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Name Tim Sparv
Gender Male
Ethnic Finn
Job Finn Footballer
Desc xxxx

Affiliation

Org Finland National Team
Club as Player FC Midtjylland
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2019 11 18 Retrieve

[Tim Sparv details the Finnish reaction to qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020] Usually we Finns are introverted, reserved and cannot show our emotions well. That made what happened after the final whistle all the more interesting: the fans stormed the pitch, dozens hugged me, kissed me and said how much they love me. After the celebration with the fans on the pitch, we spent half an hour in the sauna, drinking beer and singing songs, then eating with our families and then in a club in Helsinki, where we celebrated the rest of the night

2019 11 18b Retrieve

[Finland captain Tim Sparv also paid tribute to coach Markku Kanerva, saying his open approach allows the players to express themselves and play with freedom] I have not experienced anything that can even be compared to it, it’s not just football, it’s much bigger than that. It felt like it was all over the country. The coaching team has created a good work environment and we can take risks on the pitch without having to worry about getting yelled at. He (Kanerva) listens to us players, wants our input and our feedback, so we can have a say in how we play. That feels good. On Tuesday we will travel back to Helsinki, where in the evening there will be a big parade with the fans

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[Tim Sparv led Finland to their first-ever major championship] The most important day of my life. Because Finland had never qualified for a major championship, and because representing my country is such a big part of my identity, I honestly think it will define my football career. Finns are known for not showing much emotion and being very serious and stone-faced – people maybe think about Kimi Raikkonen (the Formula 1 driver nicknamed ‘the Iceman’), for example. But that was a night where all that changed and everyone was hugging, kissing and just celebrating like crazy

It was a fantastic moment for everyone, and very special for me personally. I’ve been part of the national set-up for 18 years, and some staff members have been there 40 years, so this had been a long time coming for us

[Of course, having waited nine decades and 32 failed qualifying campaigns for that first major championship, Sparv and his team-mates now need to wait a little longer. COVID-19 saw to that, forcing the EURO’s postponement and delaying by another year the tournament Finns have waited a lifetime for] My spontaneous reaction when that happened was definitely major disappointment. I felt we’d built up some great momentum: we were playing really well, we had confidence from qualifying and we were really looking forward to the tournament. But I also see what’s going on in the world, and I know that some things are more important than football. For us, it’s just a case of putting the EURO on ice and focusing on other things for now