Euro 2020 finally starts tomorrow i.e. 11th June, Friday as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal prepares for their title defense, and world champions France are looking for a rare double when the football tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. France’s intimidating lineup makes them favorites to win a third European crown in the Pan-Continental event, while a top Belgian and a young England team will be a major threat.
For the first time, the tournament is taking place in 11 cities across Europe instead of one or two countries, despite the constant shadow of the COVID-19 crisis. Dublin and Bilbao were dropped from the list of host cities because they failed to provide guarantees that they could meet UEFA’s requirement to accommodate a limited number of spectators, but Sevilla intervened for Bilbao because the Dublin Games went to London and St. Petersburg.
The Euro 2020 action begins on Friday at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, where Italy will take on Turkey in front of 16,000 fans.
Favorites France only see action in the main action of the first round of group matches on Tuesday, when world champions take on Germany in Munich. “All other countries envy us,” said the recent front page of French sports daily L’Equipe, under images of Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann.
All eyes will be on the 33-year-old Benzema striker, who was recalled after a stellar Real Madrid season after five-and-a-half years in international exile. Holders Portugal and Hungary completed Group F, nicknamed the Group of the Dead of the Tournament.