Arguably the most followed competition in the world after FIFA World Cup, Euro Championship is finally kicking off tonight as the host nation France take on Romania in the opening game of Euro 2016.
Anticipation has been building for this tournament for last couple of years now after a very talented crop of players have emerged on the scene for almost all the countries. Barring the likes of Albania, Slovakia and Hungary, every other team is capable of beating any of the big guns.
This could be the most competitive and exciting Euros of all time, where upsets will happen and the so-called favorites will need to be on their guard all the time as they begin their quest for the Euro 2016 success.
Favorites for the Trophy
Hosts France are expected to do well at Euro 2016 as they seem to have the most balanced squad at the competition. Germany are always amongst the favorites as they have made a habit of winning football matches in last 3-4 years.
Spain have blooded young players this time following their World Cup humiliation, which makes them as one of the teams to watch. Meanwhile, it’s time for Belgium to show what they are really capable of after coming in to Euro 2016 as the most hyped team this summer.
Dark horses, who can go all the way
England of all teams were not tipped as one of the favorites by the British media, and have tagged them as a team, many would want to avoid at the latter stages of Euro 2016. Three Lions have formed a solid unit of young and dynamic players, who can change the course of any match in an instance.
And then there is Italy, who can never keep themselves out of quarter or semifinals of a major tournament. They are hampered by injuries this time and squad strength does not look that great, however, history shows us that you should never discount Italy when it comes to doing well at global competitions.
Teams to watch out for
Like England, Portugal have come in to the competition with some exciting players and with Cristiano Ronaldo at his goal-scoring best, Portuguese side could pull off some major upsets considering their strong midfield.
Another team, I will be closely following this summer closely are Switzerland. The Swiss have some exceptionally talented players who can get the better of any team at Euro 2016. Given Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka play at their best, we may see Swiss go far in to the competition this summer.
What can the fans expect?
Following the tournament, Summer Transfer Window will start which is why Euro 2016 will be an even bigger attraction for all the teams trying to sort out their squad ahead of the next season. We may see couple of deals getting closed while the Euro 2016 is still in progress.
For next 30 days, we can just expect a whole lot of excitement, beautiful football and stunning goals to grace our living rooms. It would be a very had thing to do, but if I were to put my money on a team to go all the way and win the Euro 2016, it had to be France given the home support and quality of their squad.