The European football showpiece has been delayed by a year, but that seems to have only ramped up the excitement levels for the championships.
Still called Euro 2020 despite now being held in 2021, the all-European tournament was postponed from last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It all kicks off on Friday, June 11 when Italy and Turkey meet in the tournament’s opening match in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, with the final being held at England’s Wembley stadium on Sunday, July 11.
For the first time, the competition will be hosted across the continent in some of Europe’s biggest and most famous stadiums, rather than by one or two nations.
Alongside London and Rome, the other host cities include Baku, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Budapest, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Glasgow, Seville and Munich.
Bilbao in Spain and Dublin in Ireland had been scheduled to host matches, but after local authorities didn’t permit fans to attend games because of Covid-19 restrictions, European football’s governing body UEFA chose to relocate Bilbao’s matches to Seville and Dublin’s fixtures to St. Petersburg.
24 teams are playing across 51 matches in the 11 host cities over the next month, with some familiar nations amongst the favorites.
World Cup champion France looks in imperious form, its squad bursting with talent, with the recall of Real Madrid star Karim Benzema providing the team with an additional attacking threat.