The 2016 UEFA European Championship (or Euro 2016 as it is popularly called) will be the 15th installment of the European Championship Soccer competition, and it is scheduled to run from 10th June 2016 till 10th July 2016. This edition will be hosted by two-time winners France and Spain are the current defending champions. Latest Euro Cup betting tips for the 2016 edition can be found below.
For the first time since its inception, the tournament will be contested by 24 teams, an expansion on the 16 team format that has been in use since 1996. France has qualified automatically for the tournament, while the 53 National teams will compete for the remaining 23 slots, and ultimately the right to win the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
Nine different countries have been crowned European Champions. Germany (current world champions) and Spain (current European Champions) lead the way with three titles each, France has won the tournament twice, while Italy, Soviet Union, Netherlands, Denmark, Czechoslovakia and Greece have all won the tournament once.
Current holders Spain are the only team to have successfully defended the trophy, having also won the 2008 edition. Current UEFA President and French Football icon Michael Platini is the all time leading scorer of the European Championship, having scored an astonishing 9 goals in 5 games, with all his goals coming in the 1984 edition.
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The European Championships are rarely won by an underdog nation, and the only non European football power house to win the tournament recently was Greece who stunned the continent when they defeated Portugal in the 2004 final.
Below is a quick profile of the teams who are favourites for the title in France:
Many people predicted Germany were the most likely team to unseat Spain from the pinnacle of World and European football, and their recent world cup win has only buttressed those claims. With world class players in every position and a coach as tactically sound as Joachim Low, it is easy to see why many are tipping them to succeed in France.
The recently dethroned world champions have had a year to forget. After holding the entire football world to ransom for 6 years, the dynasty came to a very abrupt halt at the 2014 world cup, where they failed to make it past the group stages, inciting many to call it the death of the “tiki taka”.
But they are an experienced team, with players who are still performing week in week out at the biggest clubs in the world. They are definitely still one of the teams to beat.
Netherlands: The Dutch might not have the same level of individual talent as some of the other European power houses, but they have shown how the whole might be more than the sum of its individual parts. They had a very poor outing at the 2012 edition, failing to win even a single game. They however finished 3rd at the world cup, and will be a force to be reckoned with.
If this tournament is to be won by a team who have never won it before, it will likely be the Red Devils of Belgium. The team who currently occupy the dizzying heights of 2nd in the World Rankings have slowly metamorphosed into one of the most exciting teams in world football. With players like Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany and Kevin de Bruyne, Belgium is everyone’s dark horses to win the tournament come July 10.
Interestingly, this will be the first time a total of 24 teams will participate in the Euro Cup and 16 of these 24 teams will make the second round of the competition. There will be three knock-out rounds followed by the final.
Here’re the latest Euro Cup betting odds for the 2016 edition: