While there may not have been many great games or great teams, Euro 2016 will live long in memorable due to Sunday’s Stade de France moth attack.
Iceland’s thunder clap, Payet’s opening-game screamer, perhaps some personal success at an online sportsbook. All these memories will have been usurped by the defining image of Euro 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo sitting crying on the pitch with a moth attacking his face.
While Ronaldo was a victim of injury, not merely the Stade de France moth attack, but the picture of his suffering exemplified the annoyance felt by many in the stadium. The plague of moths became apparent from the warm-up, where players, managers, and officials struggled to swat away the irritating insects. Moths were everywhere, covering advertising hoardings, the pitch, and seats. But only when a moth attacked Ronaldo did the Stade de France moth attack truly become worldwide news.
Stade de France moth attack prompts #mothonface trend
Very soon after Ronaldo was attacked by moths, many twitter accounts pretending to be “Ronaldo’s Moth” were created, giving an indication of how boring the match was. Quickly, the trending topic #mothonface gew into an internet sensation, as the internet bonded around the concept there being a moth on Ronaldo’s face. At that point, online sportsbooks in the EU had France as massive favourites. As the Portuguese star was taken off injured in the game in which he seemed destined to star, the internet, rather than appreciating Ronaldo’s tragedy, were laughing at his misery.
The Stade de France moth attack was apparently due to the stadium’s lights being left the previous evening, attracting thousands of “Silver Y” type moths, who travel travel North during Europe’s summertime seeking an area to breed. The stadium lights attracted the moths like, truly, moths to a flame. It has been reported that wind systems could send moths further north to England in coming weeks, so the English will have something to remember Euro 2016 by, other than PTSD from their embarrassing failure against Iceland!