THOUSANDS of Estonian football fans swarmed the streets of Tallinn in celebration of the Euro 2012 play-off draw against Ireland, which was announced in The Sheraton Hotel, Krakow yesterday afternoon.
People young and old were said to be dancing and chanting football related slogans in the capitals main square around 6pm.
Manager Tarmo Ruutli said “We are all just so happy right now. Finally we have a really good chance of getting through and playing in the European cup finals.
“Estonia couldn’t have asked for a better result in the play-off draw. I heard the name Ireland and I jumped off my seat in joy!”
Ruutli’s men have now ventured further in a major international competition than any other sports team from the nation of 1.3 million after they secured a slot in the playoffs due to Serbia’s 1-0 defeat by Slovenia last Tuesday.
“We were so nervous all the time during the qualifiers,” added Ruutli. “Everybody was struggling to fight back tears because it was a very historic moment. Then getting Ireland in the play-offs was the icing on the cake.”
Street parties in Estonia went on into the early hours of this morning. Some bars and restaurants even ran out of beer and wine.
“I have never seen anything like it.” said one Tallinn bar owner.
“Everyone just went crazy. People were chanting ‘we’re through, we’re through, Ireland’s just been drew’.”
Previously ranked 137th in football governing body two years ago, Estonia currently stand at an all-time high of 58.
FIFA classed them as the best movers of September 2011 as they jumped up 28 notches.
In March they achieved arguably their biggest-ever result, beating 2010 World Cup semifinalists Uruguay 2-0 in Tallinn.
Estonia are undoubtedly expected to hammer Ireland in their two play-off matches and qualify for their first ever European cup final.