Excitement is building ahead of Euro 2020, especially after fans were forced to wait an extra year due to the fact that tournament was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. But now, with vaccine programmes in full flow across Europe, football supporters can begin to rub their hands in anticipation of another major international tournament.
For some teams, this year’s Euros represents a chance to prove a point. Whether it’s a result of poor performances in a previous tournament, or a near miss in the latter stages, there are a few nations that you feel will be doubly motivated to give a spirited showing at Euro 2020. Here, we look at three teams eager to get their hands on the trophy and prove the doubters wrong.
England are among the top favourites in the Euro odds to win the whole tournament, and that is testament to the sterling job Gareth Southgate has done with the team. England boast a plethora of talented young players as they gear up for the Euros, as well as experienced heads like Jordan Henderson and World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.
While it was a fine achievement to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, there is undoubtedly a feeling that it was an opportunity missed for England to win their first major international trophy since 1966. Having taken a 1-0 lead against Croatia in the semi-final, England let it slip and were left rueing what might have been.
This summer, there will be a determination among the squad to prove that they have what it takes to win a major trophy. With all three of England’s group games, along with the semi-finals and final, set to take place at Wembley Stadium, there may never be a better time to do just that.
Germany’s World Cup 2018 campaign was a total catastrophe by their usual high standards. As defending world champions, Joachim Löw’s men went out with a whimper after defeats to Mexico and South Korea, their first group-stage exit from an international tournament since Euro 2004.
This summer, Löw will be desperate to make amends for that dire showing, in what will be the long-standing coach’s final campaign in charge of Die Mannschaft. There is still plenty of talent in Germany’s ranks, and while France and England may be better favoured in the betting odds, you’d be a fool to rule them out.
There were several players who failed to produce their best at the World Cup three years ago, and there will be a strong sense of motivation to put things right.
Widely regarded as one of the best national teams for many years now, Belgium have failed to truly deliver at a major tournament. In beating Brazil and reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia, clear progress was made, but in this golden era of Belgium talent, it would be a shame not to see them contest a major international final.
This summer’s Euros could well be the moment that it all clicks together for Belgium, and there will be a fierce determination among the squad to really make the most of this opportunity. The fact that most of the other top teams will enjoy matches on home soil, while Belgium won’t, could prove to be a disadvantage, but they certainly have the talent to overcome that.
With players like Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne in top form, it would be no surprise to see Belgium shake off their underachievers tag and make it all the way to the final at Wembley on July 11th.