Yann Sommer’s save in the penalty shootout against France’s superstar Kylian Mbappe in Bucharest has turned Switzerland into a gigantic party mile.
The country’s first quarterfinal appearance in over 67 years at the European Championship has triggered incomparable emotions among most of the 8.5 million inhabitants, reports Xinhua.
Streets are packed in all regions with people enthusiastically partying. Traffic has come to a complete standstill. The sound of horns is filling the night up to remote mountain valleys, with most people not finding their way to sleep at night.
Hundreds of thousands celebrated until morning. People danced in the streets or on their balconies waving Swiss flags.
Newspapers and TV stations declared June 28 to the nation’s new state holiday.
After three unsuccessful penalty shootouts at major tournaments, Vladimir Petkovic’s men turned things around and created footballing history for Switzerland.
Sommer’s save led Switzerland to their first ever victory over France in a competitive match.
Following Euro 2020’s biggest surprise yet, Swiss TV started special coverage for many hours showing pictures of fans celebrating in public viewing sites across the country.
The Neue Zuricher Zeitung wrote about one of the most memorable nights in the country’s football history. The tabloid Blick said goalkeeper Sommer has bewitched Mbappe and footballing giant France, saying, “Sommer has triggered a summer fairy-tale”.
Most commentators spoke about a miracle as “little Switzerland kicked out the powerful 2018 World Cup winners France”.
Sommer was deeply moved, saying he would ask top international actor Robert de Niro to play him in a movie about the country’s most significant success in football.
Team captain Granit Xhaka spoke about the team’s unbreakable passion after turning into the side’s pushing force over 120 minutes.
“We have shown character. This team is incredible,” the Arsenal midfielder commented emotionally.
“We made many of our critics silent,” Xhaka added, following days of criticism after he had dyed his hair blonde.
“No one really believed we could do it,” the midfielder said, adding that dreaming about a possible semi-final is now allowed “for us and the Swiss people.”