Watching every individual nation play its Euro 2012 games in London couldn't be easier. Far from being simply the capital city of England, London is a multicultural melting pot that has built up a reputation as the most cosmopolitan city on Earth.
With more than 300 languages spoken and at least 50 non-indigenous communities larger than 10,000 people, you're never far from an enclave belonging to a specific nation – whether it's the Portuguese of Vauxhall, the Russians of Knightsbridge, the Poles of Acton or – how could we forget? – the French of South Kensington.
France is indeed quite possibly the largest minority nationality in the city, with the French consulate estimating that up to 400,000 of Greater London's 7.6 million inhabitants are citizens of the Republic. Astonishingly, this makes London effectively France's first largest city behind Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse – and it's no surprise that in the build up to the French Presidential elections in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy came specifically to London to canvas for the huge expatriate vote.
France's fabled South Kensington set is a close-knit community that built up around the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle, the Institut Francais and the 'Frog Alley' of Bute Street. London is now known by the French as the "21st arrondissement" or "Le Petit Paris" as more and more enclaves have sprung up – most noticeably around Marylebone, suburban Chiswick and the edgy East End.
With London now connected to Paris by a short two-hour train ride, young French people in their 20s and 30s are escaping France's rigid structures, housing shortage and archaic work hierarchy and hopping across the Channel to a city where they find it easier both to find a job and to rent property. A new lycee opened this year in Kentish Town, which will further open up north London and the grungy area of Camden to the French.
As such, England's opening Group D game against France will have added piquancy in a city where both nations have come to live side by side. In fact, there are some intriguing fixtures to look forward to: Italy against Ireland, for instance, in Group C, will pit together two large expatriate communities in London – with Soho's Bar Italia and nearby Irish pubs no doubt expecting large crowds.
It's not just London's huge and growing non-indigenous communities that makes it come alive during the European Championships and the World Cup football competitions. London is also one of the biggest tourist attractions the world over – a theme park of history, culture, gastronomy, traditions, change, beauty and entertainment.
Earlier this year, London was named best city in the world to visit by TripAdvisor following an online poll with travellers – meaning that with tourist interest alone there'll probably be more than enough football fans from each nation wishing to cheer on their team. With the London 2012 Olympics taking part this summer just weeks after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, London more than ever will be drawing the crowds from people all over the world.
After all, the crux of London's bid to host the Summer Games that gave our bid the edge over Paris was the fact that London is so much more than the capital of England – London was sold, quite rightly, as the biggest cosmopolitan and multicultural city in the world. And what better place to hold the biggest sporting show on Earth than the place which most represents nations and cultures living side by side in glorious harmony?
A few years ago, a couple of English writers and performers embarked on a project called 'The World in One City' in which they endeavoured to meet and chat to a citizen from every country in the world who currently lived and worked in London. They managed to find people from 189 of the 192 countries of the world – with only people from the Marshall Islands, Palau and Tuvalu left unrepresented.
As John Cleese famously said, London is no longer an English city. But while the veteran comedian of the Monty Python series made his observation as a slight against the city, London's very cosmopolitan and vibrant mix is what – for most people – makes London stand out so much and what makes it so wonderful.
This feature on watching each nation's games in Euro 2012 is not merely a helpful tool for expatriates and tourists from the 16 nations represented at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine this June. We want to open London up to everyone so that you can discover the different cultures that make London the greatest and most city on Earth.
Your bar is not included? You can think of a better place to watch your nation? Then let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update the list.