The 16th European Championship is finally starting today, Friday June 11, a trans-continental tournament encompassing 51 matches over 31 days in 11 countries, ranging from Baku in the east to Glasgow, 2,600 miles to the Azerbaijan capital’s west. All the squads have been finalised, late withdrawals notwithstanding, and England, who will play all their group games at Wembley, where both semi-finals and the final will also be staged, are second-favourites behind the world champions, France.
Euro 2020 was postponed last year because of the global Covid pandemic, but the tournament returns this summer with the same teams and nearly the same host cities – Seville replacing Bilbao and Saint Petersburg, already a host, taking on Dublin’s games as well.
The tournament consists of 24 teams, split across six groups. The top 16 teams will progress to the knockout stages, with the top two in each group plus four best third-placed teams qualifying. The competition then enters a traditional knockout format.
Which teams have qualified?
Euro 2021 groups:
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Hungary