A year later, but with added anticipation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 10, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:57 PM, June 09, 2021

A year later, but with added anticipation

Euro 2020 will kick off on Friday night, a year later than expected but no less anticipated. 24 teams will vie to be the continent's best over the month-long tournament, held in 11 cities across Europe for the first time in the competition's 60-year history.

After Friday's opening match between Italy and Turkey, there are multiple games every day from the 12th to the 24th, then a two-day pause before the Round-of-16 starts on June 26 with two games per day. The top two teams in each group move on to the Round-of-16 (12 teams), plus the top four third place finishers.

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This tournament was supposed to start a year ago, but was postponed due to Covid-19. So now, it sets up a pretty interesting year and a half for international football, which will see the 2021 Nations League Finals play in October of 2021, and the 2022 World Cup set to start November 21, 2022.

Portugal won the Euro 2016, defeating France 1-0 in extra time, to win their first major trophy. Portugal then went on to win the first Nations League in 2019, and come into this tournament ranked fifth in the world.

In fact, European teams make up six of the top seven spots in the current FIFA World Rankings, and 10 of the top 14. It is no coincidence that those teams make up the top spots in the futures odds to win Euro 2020.

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