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The VICE Euro 2012 Drinking Competition!

Sixteen nationalities and a shit-tonne of booze, but only one winner.
June 22, 2012, 11:40am

Euro 2012 is building to climax, and so far, it's had it all: Crap Dutch footballers, Danny Welbeck's heel, about 7,000 neo-Nazis – in other words, a true fiesta of football. Anyway, the one thing it hasn't had (yet?) is a big, fuck-off drinking competition. So we went and did that.

To be honest, maybe a more accurate way to judge who reigns supreme in Europe would be through a drinking competition. After all, it's the only thing this mighty continent is better at than football. So, we put out feelers and managed to find people from all over the old world to indulge in its oldest pursuit. The prize? Being really fucking drunk.


Group A

From left to right: Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece.

The group stages in the Euros are a minefield, often easy on paper, but an endurance test in practice. The aim was to finish two pints the fastest with the two slowest being sent home on economy class. I know it's pretty entry level, but we only had a limited budget, and we needed to separate our Gazzas from our Linekers.

As you can see, the Czech Republic guzzled a half and was already looking terrible. She never finished that pint. She and Poland slinked off to the bathroom to hold each other's hair back. On the basis that they didn't puke in the first fucking round, and thus weren't instantly disqualified, Russia and Greece went through by default.

Group B

From left to right: Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Germany

Who would your free Sky Bet be on here; the Germans, right? They give even the British Isles a run for their money when it comes to pint pounding and are great in tournament situations. But no, there was a dramatic twist! Germany – whilst waaay out in the lead – spilt beer all over herself and ran to the toilet screaming and refusing to be photographed! This left Holland and Denmark to romp home like the only two runners left in the Grand National when all the other horses have died.

Germany later returned, complaining to everyone that she could've won if she wanted to. Yeah, whatever Germany. When putsch came to shove, you couldn't hack it in the beer hall.


Group C

From left to right: Croatia, Spain, Ireland, Italy.

National stereotypes were the real winner here, with the big Irishman throwing the two pints down his gullet like he was going to prison in the morning. Italy weren't quite as impressive, but still played a strong game. Spain and Croatia tried hard, but it was a tough group. The Group of Death you may say. It looked like it was all decided, but then… CONTROVERSY!

Vomit! That's vomit in them there glasses! And that my friend is an imediate disqualification! Italy! You're outta here!

Or so it seemed. Italy was adamant that the vomit in those two cups wasn't his and even though we didn't believe him, it was impossible to boot him out, mostly because Croatia was refusing to continue and Spain had already gone, presumably to go siesta away the heavy two-pint session before he went "loco" in the "cabeza".

Typical Italy, corrupt from the top down.

Group D

From left to right: Sweden, a shameful gap where England should be, Ukraine, France.

England didn't do particularly well in The Group of Love. Whether she was intimidated by the sheer beauty of the group or just a pathetic drinker, we don't know, but she didn't stay for her second pint. Seriously?! We ran away from a drinking competition? What is happening to this fucking country? I'm starting to think George Washington had a point. Madam, you've brought disgrace upon your country and you should be beaten to death with the Magna Carta.


Full marks to our European cousins for having the character to see it through. In a reversal of real-world football fortunes, Sweden and Ukraine went through.

Quarter-Final #1 - Ireland Vs. Sweden

The quarter-final stage was to be a reenactment of a great English Euros moment, Gazza's "dentist's chair" incident. I don't know exactly what Paul was drinking in that seedy-looking bar in Hong Kong back in '96, but we bought eight bottles of vodka to pour straight into the bellies of our remaining nations. At this stage, it wasn't just puking that'd earn you an immediate exit from the competition – close your mouth and you're an instant loser.

Our first quarter-final was dubbed "The Battle of the Beauty and the Beast".

Sweden managed to put a lot away. Admirable performance from somebody from a country where you basically need a perscription and a new mortgage to buy a beer. But, let's face it, there was only going to be one winner.

This is the face of a champion if ever I saw one. Congratulations Ireland, the cat is in the sack!

