Yesterday the UEFA EuroCup 2016 in France was official opened at Stade de France in Paris and in front of approximately one billion television viewers all around the world with a supershow before France played Romania. 

A great day for all football fans in Europe, but also for the Swedish artist Zara Larsson.

The highlight of the preshow was the French DJ David Guetta (featuring singer Zara Larsson) performing the official UEFA EuroCup 2016 song “This one’s for you” in front of 80,000 people at the Stade de France. The performance was hailed as fantastic on social media all around the world. 

Zara Larsson is an only 18 years old Swedish artist, who won the TV show Swedens got talent as 13 years old. 

She is already a global pop star having had great success the last years all around the world with her songs, like e.g; Lush Life, Uncover and Never forget you. Check her oy. Watch out, this is the new Rihanna or Beyonce. 

Here is the official version of the song: This one’s for you

Yesterday evening my second home country France opened the UEFA EuroCup 2016 tournament by beating Romania 2-1 at Stade de France in Paris.

It was a great success for the hosts in difficult forst game against a smartly playing Romania. Today France is happy.

The decisive goal was scored by the ‘Man-of-the-Match’, Dimitri Payet that scored a fantastic goal in the 89th minute. Payet, normally playing for West Ham in the English Premiere League, had a fantastic game. 

Now the tournament has started. The game is on. 

On Monday Sweden and captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic plays Ireland. 

I am spending another morning at Schiphol in Amsterdam. This is a very normal place to be for an international capacity builder and globetrotter. 

This is the best transit airport in Europe. By far. Smart design, new simple and fast security, short transit routes, fast immigration controls (and smart controls). 

On my way home. 

This week I visit Beijing, China for business meetings.

It is always exiting to visit this amazing country with its mix of history and fast development. 

I have had the fortune to visit China more than 20 times over the last twenty years and I have many Chinese friends. 

Tianamen Square

I am always impressed by the fast development that can be seen everywhere in the big cities. 

China Customs (GACC) is one of the really good examples of the modernization process. Today it is a modern agency meeting high international standards and with a level of competence, capacity and efficiency that is amazing in comparison with the same organization ten years ago.  The strategic leadership of the agency has tranformed operations. 

Also the Chinese businesses have developed and transformed the last decade. Today China is the largest economy in the world.

Wangfujing Street, my base in Beijing

I really like China and the Chinese people. I always have. 

This is country that deserves to be in the center of the world, just like thousands of years ago. 

On Wanfujing Street earlier today

This week it is the Dragon Boat Festival holiday. It was great to see people on the streets, relaxing with families and friends during this holiday (and with great weather).

A hot day in Dongsheng, Beijing

Now I am on my way back to Europe, but only for a short stop before gpong to South America. 

Another week in the service of the society, trying to make the world a better place.

My colleague and friend, Dr. Mikhail Kashubsky has just released his book about Oil & Gas, under the name “Offshore Oil and Gas Installations Security – An International Perspective”. 

The book

The launch was done in a proper setting during the 23rd Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition in Baku, Azerbaijan last week. 

Mikhail at the launch

Mikhail Kashubsky is the Head of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) – where I am Honorary Fellow and Member of the International Advisory Board. 

The International Network of Customs Universities (INCU)

I had the privilege to be in Baku together with Mikhail last week during the events and sharing this big moment for him. 

Our regional INCU Office in Baku

I have always believed in the power of research and decelopment for our sector. It is very important that we do more academic research of Customs in ghe future. There is not enough of written academic material in our field. That is why I very much appreciate theceggirts of colleagues writing books in this specific area. I congratulate Mikhail for his excellent work writing this book. 

Elmar Gasimov, Rektor of the Baku Higher Oil School & Dr. Kashubsky

For the rest of you, get it and read it – it is a very interesting study and book. 

It is great days for us football fans. Copa Americana has started and on Friday 10 June, the 2016 EuroCup in France starts. 

Sweden is one of the 24 countries in the playoffs. We play in a very difficult group with Belgium, Ireland and Italy. 

The Swedish team isn’t the best in Europe for the moment even though our U21 national team won the EuroCup last year. The favorites to the title are as always; Germany, Spain, France, Portugal and this time also Belgium, that has a very interesting team. 

This year there are 24 teams in the playoffs for the first time. All the big countries except Netherlands are through to the playoffs so we will have a superb tournament. I think we will see a number of amazing games this time. 

So what about Sweden? Well, as said we have a decent team with some new players that will be really good in a few years. And we also have a special weapon that everybody is afraid of, we have one thing that make every Swedish football fan hope a little bit more, namely Zlatan Ibrahimovic. One of the best football players in the world. 

This is player that is known for deciding the outcome of games on his own, having won 30 titles for six clubs in five countries. More than any other player in the history of the game. He has also had the best season of his career scoring 50 goals in 48 games for Paris Saint-Germain. Zlatan had 38 goals in the French Ligue 1 alone, 22 goals ahead of the second player at the top of the goal scoring list. 

We hope for magic from Zlatan, some more Ibracadabra. That can lead us to a quarter final or even a semifinal. 

Who will win? As Gary Lineker once said, “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end Germans win”. 

There is no doubt that we will have great weeks ahead of us watching the best players play increadible football. 

I will go with my son and brother-in-law to watch Sweden play in France, my second home country. 

We are hoping for a party and that we are allowed to celebrate the peaceful wonderful game that units people instead of seeing security problems, terrorism and criminalty. It is time for EuroCup 2016.