Euro 2012 Starts Today: Top Five Miami Places to Catch the Continental Soccer Clash

Thank the good lord for the beautiful game. And thank the good folks at the many soccer bars in Miami for broadcasting what promises to be an epic clash of perennial futbol powerhouses, Euro 2012.

For the next three weeks through the championship on July 1, superstar players like Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Thomas Muller (Germany) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Fernando Torres (Spain) leave their club unis and million-dollar contracts to play for the pride of their homeland. Seven of the top 10 in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings will be taking the field to try and determine Europe's soccer king. And we get to watch.

Here are five places that provide the perfect European-accent atmosphere for the big game.

5. Churchill's Pub
Churchill's opened in 1979 with a focus on providing good live music and a great place to watch the game. The latter serves our purpose perfectly, and with reasonably-priced drinks, Churchill's also treats our wallets nicely. The small bar is likely to get packed, so be sure to get there early if you plan on getting trashed.

4. Playwright Irish Pub
Along with about a dozen beers on tap, Playwright Irish Pub & Restaurant offers soccer fans traditional Irish favorites like corned beef & cabbage and shepherd's pie. With the slogan "Great Food, Great Fun, Great People," Playwright will offer every single one of the 31 games needed to determine Europe's ultimate champion. Parking can be a hassle on weekends during busy South Beach nights, but if you can brave the crowds - this is the place to be.

3. Novecento
Novecento is an elegant, European-style bistro with a casual Latin American influence in the heart of Coral Gables that combines New York and Buenos Aires in spirit. Owner Hector Rolotti opened his first Novecento in New York attempting to bring the fine art of Argentinean cuisine to the Big Apple. Miami's Novecento is an homage to that dream. For soccer games, few places in Miami get as rowdy while maintaining a curious level of class. Try showing up to games between 4 and 7 p.m. on a weekday, when drinks are incredible two for one at one of the best happy hours in the city.

2. Segafredo
Since first opening in Brickell a number of years back, Segafredo has been a popular hangout for tourists and locals alike. The ideal location coupled with the the traditional excellence of Segafredo make it a must stop on a Friday night bar hopping tour. The folks here have perfected the art of Italian cafe, as made evident by the numerous traditional selections coupled with progressive cooking and serving techniques. For the big game, you may want to knock a few ones back before heading to Segafredo, as the tab can get out of hand.

1. Elwoods Gastro Pub
The Winston Churchill quote on the bar's website says it best: "I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me." Leave it the English to find a way to never feel guilty for getting drunk. In addition to hosting the big game, Elwoods offers a comedy night the first and third Tuesday during the tournament and a trivia night the other two Tuesdays in June. Draft beers ($5.50 reg, $6.75 large) hail from nearly every country (Denmark, England, Spain to name a few) in the tournament and a number of states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon) where soccer is not very popular at all. Happy hour is from Monday-Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and features a few bucks off the already extremely reasonable prices.

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