As the underdog in the Eurozone financial crisis, Greece found itself in a similar position as the country faced Germany in the quarterfinals of the Euro Cup. This time there was no bailout; Germany defeated their troubled Eurozone partners 4-2.
In Astoria, scores of Greek fans came out to support their homeland in what many said was more than just a game.
“It’s become political and very personal to everybody because Germany is going to Greece, trying to take everything economic from them,” said Forti Bouklis, a 23-year-old of Greek descent.
Though the geopolitical overtones in the match were difficult to ignore, some Greek soccer purists didn’t view the match as anything more than a display of “the beautiful game.”
“It’s passion,” said Kyriakos Mallis, who recently arrived in New York from Greece. “The only thing is to win, that’s it. Politics is on the side.”
For Gal Deloadortas, who is both Greek and German, his allegiance to both parties in the match was as split as his views on their roles in the financial crisis.
“I spoke to my mom this morning and told her ‘It’s Greece versus Germany today,’” Deloadortas said. “And she was like ‘who’s going to win?’ I was like ‘I don’t know, I’m staying neutral.’ Greeks, we’re a little bit too relaxed and taking advantage of the system and the Germans are being a little bit too strict and not easing up to understand the situation.”