Quarter-Final #2 - Italy Vs. Russia

Italy isn't exactly averse to the hard stuff, but c'mon, they're playing Russia. One country live with their mums till they're 45 and the other are so drunk they try to live in Siberia. PLUS, the drink was vodka, not limoncello, which ceded a kind of home advantage to Russia.

But UNBELIEVABLY Russia flunked out the first! WHAT AN UPSET! That Aeroflot flight home is going to feel even more depressing than usual.

Italy, meanwhile, just kept going and going, long after the final whistle.

Naturally, Ireland was very impressed with this showboating and the two were inseparable for the remainder of the competition.

Quarter-Final #3 - Holland Vs. Ukraine

At this point, Holland was threatening to let the side down, requesting that she no longer take part. She was shouting something about her teeth falling out last time she drank vodka, but eventually agreed to continue as long as she didn't have to hold the bottle herself, which was weird, as that was always the premise of the game.

Maybe it was a timewasting technique, because she knocked out the remaining host nation with ease. Ukraine were out of there, and much to smitten Ireland's disappointment, she went home.


Quarter-Final #4 - Denmark Vs. Greece

This one was closer: Denmark and Greece had to go to extra-time because they both closed their mouths at the exact same moment. Eventually though, Denmark added to the general sense of Greek humiliation which has been peppering 2012 by smashing him out of the park. Everyone got really Mock The Week and started trying to come up with austerity puns to shout at the Greek. None of them were funny.

Semi-Final #1 - Ireland Vs. Denmark

The semi-finals was five more shots of vodka, followed by a standardised field sobriety test. Each semi-finalist had to walk ten steps with one foot in front of the other before pivoting and taking ten steps back. You know, the kind of strange pantomime you see just before the traffic cop gets knifed on Police, Camera, Action.

Ireland walked like a soldier marking time. He didn't move forwards, just kind of marched on the spot. He then had to recite the alphabet backwards and started with "X". Not a good look, and despite being the favourite to win the whole tournament, this task was too much. Could Denmark hold it together to knock Ireland out?

Although a bit shaky on her legs, Denmark beat Ireland in the final task of having to stand on one leg, close your eyes and touch your nose repeatedly with alternating arms for ten seconds. She looks wobbly here, but in all honesty she didn't really have to do a lot to beat Ireland, whose morale seemed to have dropped ever since Ukraine's exit.

Semi-Final #1 - Italy Vs. Holland

Italy stayed composed, like we know they all can when these big tournaments come to the crunch. His alphabet was a bit of a failure (I couldn't understand what he was saying, probably something about pasta), but his balance was outstanding. He proved this to everyone by tarting once more with elaborate tricks which would have been a lot cooler if he wasn't wearing a Tool T-shirt.

Holland seemed intimidated by this war dance, and simply refused to move, standing there laughing at us like a possessed child. She was told a few times to take ten steps, but was belligerent, and so was disqualified. Classic lack of Dutch discipline. Go smoke a doobie, Edgar Davids!

The Final - Denmark Vs. Italy

And so, the final. The battle of the Titans: Denmark – European Champions 1992 – versus Italy – four-time world champions.

This was to be decided in the least fair but most entertaining way possible: a penalty shoot-out. We had a five-shot shoot-out on our hands that would roll on into "sudden death" if necessary. It was the tri-dreadlocked squatter from Italy versus the waifish singer from Denmark. Who would be going home a hero and who was going home Gareth Southgate?

Despite Denmark's horrifying expression, all five were sunk without any vomit making an appearance. So it was on to sudden death…


The Dane fought hard and got further than anybody expected, but was clearly a little worse for wear from her experience. She stormed off in a cab and then called me 15 minutes later asking me to pay for it. She was beyond comprehending that I wouldn't be where she was arriving.

And so it ended exactly as all tournaments end, with the England team going home in disgrace whilst the rest of us have to watch a man with a silly European haircut prance around ungraciously spraying people with booze. A deserved, but grudging "Forza Italia!" to him.

Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamVoulters

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