Still to be referred to as ‘Euro 2020’ – a decision made to ‘keep the original vision of the tournament, which was to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary’ and also to ‘serve as a reminder of how the whole football family came together to respond to the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, and the difficult times that Europe, and the world, had to go through in 2020’ – this European Championship will make history for several reasons.
It will be the first European Championship to take place in an odd year, the first to use Video Assistant Referees, the first to allow for five substitutes to be used by each team per game, and the first to host games with limited supporters in stadiums.
There are also some important landmarks to be reached on the pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo is just one goal away from becoming the tournament’s all-time outright top goalscorer (he’s currently level with Michel Platini on nine), his country Portugal are aiming to become only the second nation to retain the trophy, and France are hoping to hold both the World and European crowns simultaneously.
There are also historic, major international tournament debuts for Finland and North Macedonia, while the return to European Championship finals participation for Scotland (their first since 1996) and the Netherlands (who missed out in 2016) will provide plenty of vibrance and colour in the stands.
In these unpredictable and unprecedented times, chances of a big upset are not out of the question – in fact, it is a real possibility – and the European Championship has often provided the platform for such shocks to occur on the biggest stage. Denmark shocking the world to win Euro ’92 and Greece upsetting the applecart to win in Portugal in 2004 will give hope to every nation that anything is possible.
Here’s the full list of venues hosting the competition:
If you want to find out more about the above venues, then make sure you take a look at our Stadium Guide.
If you want to read more about the finalists, then you can click on the links below to read our in-depth Team Guides.
Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia
Group England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany