Euro 2016 is the second big Continental soccer championship of the summer – the first being The Copa America, which takes places between Argentina and Brazil. The European championship, on the other hand, offers football fans even more to look forward to, with a host of countries (like Germany, Italy, and England) vying for the top awards.
But, there’s more to it than that. So, in this article, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of the event so that you too can join in the festivities.
How does Euro 2016 work and which teams will be playing?
France, being the host country, is obviously one of the contenders in this 24-team tournament. Locals remember with fondness the last time their home country hosted a major football event – the 1998 World Cup – which they just happened to win.
Other teams vying for the title of Euro 2016 champions include the defending World Cup champions (Germany) and Spain, who won the last two Euros. Other countries that will be playing include Portugal, Czech Republic, and England. And, that’s not all – several newcomers will also be on the scene like Slovakia, Albania, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Iceland. All these teams are making me and a few other 2014 tournament. Furthermore, there is the notable absence of the Netherlands – a favorite who finished third in the 2014 World Cup. Unfortunately, they failed to qualify for Euro 2016.
How does a team qualify?
In order to qualify for the Euro 2016, teams must go through a long and arduous process where 53 Nations vying for 23 spots over a period of approximately 14 months.
When the 23 spots have been filled, the teams are divided into six groups of 4. Each team must play against the other three in their group. The best two teams in each group and the four best 3rd place teams will make it to the round of 16. From there, there are some other matches to determine who will be the four lucky contenders who will get a chance to perform in the knockout round. In other words, every single match is crucial in the journey to the Euros. The final takes place on July 10th at Stade de France i.e. France’s national stadium which is located nearby to Paris.
What about security concerns stemming from last year’s terrorist attacks?
Due to the unfortunate events that took place last November, French officials are extending the nationwide state of emergency that was put into effect after the brutal terrorist attacks. The police presence will be phenomenal, with over a hundred thousand Private security officers, soldiers, and police officers working during the tournament.
Who is expected to win?
As of right now, it’s looking like Germany is the favourite to win, with a host of star athletes on their roster including Toni Kroos, Mezut Ozil, Thomas Muller, and Manuel Neuer among others. This powerful combination means that German coach Joachim Low won’t have any trouble putting up a good fight, although Marco Reus (a very talented player) tends to succumb to injuries.
France is also a heavy contender, partly because of the luck that comes with home court advantage but also because of stars like Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, who will definitely make it hard for other teams to advance. In fact, many sports bettors put France in the same bracket as the Germans and other have them slated to win in a number of odds tables. Knowing this, you may want to take advantage of the sports betting bonus at bet365 for Australian players.
England, on the other hand, has a history of disappointing their fans when it comes to winning major tournaments. But, not to be overlooked, this country also brings with them a lot of exciting young players to fold, like Marcus Rashford ManU’s teenage sensation and Harry Kane who is responsible for scoring 25 goals in the Premier League for Tottenham this season.