The Euro, arguably being the most popular international football event after the World cup, boasts of various footballing giants. The 2016 version has, for the first time, 24 teams vying for the coveted title of ‘European champion’.
What makes the Euro so exciting is the month-long tussle between the best of Europe with some of the biggest footballers on show as they attempt to lead their respective nations to glory.
The joy and pride that follows when the team you support wins as well as the heartbreak of it losing is the very essence of football. And as Bill Shankly famously said, “ Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”
We decided to select 5 teams with the most credibility of winning it all. (From lower to higher)
The lack of game changers is what hinders Portugal’s chances. Barring the devastating Cristiano Ronaldo and a few others like Pepe and Joao Moutinho, Portugal just don’t look like a side with enough firepower to make it till the end (who the hell is Eder?!). Nonetheless, the stage is set for them to prove their doubters wrong.
Key player: Cristiano Ronaldo (but you already guessed that)
Yes, England’s performances at top level tournaments haven’t been the best for quite some time now, but this group of boys just has something to them that the former squads did not. They have fighters and finishers in Vardy and Kane, as well as the experience of Rooney and Joe Hart to count on.
Key player: Harry Kane
The modern French squad is quite exciting. After the golden age of Zidane and Henry, France finally has a variety of talented players at its disposal. Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Laurent Koscielny, Blaise Matuidi, Dimitri Payet, the list just keeps on going. Not to forget the young and upcoming Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman.
Key player: Paul Pogba
Even after the horror show of the 2014 World cup, only a fool would count Spain out. They just possess such an abundance of talent. There is certainly no lack of big names with players like Silva and Fabregas being stars in their own right. Built around the legend that is Iniesta, Spain has the potential to out-play any team with their trademark ‘tiki-taka’. Even without Torres and Cazorla, they are formidable.
Key player: Andres Iniesta
The favourites, no doubt. The Germans work like a well oiled machine. With intricate playmakers in the midfield like Toni Kroos and Mesut Özil paired with a natural finisher like Thomas Muller to spearhead the attack, the German team is surely a force to be reckoned with. They also have solid defenders in Boateng and Hummels. Not to mention the wall for a goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer. (meanwhile, Marco Reus is injured for another 100 years)
Key player: Mesut Özil
Belgium just haven’t won enough International honours to be considered a favourite. But make no mistake, they have a squad which could surprise anybody. And with it being the year of the underdogs, who knows?
Key player: Kevin De Bruyne
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.