Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 European Football Championship
You don’t need to be a soccer fan to know that the UEFA EURO Football Championship is the most prestigious international soccer tournament in the world (after the FIFA World Cup, that is). The tournament sees the finest football nations across Europe compete for the trophy, once every four years.
Founded in 1960, the 2020 edition was supposed to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition. And for this occasion, instead of playing in one stadium as usual, the matches were to be played in 12 different stadiums across 12 different European countries, with the semi-finals and finals to be held at Wembley Stadium in London. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Euro 2020 has been postponed to summer 2021.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadiums, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.”
In early April 2021, the Italian Government foresees it will be safe again to host matches in stadiums at 25% capacity, as confirmed by Federcalcio Italiana. The Olympic Stadium will be able to host a little less than 20.000 supporters.
Please keep in mind the border entry restrictions and enforced requirements at the time of travel. No exemptions will be made for ticket holders. This may include the obligation to quarantine, provide a negative COVID-19 test result, a limit on length of stay, etc. In some cases, entry to a host country from abroad may not be permitted at all. Check out the current rules to travel to Italy.
The New Dates
UEFA EURO 2020 was expected to take place from June 12th to July 12th in 12 European cities: Rome, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Glasgow, Baku, Munich, London and St. Petersburg. The new dates set by UEFA for 2021 are Friday, June 11 to Saturday, July 3, 2021. UEFA wants to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality customers that if they are unable to participate at the tournament in 2021, their tickets and packages will be fully refunded.
In any case, the tournament will still inaugurate in Rome with the match between Italy and Turkey. It is unsure if Rome will still host the Euro 2021 opening concert inside the Colosseum, featuring international musicians, the day before.
From June 11th till June 23rd, the group stages will run, where up to four matches per day will take place. Each group is made up of four teams and the top two teams in each group, in addition to the four best runners-up, will progress to the knockout stage.
Twenty-four are the national teams qualified for the 2021 European Championship: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, North Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
Just as the Rome inauguration remains unvaried, the other matches will still take place in the same order and with the same teams already established in the Final Draw in Bucharest last November.
Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland (matches in Rome and Baku)
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia (matches in Amsterdam and Bucharest)
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia (matches in St. Petersburg and Copenaghen)
Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic (matches in London and Glasgow)
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia (matches in Bilbao and Dublin)
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany (matches in Munich and Budapest)
Matches played in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico
Group A: Turkey v Italy (June 11, 21:00, local time)
Group A: Italy v Switzerland (June 16, 21:00, local time)
Group A: Italy v Wales (June 20, 18:00, local time)
QF4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (July 3, 21:00, local time)
UEFA EURO 2021 Group Stages
Group A: Turkey v Italy (21:00, Rome)
Group A: Wales v Switzerland (15:00, Baku)
Group B: Denmark v Finland (18:00, Copenhagen)
Group B: Belgium v Russia (21:00, St Petersburg)
Group D: England v Croatia (15:00 Wembley)
Group C: Austria v North Macedonia (18:00, Bucharest)
Group C: Netherlands v Ukraine (21:00, Amsterdam)
Group D: Scotland v Czech Republic (15:00, Glasgow)
Group E: Poland v Slovakia (18:00, Dublin)
Group E: Spain v Sweden (21:00, Bilbao)
Group F: Hungary v Portugal (18:00, Budapest)
Group F: France v Germany (21:00, Munich)
Group B: Finland v Russia (15:00, St Petersburg)
Group A: Turkey v Wales (18:00, Baku)
Group A: Italy v Switzerland (21:00, Rome)
Group C: Ukraine v north Macedonia (15:00, Bucharest)
Group B: Denmark v Belgium (18:00, Copenhagen)
Group C: Netherlands v Austria (21:00, Amsterdam)
Group E: Sweden v Slovakia (15:00, Dublin)
Group D: Croatia v Czech Republic (18:00, Glasgow)
Group D: England v Scotland (21:00, London)
Group F: Play-off winner A or D v France (15:00, Budapest)
Group F: Portugal v Germany (18:00, Munich)
Group E: Spain v Poland (21:00, Bilbao)
Group A: Italy v Wales (18:00, Rome)
Group A: Switzerland v Turkey (18:00, Baku)
Group C: Hungary v Netherlands (18:00, Amsterdam)
Group C: Ukraine v Austria (18:00, Bucharest)
Group B: Russia v Denmark (21:00, Copenhagen)
Group B: Finland v Belgium (21:00, St Petersburg)
Group D: Czech Republic v England (21:00, London)
Group D: Croatia v Scotland (21:00, Glasgow)
Group E: Slovakia v Spain (18:00, Bilbao)
Group E: Sweden v Poland (18:00, Dublin)
Group F: Germany v Hungary (21:00, Munich)
Group F: Portugal v France (21:00, Budapest)
The top two teams in each group plus the four best third-placed teams will go through to the knockout stage.
UEFA EURO 2021 Knockout Phase
Round of 16
1: 2A v 2B (18:00, Amsterdam)
2: 1A v 2C (21:00, London)
3: 1C v 3D/E/F (18:00, Budapest)
4: 1B v 3A/D/E/F (21:00, Bilbao)
5: 2D v 2E (18:00, Copenhagen)
6: 1F v 3A/B/C (21:00, Bucharest)
7: 1D v 2F (18:00, Dublin)
8: 1E v 3A/B/C/D (21:00. Glasgow)
QF1: Winner 6 v Winner 5 (18:00, Saint Petersburg)
QF2: Winner 4 v Winner 2 (21:00, Munich)
QF3: Winner 1 v Winner 3 (18:00, Baku)
QF4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (21:00, Rome)
SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2 (21:00, London)
SF2: Winner QF4 v Winner QF3 (21:00, London)
Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (21:00, London)
The Azzurri: a team to watch
From the international shame of not being qualified in the FIFA World Cup in 2018, the Azzurri have become a team to watch in the 2021 European Championship. With a perfect score of 10 wins and no losses nor draws during the EURO qualifications, scoring 36 goals and only conceding 4, Italy had the highest goal difference in all the tournament qualifications, second only to the Belgian national team. In the past two years the Azzurri have revolutionized their game, thanks to a new core of young, hungry and talented players, especially in the midfield and offense where they show a great depth of talent. The national team has changed from a classic Italian style of defense and counter-attack to a more elaborate and technical style thanks to the new coach, Roberto Mancini, who he himself was one of the most talented players of his generation.