked into the bar to watch the England game like a verse from one of his songs. He ordered a Budweiser longneck and found a spot on the worn upholstery with a good view of a TV. It had been pissing rain all day. The ceilings were low, the wood dark. This is where he's from, a weathered budget vacation town built for workers whose jobs long ago ceased to exist. The promenade of ice cream shops and arcades is one train stop from...