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All Set to Kickoff at Euro 2016
- Harpreet Singh
All Set to Kickoff at Euro 2016



A month-long feast of football is on its way, which will certainly make the summers hotter. The tournament brings a thankful feeling for those footy fans who demand that football should never go off the television. So this summer all they require is to shutter up their sets for the duration of Euro 16 in France.
 
The forthcoming, World Cup-sized tournament is considered as a gift by provisionally suspended UEFA President Michel Platini to his home country. Platini’s urge to compete against FIFA and Sep Blatter has shown through his plans to radically expand the European Championship. German and English football associations opposed his idea to magnify the tournament from 16 teams to 24. However, he got success as the other European Football Associations backed his notion of providing an opportunity to the small nations to compete in the finals.

 

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Albania

England

Germany

Croatia

Belgium

Austria

France

Russia

Northern Ireland

Czech Republic

Italy

Hungary

Romania

Slovakia

Poland

Spain

Republic of Ireland

Iceland

Switzerland

Wales

Ukraine

Turkey

Sweden

Portugal

 


This will be a third time when the European Continent Championship will be held in France. Earlier the host nation has organized the tournament in 1960 and 1984. 51 matches of the final stage, 20 more than the last finals, will be played in the 10 cities of the country.
 
Now with the Euro Cup set to begin, every team will try to put their name on the stake. Football pundits are expecting France to repeat the history of 2000 under the command of Coach Didier Deschamps. He has won the Euro title in 2000 as a player in the French side. Midfielder Paul Pogba is the key player in their side with Anthony Martial in front seeking ball from the midfield areas.
 
World Champions Germany has already proved their bid for winning this prestigious trophy. Players like Muller, Schweinsteiger and Hummels are raring to go to add another trophy to their football career. However, the absence of Philip Lahm has left a void in the defense.
 
Spaniards are heading to Euro Cup chasing a remarkable hat-trick of titles but their era of continental dominance will be fully tested this summer as their best defense and
midfield has been retired last summer. With an experience of both international and club finals, Sergio Ramos will be a key player for them. 
 
Vicente del Bosque's side stormed to a 4-0 win in the final in Kiev, becoming the first team to win three straight major international tournaments following on from their triumphs at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup. However, the flaws that first started to appear in Confederations Cup and then in World Cup when their title defense lasted only just two matches.
 
England’s young guns are desperate to heal the 52 years of hurt. The young lions are also quite impressive in their premier league matches. Players like Dele Ali, Rushford and have proved their potential and outclassed several experienced players to make their way in the final eleven. Roy Hodgson showed his faith in this inexperienced side with Rooney the only player who have more than 5 years of international experience.
 
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portuguese side working hard to earn their reputation they lost in 2004 when Greece lifted the trophy beating them in the final. The long accurate passes of both Bruno Alves and Joao Moutinho can cause problems for any team, anytime. Pepe with his killer headers not only forces the ball away for clearances but for goals also. However, his disciplinary record is the major problem for them. 
 
Belgian side, one of the favourites, looks quite solid with Thibaut Courtois in the goals.  Lukaku's season with Everton also went excellent as he scored 18 goals for the Merseyside Blue. Underdogs Iceland also has pretty much class to show as they did in the qualifiers. Their playing style in last few months has attracted the attention of football fans.
 
The major blow for the fans is the disqualification of Netherlands from the tournament. Nobody ever thought that Netherlands would not make to the Europe's biggest summer party. The Oranje wowed in Brazil and reached the World Cup semifinals but somehow failed to reach France after suffering embarrassment in qualifying. The winners of Euro Cup back in 1988 lost the leadership of former Manchester United coach Luis Van Gaal, a tactical genius, two years ago which is considered as a prime cause for their exclusion.
 
2.5 million Fans are expected in the stadiums, including 1.5 million foreign visitors comparative to the 1.5 million fans in 2012. Visitors are expected to spend €1bn in the course of the tournament. The matches will be broadcast live by 150 broadcasters in more than 230 territories around the world with an approximately 8 billion viewership altogether.
 
Euro Football promises to produce some new superstars every time. This summer as nations battle out for the biggest footballing prize on the continent. The tournament has also been used as a shop window in previous years to raise the profile of flourishing players into superstars. Michel Platini, Marco van Basten, David Trezeguet and Robert Lewandowski are just some of the names that excelled through this European Championship. 
 
There will be stars forged in France this summer during the 51 games played across 10 stadiums. Some veterans like Gianluigi Buffon will  show their experience while the newcomers show their potential to take the first step on that road to fame.
 
So which nation can earn the pride to lift the Euro Cup 2016? Let’s take a look at the big names.
  

Title Contenders

Key Player

Who will be missed

France

Paul Pogba

K.Benzema

Germany

Muller

P.Lahm

Spain

Ramos

Xavi

England

J.Vardy

J.Terry

Italy

Buffon

Andre Pirlo

Belgium

Hazard

V.Kompany

Portugal

C.Ronaldo

Varela


 






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