– By Elijah Golding, mr.play Partners
After a traumatic year of lockdowns, controversial VAR decisions and a Super League – we now look to the Euros to turn over a new leaf in what is expected to be to most highly anticipated tournament since records began.
After much uncertainty and a lot of talk, it is officially confirmed that the 60th anniversary of the Euros will take place. But it will be a little different this year…
Instead of one country hosting the entire tournament, instead 12 cities around Europe have been selected to host some of the fixtures – the first time in the competition’s history.
The tournament will commence on the 11th of June and will feature some of the biggest teams and players in the game right now. With the FIFA world rankings published last month, the list sees Belgium rise to 1st position, with Germany slipping down to 12th.
Next month, Portugal will no doubt try to maintain their winning ways by adding another European title to their collection, but with an ageing Cristiano Ronaldo and a closely competitive group – its hard to say for sure…
The group stages this year are as follows:
Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany
This year’s Euros includes an exciting array of teams, with many newcomers that will be wanting to stake their claim.
North Macedonia’s introduction to the Euros will be their first major tournament they participate in their 27-year history. Scotland after two decades of failure will have their chance to inscribe their names into the history books as join England, Croatia, and the Czech Republic in Group D.
Group F see Hungary face 5th ranked Portugal, 2nd placed France, as well as 3-time competition winners and out-of-form Germany.
Euros aside, after all the commotion of the Super League I think we have learned that football is nothing without its fans, and at the same time, fans are nothing without football. When in perfect working harmony, and with competitions like the Euros fast approaching, this is what we need. Big players, bigger moments, and the greatest memories.
With exactly one month to go until Euro 20, 24 national teams and only one winner – can Euro 20 save football?
Yes it can.