The Euros are just around the corner, with Saturday the chosen day to start off the biggest summer extravaganza of the year. This year, the Euros are being played in France, one of the most beautiful places on earth. The home team is looking strong, along with some other candidates including defending champions Spain and World champions Germany alongside Belgium. For me, these four teams start as favorites to progress into the final four with France likely to win the title.
The last time France hosted a International tournament in 1998, they ended up winning the World Cup. They are also the last home team to win the European championship way back in 1984. Both of these sides were built around two of the most iconic sportsmen in French history, Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini. This time around too, France has the games best midfielder and the hottest property in world football right now, Paul Pogba. Pogba has been an inspiration in the past two to three years and has played like a true champion. He has all the skills necessary to carry forward a team to the title on his relatively young shoulders. Of course, players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have proven that individual brilliance can only take a team that far, and in order to win a major tournament the entire team has to click.
It is exactly this aspect that has France running in as clear favorites. Apart from the home advantage, they have a ridiculously talented pool of players who are at the perfect age and balance to pull off the win. A solid defense, a great midfield and a good attack make France the most complete team in this year’s tournament. Players like Payet, Koscielny, Griezmann along with Pogba make France the most in form of all the teams at present. All players are clicking at the right moment.
The other team that looks really good on paper is Belgium with De Bruyne and Hazard leading from the front. A solid midfield and terrific defense make Belgium a very dangerous outfit. Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Naingollan have been in great form and should take it forward into the Euros.
As for Germany and Spain, they are perennial contenders with terrific squads and know how to win these tournaments. Of course, Italy is also a specialist when it comes to winning tournaments and England has a really good chance once again. Sadly I feel, neither of these teams have the charisma required to win the tournament all out. They have individual inspiration especially in Harry Kane who I think will really light up this tournament. Portugal and Ronaldo, as well as Sweden and Zlatan have the two best players in Europe on their squads, but the teams won’t do justice to their talent, a similar case with Gareth Bale and Wales.
All in all, France and Belgium along with Germany and Spain in the semis with Les Blues the Champions.
By Dr. Prateek
Dr. Prateek is a practicing dentist in Delhi, India for the past 4 years and is also an avid sports follower who has played basketball at both state and college levels. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.