Soccer is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and it’s not hard to see why – especially given the outstanding quality on offer from Europe’s main leagues. And if you’ve been following the English, Spanish, and Italian leagues, then you won’t want to miss the Euro Championship, one of the biggest football tournaments in the world. Even if you’re not from a competing nation, you can still choose a side, back them to win with a free bet offer, such as those provided by Oddschecker, and enjoy the action from afar. It’ll be taking place from June 11 through to July 11 and promises to be full of twists and turns. In this blog, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about the tournament, including who the key teams and players are, who’s likely to do well, and more.
About the Competition
To begin, let’s run through some of the key details of the tournament. The action will be kicking off on June 11 and will run through to July 11, when the final will take place at Wembley Stadium in London. There’ll be twenty-four teams taking part in the championship and, for the first time ever, there won’t be a single host city — the games will take place in eleven cities all over Europe. This is a new — and pretty novel — idea in celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the first Euro Championship. It will truly be a Europe-wide party.
Who Are The Biggest Teams?
While there’ll be twenty-four teams competing for glory, they don’t all have a realistic chance of claiming a win. There are only a handful of teams that will have legitimate eyes on the trophy. The favorites are France. In fact, if you listen to the experts — and why not? — they’ll tell you that France aren’t just looking good for glory but, to some, it’s nailed on for them. Of course, France won’t have it all their own way. England are looking good, as are Belgium. Spain’s youngsters and Italy’s mix of youth and experience will also be quietly confident that they can do something at the tournament, too.
The Biggest Players
You don’t need to back a team to enjoy the tournament. You’ll find that it’s enjoyable to simply tune in and catch the best players in Europe doing their thing. So who’s expected to deliver the goods on one of the biggest stages of world football?
For France, Mbappe is looking good. He burst onto the scene in spectacular glory at the last World Cup, playing an instrumental role in France’s path to glory. Three years later, he’s only gotten better. He’ll have eyes on being the tournament’s top goalscorer, especially since he’s playing in a team that can put goals on a plate for him.
For England, look at Harry Kane. He’s been killing it in the Premier League for years and may genuinely be a world-class talent. People think England will go far based on the goal-scoring abilities of Kane alone. He’s not flashy, but he is highly effective. He just scores, scores, scores.
And for Belgium, keep your eye on Kevin de Bruyne, who Premier League fans will know as probably the best player in the league. Belgium has a long list of outstanding players, but he’s the best of the lot. He is simply a joy to watch. If he hits the heights he’s capable of reaching, then don’t be too surprised if Belgium go all the way.
We also can’t avoid mentioning Cristiano Ronaldo. This is (probably) the last European tournament for one of the game’s all-time greats. He will be desperate to not only get on the scoresheet, but to be the top scorer. It’s the mindset that took him all the way to the top, after all. It’s entirely possible that he fires Portugal to glory, making it two Euro Championship victories in a row.
Who’s Going to Win?
We ran through some of the favorites – France, England, Belgium – earlier. Will one of those teams win? It’s looking likely, but it comes with a big caveat. One of the great things about tournament football is that not only can anything happen, it often does happen. Make no mistake: there’ll be at least one surprise during the tournament. This could be a big upset (say, Scotland beating England and seriously derailing their hopes of glory) or just a classic case of underperformance. You have to be at the top of your game if you’re to lift a trophy at international level (actually, at any level). No one lucks their way to glory. Will the pressure get to one of France, England, or Belgium? One team is going to stutter at some point.
Enjoying the Action
So how can you enjoy the tournament to the max? It’s all about getting in the mood and making an effort! Take a look at the kick off times for each game, and see which ones you can catch. They’ll take place earlier in the day in the States than they will in Europe (due to time difference), but you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to watch. However, if you want to catch all of the action, then consider talking to your boss about having a few weeks of flexible working!
For the weekend games, you’ll have no problems catching the games, though you might have to get up slightly earlier than you’d like to watch the first kick off of the day if you live on the West Coast. But the afternoon games? It’s all about creating some atmosphere and having fun. Invite some friends over for a cookout, and enjoy the deep level of enjoyment that can come from watching a big tournament, eating delicious BBQ food, and having a couple of cold beers or glasses of wine. It’s the good life, and a big reason why people tend to love big soccer tournaments!
Now that you have all the information, all that’s left to do is to sit back and see what happens. Enjoy!