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Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Covering the Bronco Nation.

The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions
Final Blog
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UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions
Final Blog
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UEFA Euros Tournament Predictions

Groups A-F of the 2024 UEFA Euros tournament.

The second biggest tournament in all of soccer kicks off on June 15. The UEFA Euros tournament, composed of all of the strongest European teams, face off against each other to eventually lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy. The last Euros tournament in 2020, saw Italy defeat England in a penalty shootout in the final to win their second Euros trophy. This tournament sees a mix of strong favorites with viable dark horse teams to make a deep run in this tournament. The excitement of the tournament is felt throughout Europe with many parks being converted to watch sites for the fans to watch their respective national teams. Only rivaled by the World Cup, the Euros is one of the most coveted trophies in all of soccer and similar to the World Cup, the Euros only come around once every four years. So who are the favorites and dark horses of the tournament?

Favorites

  • France (Winners in 1984 & 2000 )

France rolls into this tournament as heavy favorites to win and deservedly so. Their superstar Kylian Mbappe ranks among the top three footballers in the world and almost single-handedly carried France to a win in the World Cup final in 2022. Top to bottom, this team possesses talent all over the field and with the proven coach, Didier Deschamps, France is many people’s favorite to win another major tournament. Olivier Giroud, their all-time top goalscorer, will play in what looks to be his final tournament with the team which makes me believe this team will push harder for him to get one last trophy for the legend. Antoine Greizmann is another player to watch after his stellar season with Atletico Madrid. Greizmann’s effectiveness will come through his role as attacking midfielder, helping spark the attack and creating goal-scoring opportunities for the likes of Mbappe, Giroud, Marcus Thuram and Kingsley Coman. Along with them, Beloved N’golo Kante made his return to France’s roster after an absence from the last World Cup and a heartwarming video of Kante meeting back up with the team floated around. Recently France played well throughout all of their fixtures, despite a loss to Germany in March. After their 0-0 draw with Canada in an international friendly, France seems to be in a good place heading into the group stage and should easily be able to top their group. Everything about this France team indicates a deep run and a very good shot at lifting the trophy at the end of the tournament. Even their kits are some of the best in the tourney. 

  • England (Best Finish: 2nd [2020])

England faced heartbreak at the last Euros tournament after losing in penalties after misses from young stars Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford. The latter of which was surprisingly left off England’s provisional squad after a season of overall poor form with his club, Manchester United. England’s coach, Gareth Southgate, faces a potential sacking as the manager if England fails to do well in this tournament. