The Euro Championship games are considered by many football fans to be the premier competition for European national teams. For one, it was created in 1960 and is much older than the UEFA Nations League which started in 2018.
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Brief History of the Euro Games
The Euro Championship games also referred to as the Euros, have been held once every four years since inception. Hence, it typically falls on a year ending with an even number. This current edition is being held in 2021 instead of 2020 because of the pandemic.
Germany and Spain remain the nations that have clinched the cup the highest number of times with 3 wins. The current holder, Portugal, won the Euro 2016 games for the first time in its history, with a goal late in extra time by Eder.
After the FIFA World Cup, the Euro games are the most-watched in football. At least 250 million people around the globe have watched the finals in recent years.
Information about Euro 2021 and Games to Watch out For
Euro 2021 will begin in June and end sometime around the middle of July 2021. The hosting for this edition is unusual as it’ll be held across 12 countries. Typically, the host countries are no more than one or two.
The decision by UEFA to have the games in 12 cities came a few years back. Top UEFA officials reasoned a way to ‘have a party across Europe’ and settled on the multinational venues.
24 teams are competing for European glory in this edition. The countries are divided into 6 groups of four each. Wales is in the first group, Group A, and has a chance of leading the table after its 3 group games.
The team’s biggest adversary is Italy, a two-time winner of the Euros. Italy possesses a strong defense and will be difficult to score against.
Belgium is in Group B, and it is home to top football stars. Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard are all in fine form and have reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, the premier competition for football clubs. Belgium also has a top striker up front in the form of Romelu Lukaku, who has been scoring goals and recently won the Italian league title.
Netherlands is in the third group, Group C, and are considered favorites to top the group table. With Virgil Van Dijk and De Ligt as central defenders, strikers of the other Group C teams will have problems scoring.
Group D allows football fans to relive a rivalry seen in the 2018 World Cup between England and Croatia. The Croatians edged past the English by one goal in a game several fans felt England should have won.
England is highly stacked with the players to win this competition. There’s Harry Kane up front, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford, two excellent wingers. Raheem Sterling, Mason Greenwood, and Phil Foden can also be called up if the first three have issues.
Bukayo Saka, Mason Mount, and Jack Grealish are also considered top contenders for the midfield position. Trippier, Alexander-Arnold, John Stones, and Ben Chilwell will make up a fine team of defenders.
There is, however, a question on football fans’ lips. People are waiting to see if England can finally live up to its hopes with its talented players and not disappoint fans like the equally talented 2006 English football team.
Croatia will also be looking to top Group D to get an easier draw for the next round. These games are expected to be the last time fans will see Luka Modric, Ivan Perisic, and Mario Mandzukic play.
In Group E, the focus is concentrated mostly on Spain. The three-time Euro winner has a manager in the form of Luis Enrique, a tiki-taka-oriented coach. Unlike the previous disappointments after Euro 2012, Spain is looking strong once again after a 6-0 demolition of Germany late last year.
The Spanish team’s toughest adversary is Poland, led by Robert Lewandowski. As we’ve seen time and time again in football, one-man star teams can sometimes perform well against favorites. Lewandowski holds the title for the best player in the world and fans are looking to see if he can pull something for his country.
Group F has been heralded as the ‘Group of Death’, a title reserved for a group with three or more tough teams. Current holders Portugal will go up against France and Germany. The French are still considered the best team in the world and the Germans are as lethal as ever.
This group will be watched closely not only for the difficulty to take the top two positions in the group but because of Cristiano Ronaldo. The player who is considered to be Portugal’s best football player and one of the greatest footballers might retire after the games.
Ronaldo is nearing the age of retirement and will be looking to beat the record set by Ali Daei, the highest national team goal scorer.
Streaming the Euro 2021 Games
Since the games have a chance of being held behind closed doors, most fans will stream them. Several official broadcasters like ESPN, ITV, and DAZN will offer the games up for live streaming.
However, there are a lot of viewers outside Europe and the US that have problems streaming the Championship games. This is because some of the broadcasting services geo-limit their content.
If you’re having this issue, you can use a VPN(Virtual Private Network) to stream the Euros online. A VPN will give you access to different servers which will bypass the geo-limits set for your region.
With the Euro Championship games close, football fans are getting excited. Eyes are on prominent teams like England, Germany, Spain, and France. Football fans are also watching out to see which players come out top.
To stream the games online, you can download the app from a broadcaster of your choice. If you can’t watch the games because of geo-restrictions, you can use a VPN to change your IP address and enjoy the world’s most-followed sport.
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