What is UEFA Euro 2024?

Euro 2024

Introduction UEFA Euro 2024

Football fans in Europe are already salivating at the prospect of a marquee summer ahead of them. That’s because this June and July, Germany will host the European Championships, a tournament that will see 24 of the continents finest battle it out to become champions in the awe-inspiring Berlin Olympiastadon on July 14th here is all you need to know about the tournament.

The Favourites

England and France have been made the early favorites for glory. The two met in the quarterfinals of the most recent FIFA World Cup in Qatar with Les Bleus running out victorious courtesy of a late missed penalty from England captain Harry Kane both teams have genuine superstars in their lineups with Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham being the leading light for the Three Lions and Kylian Mbappe Being France’s main man.

However both teams head into the tournament with question marks hanging over them. The English have not won a major trophy since 1966, while the French last tasted continental success back in 2000 and were eliminated from the tournament in the second round to lowly Switzerland three years ago.

Expect the Unexpected

The tournaments has had several shock winners over the years. Denmark won back in 1992 despite not even qualifying for the tournament  12 years later, Greece knocked off reigning champions France and hosts Portugal on their way to the trophy. This year the latter of those two haven’t even qualified for the tournament under former Chelsea legend Gus Poyet, losing to Georgia on penalties in a qualification play-off that will see the Georgians feature at a major tournament for the first time in history.

Three years ago no one expected Italy to be a contender. However they managed to stun everyone as they went all the way defeating Belgium and Spain in the knockout rounds before stunning England on home turf at Wembley Stadium with Gianluigi Donnarumma saving Bukayo Saka’s penalty to take the trophy back to Rome

The Hosts

Germany has long been a powerhouse in international football. They have won the World Cup four times and European Championships three times. However in recent years, they have fallen off. We have seen some epic sporting mistakes over the years resulting in disastrous draft picks and championships won and lost. But perhaps none were worse than goalkeeper Manuel Neuer choosing to play in midfield as Germany crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage despite being the defending champions. Four years later they were dumped out at the same stage in Qatar following a stunning loss to Japan.

This year they are the third favorites primarily thanks to their hosting, but they have been in questionable form over the last 18 months. A recent victory against France has lifted their spirits,however and they will be hoping to build on that win before they raise the Euro 2024 curtain in Munich against Scotland on June 14th.

The Curtain Call?

Over the years the tournament has been a happy hunting ground for the continents finest football stars. However none of them have shown brighter than the great Cristiano Ronaldo. The former Real Madrid man is the top scorer in the history of the tournament with a mighty 14 goals across five tournaments. He lifted the trophy in 2016 with his beloved Portugal and this summer, he is set to be the outright leader in terms of the most European Championships competed in. As he gears up for his sixth appearance on the grand stage.

However at the ripe old age of 39, this tournament will surely be his last. Three years ago, he won the Golden Boot award for the first time in his career after netting five times. He was the second top scorer in qualifying with ten goals and he will be aiming to make one lasting impression this summer.

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