Euro 2024: What to know about the European Championship

AP , Thursday 13 Jun 2024

A guide to everything you need to know about the European Championship in Germany:

Euro 2024
FILE - Tournament mascot 'Albaert' poses for the media during the presentation of the European soccer championship 'EURO 2024' trophy at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, April 24, 2024. Photo: AP


When does it start?

The Euros kick off on Friday when host Germany plays Scotland at the Munich Football Arena (better known as the Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich games).

When is the final?

The final will be on July 14 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Who are the favorites?

England and France are widely considered to be the favorites to lift the trophy. England has not won a major international tournament since the World Cup in 1966 but was a beaten finalist at the last Euros. France was a beaten finalist at the 2022 World Cup and is led by Kylian Mbappe, who has just joined Real Madrid and is widely considered to be the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player in the world.

What is the format?

The tournament begins with six groups of four teams. The teams in each group play each other once, with three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss. The top two teams in each group, as well as the four best-performing third-place teams, will advance to the round of 16.

From the round of 16, the tournament becomes a straight knockout competition through the quarterfinals, semifinals and final to determine the champion.

Euro 2024 groups

Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

Group D: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France

Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine

Group F: Turkey, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic

Host stadiums and capacity

Olympiastadion Berlin (71,000)

Cologne Stadium (43,000)

BVB Stadion Dortmund (62,000)

Duesseldorf Arena (47,000)

Frankfurt Arena (47,000)

Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen (50,000)

Volksparkstadion, Hamburg (49,000)

Leipzig Stadium (40,000)

Munich Football Arena (66,000)

Stuttgart Arena (51,000)

Who are the defending champions?

Italy won the last Euros, which were staged in 2021 because the original tournament was postponed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Italy beat England in the final at Wembley Stadium in a penalty shootout.

Previous champions

Germany and Spain have won the Euros on three occasions.

The only other multiple winners are Italy and France with two each.

Cristiano Ronaldo records

The Portuguese great is competing in a record sixth European Championship.

Going into the tournament he already holds the record for the most appearances at the Euros, with 25, and the most goals, with 14.

The 39-year-old Ronaldo won the competition with Portugal in 2016.

Ronaldo, who plays for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, was an icon for Manchester United and Real Madrid. He won five Champions Leagues and the Ballon d'Or for the best player in the world on five occasions.

Why is Erling Haaland not playing?

Despite being one of the most prolific goal-scorers in world soccer, Manchester City striker Haaland could not fire his team, Norway, to the Euros. Norway also failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2022.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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