Hosts France get perfect Euro 2016 draw
Goalden Times brings a very quick snap shot of the Euro 2016 draw for the readers. We will look through the possibilities of host nation, the defending champion, the world champion and other European giants and their possible fate in the Euro 2016 draw.
France were the first nation to qualify for Euro 2016 when they were selected as hosts. It will be the first time France has had the honour of hosting a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, when they made the most of their home advantage to win the competition. They are also the last host nation to win the European Championship in 1984.
After drawing Romania, Albania and Switzerland in Group A, France were installed at 11/4 when this article was produced in the international betting to win Euro 2016. They will be expected to top that group of four teams at the end of the opening stage of the competition.
Although France did not need to qualify for Euro 2016, they still played home and away friendlies against sides which were in Group I of the qualifying campaign. If those games had carried points, Didier Deschamps’ men would have finished top of the group ahead of Portugal.
Local rivals draw each other in Group B in Euro 2016 draw
England qualified for Euro 2016 with ease, winning all 10 of their games in their campaign to book their place in France next summer. Their reward for a 100% qualification campaign was a group which includes Russia, Wales and Slovakia.
England have never faced local rivals Wales at a major tournament finals. They last met their fellow British nation during qualification for Euro 2012 where England won 1-0 at Wembley.
Wales lost just one game throughout their qualifying campaign for France 2016. Gareth Bale was instrumental in helping his side pick up the points they needed to get out of their group.
World champions aiming to do major tournament double
After winning the 1998 World Cup, France were able to continue their dominance of world football by sealing Euro 2000. The 2010 world champions Spain also completed the major tournament double by winning Euro 2012. Now the challenge is for Germany to join that slim list of teams who have won back-to-back major competitions following their victory in 2014 World Cup.
Germany will be joined in Group C by Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland. They were in the same qualifying group as Poland who finished second behind them to secure an automatic spot at Euro 2016.
Spain looking to make up for World Cup embarrassment
Spain went into the 2014 World Cup looking to win their fourth consecutive major tournaments. They came nowhere near getting their hands on the trophy again, though, as they fell in the group stage of the competition in Brazil.
On paper they should be able to make it through to the last sixteen in France as they have been drawn in Group D with Czech Republic, Turkey and Croatia.
Number one ranked team in the world have something to prove
According to the FIFA world rankings, Belgium are the number one ranked team in the world at the moment. Despite that tag, they have failed to deliver in major tournaments this decade.
Their campaign in France will see them in Group E where they will play Italy, Ireland, and Sweden.
Portugal’s hopes rest on Ronaldo again
Cristiano Ronaldo continues to breaks all kinds of records at Real Madrid and if Portugal are going to go deep into the tournament in France next summer, they are going to need Ronaldo to replicate those exploits.
Portugal were the weakest team in pot one and they will be alongside Iceland, Austria and Hungary in Group F in their quest for reaching the knockout stages of the competition.
Cover Image Source: independent.co.uk