Barely two weeks after the rounding up of club football with the Champions League final in Porto where Chelsea football club were dominant over Manchester City, football players of European nationalities are set to face off again. This time, to don their respective national team jersey and represent their teams in the UEFA Euro 2021 tournament. The competition which should have hold last year was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic that destabilized Europe and the world. The Euros is set to start on the 11th of June with the opener being Turkey ( The crescent stars) vs Italy (The Azzurri). Here, we look at some teams that might turn heads in the competition.
FRANCE NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
Currently ranked second in the world, the BLUES currently boast of players that are currently on top of their game -Ngolo Kante, the Chelsea maestro who is arguably the best midfielder in Europe and the world, Kareem Benzema, Real Madrid lone striker who singlehandedly carried the team this season, Kylian Mbappe, the highest goal scorer for PSG last season with 42 goals in all competitions. The French team also boasts of players like Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezzman, Kingsley Coman and a host of other players. The Didier Deschamps side is coming back to revenge their loss against Portugal at the last Euros finals and currently, they are one of the favourites of the competition.
PORTUGAL NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
After winning the previous 2 European National team competition, The Selecao is a team to watch out for. After edging out France at the last edition of the Euros by a lone goal by Eder and also eliminating Netherland at the Nations cup final, one would be silly not to consider them as favourites.
Boasting of firepower like Cristiano Ronaldo; the current active highest goal scorer for the National team, Joao Felix; the Atletico Madrid hotshot, Bruno Fernandes; Manchester United current talisman, Diogo Jota, the Anfield player currently creating conversations in England, and other fine players. Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to break the record for the all-time goal scorer for National team while Fernando Santos will be looking forward to adding more laurel to his belt as a manager.
ENGLAND NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
The England national football team last won a trophy at the 1996 edition of the FIFA world cup where England defeated West Germany 4-2 to lift the most coveted trophy in the world. Ever since trophies has continued to elude the English side. The last time they came close to glory was when they were the third at the last UEFA Nations Cup.
Harry Kane -the highest goal scorer in the previous EPL season, Phil Foden -Manchester city Golden boy, Bukayo Saka -the multifaceted Gunner, Mason Mount, deftly remembered for his defence-splitting assist at the last UCL final, and Jude Bellingham -one of Dortmund top players, are just a few of the players that Gareth Southgate will field at the EUROS. Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish are also part of the squad that will definitely give the Three Lions a fighting chance at the Euros.
BELGIUM NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
The Roberto Martinez led side promises to dish out entertaining football at this year Euros after the bulk of the team had amazing years in their respective teams. Romelu Lukaku is just fresh out after leading Inter Milan to the Scudetto, Kevin De Bruyne won yet another Premier League title with Manchester City racking up the PFA player of the year in the process, Yannick Carrasco was part of the Athletico Madrid side that edged out Real Madrid and Barcelona to this season La Liga trophy, Dennis Praet and Timothy Castagne had an amazing season with Leicester city albeit losing the UCL spot on the final day. Thibaut Courtouis will be between the goal posts with Eden Hazard leading the side to glory.
The Red Devils recent achievement was placing third at the FIFA World Cup and winning the Euros will definitely bring joy to Belgians all around.
SPAIN NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
Spain is the only national team with three consecutive major titles after winning the FIFA World cup and 2 consecutive Euros trophy.
The Sergio Busquet captained side boast of players like David De Gea between the sticks. Cesar Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba and Aymeric Laporte manning the defence. The star-studded midfield includes Sergio Busquets, Thiago, Rodri and Dani Olmo. Their attackers who will bring forth the goal are Alvaro Morata, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore.
The Luis Enrique side last won a trophy at the Euros in 2012 after defeating Italy and they hope to rediscover that form.
As usual, The 2021 UEFA Euro promises to be an exciting watch, even though it gives some concerns and reservations about the physical states of these players. If hopefully, no major injuries occur during the course of the Euros, we look forward to seeing goals being scored , records being set, and the competition being round up with the final played of July 11th and a few weeks rest for the boys before a return to club football by August.