Germany plays host to Europe’s biggest football spectacle, the European Championship, in 2024. The country will be hosting the event for the third time overall but only the first time as a unified Germany – though they did host four matches in the multinational Euro 2020. The month-long tournament is due to take place from 14th June to 14th July 2024. The official slogan of the tournament will be ‘United by Football’. This slogan was chosen to promote diversity and inclusion.
Italy will be the defending champions, having won Euro 2020, beating England in the final on penalties. There will be 24 participating teams, with Germany guaranteed an automatic qualifying spot as hosts. The remaining 23 teams will be determined through a qualifying tournament.
Venues for 2024 Euros, Germany
The tournament will be spread across Germany, and for the first time, the former East German city of Leipzig will be hosting a European Championship match. The other cities are Berlin, Dortmund, Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, and Düsseldorf. Nine of the ten venues were used during the FIFA World Cup 2006, with the only new addition being Düsseldorf. All of the stadiums had to meet UEFA’s minimum standard capacity requirement of at least 30,000.
Teams for Euro 2024
There will be 23 spots up for grabs in the qualifying tournament, which runs from March to November 2023. The draw for the qualifying groups will be held in Frankfurt on 9th October 2022. The big teams will, as always, be hoping to avoid ending up in a ‘group of death’. The draw for the finals will take place in December 2023.
Germany currently holds the record for the most appearances in the Euros, having featured in 13 previous editions. They will extend their record to 14 as they are the hosts. Surprisingly, Russia is second on the list of most appearances, with 12. Sometimes, being the hosts can be a disadvantage as they may not have played enough matches against quality opposition in the run-up, while the qualifying teams come into the tournament battle-hardened.
Every European championship is hotly contested by the usual favourites, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and England. The Euro 2024 hosts and Spain have won the title three times, while France and Italy have won it twice. Spain remains the only team in history to have won consecutive titles in 2008 and 2012. The team who play some of the most attractive attacking football are the Netherlands, and they will be the dark horses, especially if the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum stay fit.
The losing finalists of the last Euros, England, still await their first major football silverware since winning the World Cup in 1966. It is still a mystery how England has gone so long without winning another major FIFA-sanctioned tournament, considering that they have the world’s strongest and most popular football league. The Premier League will again supply the largest contingent of players for Europe’s quadrennial showpiece event.
Germany will have to start the tournament as favourites playing at home, and overall, in European Championships history, no country has won more matches.
Premiership players to look out for
This is one of the tournaments in which lesser-known players could come to the forefront and make a name for themselves, but for the most part, it is the household names who tend to shine in the big events. As was the case in Euro 2020, we can expect most of the players to come from the English Premier League.
The EPL had a staggering 118 players who participated in the last Euros. The players who are most likely to shine for England are Jack Grealish, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Harry Kane. The latter will be desperate to help England win in what will be the swansong to his international career.
Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne will want to end Belgium’s long wait for silverware. Despite being ranked number one in the FIFA rankings, they always seem to disappoint at major events. Belgium’s best finish was at the 1980 European Championship, where they were runners-up.
One of the most underrated players in the Premiership is N’Golo Kanté, and he will be just as vital to France’s hopes as any other player in the team. His work rate, from defence to attack, is second to none, and Kanté, along with Paul Pogba, will form the backbone of France’s challenge.