Euro 2020 kicks off in less than seven months and now we know most of the teams who are going to be participating. The reigning champions Portugal are through and Ronaldo is just one goal away from becoming just the second player in history to reach a century of international goals. Not many people expected Portugal to win the tournament in Paris in 2016, and when Ronaldo was taken off injured most people would have expected France to grab the win on home soil.
But Eder’s injury-time goal helped Portugal become champions. Now Ronaldo is just 10 goals behind Iran’s Ali Daei’s record tally of 109, after his best year for Portugal with 14 goals. “All records must be broken and I will beat that record,” he said, so you know he’s going to come out with his mind on just one thing next summer, and you can never rule him out from lifting that trophy again.
But Italy have perhaps been the most impressive teams in qualifying, bouncing back after failing to make the World Cup last summer with 10 wins from 10 qualifying games. They have also scored 37 goals and conceded just four in qualifying. They finished their qualifying campaign in style with a 9-1 win against Armenia, and will be one of the teams to watch next year under Mancini.
England have also done exactly what was needed, with Harry Kane becoming the first Englishman to score in each of the qualifying games. It seems like Harry Kane does always score, and he will be in with a chance of becoming top scorer at Euro 2020 if Southgate can build on performances at the World Cup. England are real contenders and their young side have shown that they finally have that winning mentality, able to play at their best under pressure which is something that seemed to be missing for a long time.
Spain and Germany will also be contenders, as they always are. Spain wrapped up qualifying with a dominant 5-0 win over Romania, while Germany’s 4-0 victory over Belarus booked their place at the tournament with a game to spare.
Holland will also be there after missing out on the World Cup. Koeman has brought back the winning mentality that was missing in the Dutch national team. He created that from the start and didn’t let anyone else dictate his decision making. As a result the team wasn’t always playing the most beautiful football, but one that was focused on getting the right result. The squad is very talented and has no reason for not thinking they can’t go all the way. With a bit of luck after the group stage it could be exciting times!
There will be a few dark horses at the tournament too, Belgium with a free-scoring Lukaku will be a scary prospect for defenders. Engand are a team that many will worry about, but they do sometimes look burned out after such a long season in the Premier League. The Germans are always contenders too and they always bounce back and manage to have something that keeps them alive at big tournaments. #mmlove