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Everything you need to know about UEFA Euro 2020

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May 4th, 2021

As the domestic football seasons come to a thrilling conclusion across Europe, all eyes will turn to the biggest international tournament of the summer. The rearranged Euro 2020 keeps its name and provides us with a month of thrilling football in the summer.

Here’s everything you need to know about Euro 2020 before a ball is kicked.

What is Euro 2020?

Euro 2020 is the 16th renewal of the UEFA European Championships. Held once every four years since 1960, the European Championships determines the continental champion in Europe and teams play for the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

55 teams in Europe are eligible for qualification and then 24 teams make it to the finals – known since 1996 as the Euros.

Euro 2020 was originally planned for June 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite being played in 2021, it will retain the Euro 2020 name.

How do you qualify for Euro 2020?

Qualification took place between March 21 2019 and Nov. 12 2020, with all 55 eligible teams taking part. All 55 teams were drawn into 10 groups – five groups of five and five groups of six – with the seeds of the teams based on the rankings from November 2018.

In your group you play every team home and away, and the winners and runners-up of each group automatically qualify for the finals.

To fill the remaining four slots, UEFA used the new Nations League format – a competition that takes place in parallel to Qualifying. There are four leagues in the Nations League and each league was given one of the remaining four final spots. The four teams ranked highest in each league who missed out on qualifying then played in playoffs to try to get into the finals. Hungary, Slovakia, Scotland, and North Macedonia were the four teams to sneak in this way.

What is the format for Euro 2020?

The 24 finalists are split into six groups of four and seeded based on their results in qualifying. Each team will play the other three teams in their group once. The winners and runners-up in each group will qualify for the last 16, as well as the best four third-placed teams. If teams are level on points, the tiebreaker criteria applies, and starts with their head-to-head record, goal difference, and goals scored. If still level, it is then based on superior goal difference in all group games, highest number of goals scored in group games, and final higher number of wins in all group games.

In the knock-out phase if a match is level after 90 minutes, there is 30 minutes of added time played, and if the teams are still drawing the match is decided by a penalty shoot-out.

Group winners cannot meet in the Round of 16.

When does Euro 2020 start?

The tournament will take place from June 11 until July 11. The group stages will last from June 11 until June 23, with two group games taking place every day. There will then be three-day break before the Round of 16 which is held between June 26 and 29. The quarterfinals are played across July 2 and 3, with semi-finals on both July 6 and July 7. The final will then take place on July 11 in Wembley Stadium in London.

Where is Euro 2020 held?

The European Championships are normally held in one host country. However, UEFA President Michel Platini said the tournament would be hosted across 13 host cities as a one-off celebration of the 60th anniversary of the competition.

That has now been reduced to 11 as Belgium and Ireland were removed as hosts.

That leaves 11 countries hosting games which are Azerbaijan, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Scotland, and Spain.

The quarterfinals will be held in Munich, Germany, St Petersburg, Russia, Rome, Italy and Baku, Azerbaijan. Wembley Stadium in London has the largest capacity of any of the selected stadiums, and will therefore host the semi-finals and final.

Who are the favourites for Euro 2020?

Reigning World Cup Champions France are one of the pre-tournament favourites after winning the biggest prize in international football in Russia in 2018. They were beaten 1-0 in the final of Euro 2016 but are previous winners of this competition in 1984 and 2000. The French squad is packed with quality including Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele. They qualified by winning Group H but have been drawn in the "Group of Death" in the finals alongside Hungary, Portugal, and Germany.

England are also well fancied and have a much easier Euro 2020 group featuring Croatia, Scotland, and the Czech Republic. Gareth Southgate’s team have a renewed confidence having made the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, and then qualifying as winners of Group A, winning seven of their eight matches.

Belgium also made the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, and come here strongly fancied. Alongside Italy, they are the only two teams to have recorded flawless qualifying campaigns – with 10 wins in 10 matches.

2014 World Cup winners Germany have made at least the semi-finals of this competition in the last three renewals and have every chance of being in the mix again, as do Spain who won this event in 2008 and 2012.

Portugal are the defending champions and will be led by one of the G.O.A.T in Cristiano Ronaldo, while the Netherlands are back after failing to qualify for Euro 2016 or the World Cup 2018.

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