Euro 2016: 5 reasons it has the potential to be the best edition yet
24 teams instead of 16, this could be the best Euros ever.
Squad selections – done. Pre-tournament friendlies – done. Tactical and physical preparations – done. Stadium aesthetics – done. Brace yourselves, football fans - the stage is all set for UEFA Euro 2016 to kick off amidst the history of Notre Dame and under the watchful eyes of the Eiffel Tower.
When the ball is kicked for the first time in the inaugural game between France and Romania on Friday night, it promises to set the tone for a series of events that could write themselves in Euro history.
This version of the Euros definitely possesses the potential to be remembered as the best edition yet. We look at 5 such reasons:
1) An increase in the number of teams gives small nations the opportunity to express themselves
In a major amendment to the qualification process, UEFA decided to give 24 teams the opportunity to compete in Euro 2016, rather than the 16 who were the green light for the last edition of the tournament in 2012.
This was massive news to countries that – for long periods - have been deprived of the chance to represent their nation and express their talent to the traditional ‘big boys’ of Europe.
While Wales hadn’t made it to the finals of a major tournament since 1958, countries like Albania and Iceland are making their debut appearance. Quality wise, they may not be upto the standard of their fellow competitors, but if they play with the right team-spirit and stick to their game-plan, they might just catch a couple of big fish. Which of these teams can leave an imprint on the tournament with a surprise result.