Different squads in Europe will square off in the 15th edition of UEFA Euro Cup 2016 in France. It will run from June 10 to July 10, 2016 and 24 teams will participate and play in 10 different venues. Spain is the two-time defending champions in this tournament. UEFA Euro 2016: A Preview for the most awaited games France was chosen as the host nation in May 28, 2010, after beating Turkey and Italy in the bidding process for the right to host the 2016 final. The matches will be played in ten cities such as Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne, and Toulouse. It will be the third time that France hosted the tournament, with two being in 1960 and 1984 finals. They won the Euro Championship in 1984 and 2000. The Euro Cup winner will go on to compete in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Russia.
For the first time, the European Championship will be contested by 24 squads, expanded from 16-team tournament format since 1996. Under this new format, the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final round. For the finals format, four best third ranked sides will advance also, leaving 16 teams going into the new round of 16 knockout stage, ahead of usual quarterfinal, semi-finals, and finals, and only 8 teams going out of the group stage. The format was also used in the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cups with the exception of the absence of third-place playoff.
UEFA Euro 2016: A Preview for the most awaited games
In the knockout stages, the extra time and penalty shootout are used to decide the winner if there is a draw. Each national team has to submit a squad of 23 players, three of whom must be goalkeepers with at least ten days before the tournament starts. If a player and prevented from participating the match, he will be replaced by another player. The qualified teams are France (automatic spot as hosts), Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Northern and Republic), Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
Other squads such as Scotland, Greece, Denmark, and Netherlands were not able to qualify. There are some teams that expected to win the Euro Cup because of their intact and well-stacked lineup. Spain is the defending champion led by goalkeeper sensation Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid, Jordi Alba and Andres Iniesta of FC Barcelona. Germany is also a serious contender for the Euro title with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Mario Gotze of Bayern Munich and Toni Kroos of Real Madrid at the helm.
Also, host country France will not back down as they imposed their deep lineup with notable players such as Raphael Varane of Real Madrid, Blaise Matuidi of Paris Saint-Germain and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal. Meanwhile, Portugal will be anchored by Ballon Dior awardee Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Nani and Bruno Alves of Fenerbache. The Group A will compose of France, Romania, Albania, and Switzerland while England, Russia, Wales and Slovakia will slug it out at Group B.
On the other hand, Group C will consist of Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland while Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Croatia completing the Group D. Group E has Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden while Portugal, Austria, Iceland and Hungary will complete the Group F.UEFA Euro Cup 2016 is just few days away and teams are going all out to win the illustrious and coveted title to solidify their legacy.