.

What can I say?
Most of the best teams in the world can be found in this european football competition.

After two rounds of the group stage, Germany, Spain and Portugal are looking good. And are through to the knockout stage.

The other three groups have several possibilites as to who goes through. Especially as the four best teams who place third, also go through.
But the most interesting group, Group E, has all four team on three points each.

Something that has never happened before. So any team could finish top. So any team could go through.

Wednesday, 2024Jun26 is going to be interesting. Ukraine play Belgium. Romania play Slovakia. All at the same time. Whoever wins, goes through to the knockout stages‎. Draws or losses may still put the team through. It all depends. Which is why both games take place at the same time.
My heart hopes Ukraine beats Belgium. My head says that is unlikely. Romania vs Slovakia? That’s anybody’s guess. Which is why Group E is the most interesting group.
If Ukraine beat Belgium, they go through.
If Ukraine and Belgium draw, and Romania beat Slovakia, or vice-versa, then Ukraine goes through as a third-placed team.
And the same options are available to the other teams in the group.

Does this matter?
Yes.
Children play football in the streets, playgrounds and in organised matches. They have their teams, their heroes and their villains. The children grow to become adults and continue supporting their teams.
The teams are not always in the top flight, as their fortunes wax and wane. Sometimes their teams are demoted. And sometimes promoted. If you have not watched ‘Welcome to Wrexham‘, i recommend the TV programme.

There are “big” teams and “little” teams. But given the nature of this game, anyone can beat anyone. Iceland (a nation of some 390,000) beat England (over 57million) in a warm-up match prior ‎to this competition.
And if people are invested in their teams, they all unite and invest in their country. And more heavily invested then anything you will experience in North America.
Team performance can make a whole country happy or sad. Just check the UK media reports after England drew with Denmark. Full of introspection. Supporters that boo their team off the pitch.

So it would be nice if Ukraine made the knock-out stages.
A miracle if they won it all.

I know what I will be doing on Wednesday at noon.

What about you?

biker says:

Viva Espania!!!
Congratulations to Spain for winning Euros 2024
You can read the match report here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/live/cp68zzx8x4rt

Spain were the best team of the tournament. They beat previous Euros champions enroute to the Final.
England’s route to the Final was against the run of play in every match, with individuals stepping up to rescue the team. One game included a penalty shoot-out, that England won. So England’s route to the Final was full of exceptions.

On the night, the best team won. Deservedly so.
Congratulations to Spain.

biker says:

Full results of the competition can be found here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Euro_2024

June says:

Yes. You’ve said it all.
The Best Team did win.
And Gareth Southgate has stepped down in a timely fashion.
Let us be thankful for good football ⚽️