Euro2012 is finally underway, with thousands of Poles turning out in Warsaw to be part of the pre-match atmosphere ahead of the co-hosts’ opening Group A match against Greece.
Neither host nation, Poland or Ukraine, is expected to win the tournament but that did not prevent a wave of optimism among the crowd.
Like the Greek fans, they are hoping their team will at least make it out of the group stage.
The city and the country have been preparing for this moment for five years, as all eyes turned to events in the new National Stadium, witnessing its first competitive match.
After Friday’s second match between Russia and the Czech Republic, events move to Ukraine on Saturday.
The first Group B matches are taking place elsewhere but Kiev is still at the heart of events, visitors and locals flocking to Independence Square for the opening of the capital’s fan zone.