The UEFA Euro 2020 will take place in June 2021, after a year’s delay owing to the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt on footballing activities in the summer of 2020.
Most teams have already announced their squads for the tournament and with UEFA giving the privilege to the participating nations of increasing the squad limit to 26 instead of the usual 23, teams have grabbed the opportunity to name some young talents as well as versatile options that could be useful at crucial moments throughout the tournament.
Here are the top five contenders to win the UEFA Euro 2020.
England narrowly beat Luis Enrique’s Spain to make this list. The England side has so much squad depth that after England manager Gareth Southgate released his 33-man provisional list, you just can’t guess who will make it into the final squad. And even in that list players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka are missing.
The Three Lions boast some incredible talent in their ranks as starting up top will be Premier League golden boot winner Harry Kane with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford, and Raheem Sterling giving him company.
Southgate will hope to build on his team’s 2018 FIFA World Cup success, where they reached the semi-finals and do well in Euro 2020. The future stars of the country who have already made a name for themselves will also be a part of the squad including Phil Foden, Mason Mount, and Mason Greenwood.
Harry Maguire might be absent due to injury and that could be a big blow as he has had a great season for his club.
Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which was a huge dent in their reputation, however, Roberto Mancini, former Inter Milan and Manchester City boss, has quietly done an impressive job as Italy manager after taking over from Gian Piero Ventura.
The Azzurri are on the ascendancy once again, with a heady mix of youth and experience forming the core of the team.
Mancini has also announced a 33-member preliminary squad for Euro 2020. Experienced players such as Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Ciro Immobile, and Lorenzo Insigne have all been named while upcoming stars like Gianluigi Donnarumma, Moise Kean, and Alessandro Bastoni could all make their mark in Euro 2020.
Since the past few big tournaments you always think that this might be Belgium’s year, but it just never is. Their squad has been announced for UEFA Euro 2020 and once again they boast of a deep squad with cover in every position.
Given the Red Devils’ limited defensive personnel, especially in the full-back positions, manager Roberto Martinez looks likely to play three men at the back. Up front, the dreaded trio of Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, and Kevin De Bruyne could run riots. But that’s not all, as they have options galore in Thorgan Hazard, Youri Tielemans, Yannick Carrasco, and Axel Witsel ready to make a mark on the game.
Belgium’s good performances in the UEFA Nations League will give them a boost of confidence.
Portugal will look to defend their crown in a more convincing manner than the one they won in 2016. They arguably boast of a better squad right now so that is a possibility.
The final squad brimming with quality has been announced by manager Fernando Santos. The big names include Manchester City star Ruben Dias, who has been one of the best centre-back in the world this season, Serie A top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, City midfielder Bernardo Silva, Manchester United’s ‘magnifico’ Bruno Fernandes, and Liverpool forward Diogo Jota.
Portugal’s strength and depth are impressive, however, it’s been said that the centre-back position might be an issue. With only Dias, 38-year old Pepe, who had an impressive run in the Champions League, and 37-year old Jose Fonte, who won the Ligue-1 with Lille, as the options. That doesn’t sound too much of an issue, but let’s see if the age factor does play in.
Cristiano Ronaldo, as usual, will look to lead his team from the front.
Didier Deschamps’ World Cup-winning France are the overwhelming favorites to win Euro 2020, and rightly so.
The France squad has been announced and the fact that the likes of Dayot Upamecano, Tanguy Ndombele, Nabil Fekir, Anthony Martial, and Houssem Aouar have not been added to the list tells you what an incredibly strong squad depth they have.
An already phenomenal French attack will now also see the addition of one of the best strikers in the game, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. The usual suspects have all been named, including Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, N’golo Kante, Hugo Lloris and Raphael Varane.
Barring something unexpected, This French team has the capability to dominate the international stage for the next few years, at the very least.