Good news for football lovers: the 2020 UEFA European Championship kicks off today. In 2020 it was postponed for a year due to Covid 19. In Euro, 24 nations are battling it out.
This year, rather than being hosted in one country, the tournament will be staged in 12 cities across 12 different countries. It will start from the 11th of June to the 11th July. It has 51 matches across 31 days of competition.
The opening phase is set in six groups of four teams. The rule is the top two from each group will be progressing to the knockout stage.
Another interesting rule is that the four best third-place finishers will also qualify for the last 16. Also, all the knockout rounds being played as one-off matches.
As someone who wouldn’t know what the offside rule means if it came up to her and bit her on the nose, writing about the Euros presents an unprecedented challenge to me (and that’s an understatement!)
Here are some interesting facts of Euro:
This will be the first time in history that Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will use in the UEFA European championship.
The official song ‘We Are The People’ is performed by Martin Garrix featuring Bono and The Edge from U2.
The first European Championship tournament was staged back in 1960. The Soviet Union claimed the trophy after a narrow 2 – 1 victory over Yugoslavia in the final.
Germany and Spain hold the record for the highest number of European Championship wins with three apiece. Also, France has lifted the trophy on two occasions.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most games (21). Also, he is the joint highest scorer alongside Michel Platini with nine.
Portugal was the first team to win the tournament despite not winning a single game in the group stage in 2016.
Spain is the only team to retain the trophy. They won it in 2008 and retained it in 2012. Also, they are one of the most fancied teams in the Euro 2020 (2021) betting odds.
England and Wales have never progressed further than the semi-finals. Also, Scotland and Northern Ireland have never reached the knockout stage.
Didier Deschamps (France) is the only manager at Euro 2020 to have won the tournament as a player.
Diversity and inclusivity are the inspiration for the official match ball for the tournament.
The first 2020 UEFA European Championship match is Turkey vs Italy, today 11th June at 9.00 pm.