International: The most prestigious football competition in Europe, Euro 2021, is underway, having finally kicked off on Saturday. 24 national teams are dreaming of winning the title on 11 July at London’s Wembley Stadium. The first matches saw Italy crushing Turkey 3-0 in Group A and Belgium dominating Russia with the same result in Group B. In group D, England beat Croatia 1-0.
All the European powers are in the mix to win the championship. France are the bookmakers’ favourite, and Belgium are currently No. 1 in the world. Portugal are the defending champions. There’s also Italy who haven’t lost in 28 games with 23 wins. The 24 countries are split into six groups to start.
The top two finishers from each group and the four best third-place teams will advance to the quarter-finals. It’s then straight into the knockout rounds which lead to the final on 11 July.
The tournament is still named Euro 2020, despite being played a year late. The qualifiers were all played in 2019, but Covid-19 restrictions meant UEFA was forced to postpone the tournament in order to ensure the safety of players and fans. That year-long wait has only made supporters even more excited for the tournament.