Euro 2020 is on the horizon as this summer festival of football returns after last year’s postponement. Across 11 host cities, twenty-four nations make up the tournament but there can only be one winner.
World champions France have been dubbed as the favourites to repeat their feat of winning the World Cup and the European Championships after as was the case in 1998 and 2000.
The squad depth of Les Bleus is ridiculously good. You only need to look at their attacking force with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud. France’s blend of experience and youth surely make them the front-runners.
You then have France’s conquerors and defending champions from Euro 2016, in Portugal who can’t be underestimated, thanks in part to Cristiano Ronaldo. Their current squad is arguably better than that of the team from five years ago with established and emerging stars like Bruno Fernandes and Joao Felix.
In recent years, Belgium has been described as the nearly team in major tournaments having not reached the final of the European championships since 1980 and suffering a semi-final defeat at the hands of France at the 2018 World Cup.
Since September of that year, Belgium have been ranked number 1 in the FIFA World rankings but this could be their last chance for many of their starts in winning silverware for their country. Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens, Kevin De Bruyne, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Axel Witsel are all in their 30s. But can they go all the way this time round?
Then there’s England, who many believe have a vital home advantage this summer with all of their group stage games being played at Wembley along with both semi-finals and final held under the famous arch.
Gareth Southgate reinvigorated the Three Lions and is certainly taking his team on the right track after the disappointment of previous England teams. There will be a concern with the injuries, particularly in defence and midfield. However, the likes of Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling will fancy their chances of getting through on goal.
Former winners such as Germany, Spain and the Netherlands haven’t been cast by many to win the Euros this year but these are sides that can’t be underestimated.