The COVID-delayed Euros kick off on Friday with Italy hosting Turkey in Rome. Here’s a look at the Euro power rankings heading into the tournament.
The Euros feature 24 of the continent’s best teams, but some teams are better than others.
France, the defending World Cup champions, lead the pack of teams favored to capture the trophy, alongside Belgium, currently No. 1 in the FIFA’s rankings, England, Italy and Portugal, the defending Euro winners.
The European Championship will be played over the next month and culminate with the final on July 11 in London.
The matches will be played in 11 cities — Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Seville and St. Petersburg — to celebrate the tournament’s 60th anniversary.
On the eve of the tournament, here’s a look at the power rankings.
The Spanish haven’t been the team everyone was afraid of since they flopped at the 2014 World Cup. Roster issues, some of them tied to a COVID outbreak, leave La Roja ‘s chances at success in limbo.
The Danes pulled off a miracle in 1992 and won the Euros that year. They are hoping a new generation can stun the field and do it again.
Runners-up at the 2018 World Cup, Croatia isn’t a dark horse at this point. The team has a core of veteran players, led by playmaker Luka Modric, whose never-say-die spirit can help them beat any opponent.
The Dutch, after failing to qualify for the World Cup two years ago, have been rebuilt. They reached the UEFA Nations League final two years ago, only to lose to Portugal.
The Germans have looked lackluster as of late, but they have the players and tradition to instill fear in any opponent.
The defending champions have a rather tough opening group (having to face France and Germany), but never count out Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability to drag his team to victory.
Like the Dutch, Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Three years later, they are contenders and bring a 27-game unbeaten streak into the competition.
The Three Lions are hoping to be the last team standing by the time the final rolls around. A combination of young stars and home-field advantage could make it their year.
Ranked No. 1 by FIFA, Belgium are looking to finally win their first major tournament. The team’s “golden generation” of players, spearheaded by striker Eden Hazard, have a real shot here after finishing fourth at the last World Cup.
Les Bleus may actually be stronger now than they were in 2018 when they captured the World Cup. Kylian Mbappe is, at the moment, the world’s best player. That makes France the team to beat entering the tournament.