London, June 11: Euro 2020 will begin in Rome on Saturday (June 12) with a match between Italy and Turkey at Indian time 12.30 AM. For the next some days, the world will be gripped by football fever and rightly so too.
We will see the best of talents from Europe matching their skills and wits against each other, and it will be an enchanting sight. Here are some interesting facts about Euro 2020 and about the tournament as a whole.
1 This is the 16th edition of the UEFA European Championship, 61 years after the inaugural tournament in France (1960). This is the first time the tournament will take place in an odd year.
2 In 2016, Portugal became the first team to lift the trophy despite not winning a single game in the group stages (3 draws) and finishing third.
3 The final of Euro 2020 will be played at Wembley Stadium. Both previous major international tournament finals played at Wembley, England, went to extra-time and both involved Germany (World Cup 1966, Euro 1996).
4 Germany are taking part in their 13th UEFA European Championship, more than any other team. Their next game will be their 50th in the tournament, becoming the first team to reach that milestone.
5 France will attempt to become the fourth team to win back-to-back World Cup and European Championship - in no particular order - after West Germany (Euro 1972, World Cup 1974), France (World Cup 1998, Euro 2000) and Spain (Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012).
6 France's 14 goals (in 5 games) at Euro 1984 is the highest tally by a team in a European Championship tournament.
7 No team has played as many games as England in the European Championship without ever reaching the final (31 matches, 0 final).
8 The top scorer in a single Euro is Michel Platini - he scored nine goals in the 1984 edition, leading France to the trophy for the first time ever. He found the net in all five of France's games, including back-to-back hat-tricks in the group stages and the opening goal in the final.
9 Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most games (21), most goals (9, joint with Michel Platini) and most editions with at least one goal (4) at the European Championship. The Portuguese forward is also the European player with the most appearances at major tournaments, World Cup and Euro combined (38, joint with Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany).
10 Since 1980, only Czech Republic's Karel Poborsky (6) has delivered more assists than Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (5) at the European Championship. The record for most assists in a tournament since 1980 belongs to Ljubinko Drulovic for Yugoslavia in 2000 (4), Wales' Aaron Ramsey in 2016 (4) and Belgium's Eden Hazard in 2016 (4).
11 Only two European goalkeepers have made more appearances at major tournaments (World Cup + Euro) than Germany's Manuel Neuer (27): Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon (31 each).
12 France's Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in more goals (14) than any other European player over the last two major tournaments: 10 goals + four assists in 14 games at Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018.
13 Spain's David Villa is the last player to score a hat-trick in the European Championship, it was against Russia in the group phase of the 2008 edition. Meanwhile, Michel Platini's 18-minute hat-trick against Yugoslavia in 1984 remains the fastest in the competition's history.
14 Harry Kane was the top scorer in the Euro 2020 qualification campaign, netting in every one of England's eight matches (12 goals), becoming the first player to do this in a single qualification campaign for the Three Lions.
15 If France's Didier Deschamps lifts the trophy at Euro 2020, he would become the first person ever to win the World Cup and European Championship both as player and manager. He's also the only manager at Euro 2020 to have won the tournament as a player.
16 A third of the managers at Euro 2020 have previously played in the tournament: Gareth Southgate (England), Didier Deschamps (France), Roberto Mancini (Italy), Frank de Boer (Netherlands), Paulo Sousa (Poland), Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia), Luis Enrique (Spain), Andrey Shevchenko (Ukraine).
(With OPTA Inputs)