Euro 2020: How international soccer championships are and have been reflected in natural stone

For the European Championship 2008 Helmut Moser had made a soccer ball from granite.

A granite soccer ball from Austria, a web page of the country‘s Geological Survey and a marble bathtub from Germany

At the 2008 European soccer championship, master stonemason Helmut Moser from Seekirchen had created a soccer ball with a diameter of 2008 mm – but at that time the venues were in Austria and Switzerland (see photo above and link below). Now, however, the tournament is played elsewhere, although Switzerland, judging by the results so far, would have every reason to honor its team with a memento in the enduring material of natural stone.

Yet, the Geological Survey based in Vienna has come up with something special on its webpage: under the title “Geology is round – Euro2020“, polished rock spheres from all participating countries are displayed there. The phrase goes back to a famous saying of a national coach asked for the prospects of his team: „The ball is round and a game lasts 90 minutes.“

The spheres are intended to “illustrate the diversity of Europe’s geology,“ according to the webpage.

The webpage of the Austrian Geological Survey titled “Geology is round - Euro2020“.

As we know from plate tectonics that the world of rocks is permanently in motion, the Federal Institute actively brings the course of the tournament on its webbpage: “At the beginning, the spheres are arranged according to the 6 groups of the EM – but later they will continuously be regrouped. Whether at the end the 45 million years old Nummuliten limestone from France, the two billion years old iron dolerite from Russia or even the approximately 200 million years old Adneter marble from Austria will be on top, remains open.“

There have already been answers to that.

For the 2014 World Cup, the German company Juma from the Altmühltal in Bavaria had presented a bathtub made of marble in the shape of a soccer shoe.

Austrian Geological Survey (German)

Artwork in massive stone.

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(01.07.2021, USA: 07.01.2021)