France v Serbia - International Friendly

Ahead of another footballing season, the France-hosted Euros 2016 offers the world a showcase of the continent’s super football powers at their best. The 4-year interval games will once again pit the best against each other until a last man is standing come July 10. And as it all starts from June 10, here are the 5 teams that have got what it takes to succeed as shots are taken at the top-prize.

FRANCE

The host are clear favorites to win this on home soil, and given their array of stars that make ignoring the likes of Benzema, Ben Arfa, Lacazette, Schneiderlin, and Gameiro forgivable, getting to the finals shouldn’t be a problem. The home-advantage worked in their favour the last time they hosted the World Cup and Euros, it should this time. It could. Didier Deschamps has clearly selected a team capable of fielding 2 different starting 11 teams that can beat any other European side, and they have proved that in their friendly games till date. They also have a relatively easy group and will avoid a tough encounter (most likely Germany)until the semi-finals.

GERMANY

The World Cup winning team is still that team to beat, and they will sure come all out to win this one again. A disappointing Euros 2012 saw them got dumped out by an Italian side single-handedly inspired by Mario Balotelli, and they sure want to makeup for that. Although their defence looks shaky judging by their friendly games, but the midfield and attack departments will easily put 7 past any “Brazil”. If they get their acts together from the get-go, taking the title back home shouldn’t be that difficult.

ENGLAND

A hunt for that first-ever title after such a long time still continues, and if Roy Hodgson can’t get the Three-Lions to properly challenge for glory at France, who will? The EPL-star jammed team have shown great attitude by winning all 10 of their qualifiers and losing just 1 friendly game in over 2 years, and if they manage to play as a team, they have what it takes to get to the finals. They can then take it from there. Spear-headed by the duo of Vardy and Kane who both has 49 goals in-between them from the just-concluded EPL season, getting the goals wouldn’t be a problem. However, defending them might just be.

SPAIN

Judging by their poor outing at the Brazil World Cup, if the Euros defending Champions can retain the title remains to be seen. Del Bosque has picked a strong squad, and their tiki-taka football promises to be exciting. For every position, he is spoilt for options, and it would be a question of how he fields every player at his disposal. If that puzzle is solved, then Spain should be cruising high off the strength of their La-Liga-studded team.

ITALY

Not the favorites to win the Euros, but nothing should be taken away from the Azzurris. Their first test however will be how they fare against Belgium come June 13th. They parade a crop of the most-experienced players, and that should count for them. All things being equal, Conte will be hoping he gets it right with the national team before he resumes club coaching with Chelsea. Amongst the likely winners, they are the underdogs, but biting their way to the crown mightn’t be a problem.

Paul Koroma

I learned all about life with a ball at my feet. Soccer allows me to push the limitation of creativity and express myself without saying a word. Soccer is my addiction. I train. I play, and I repeat every single day.

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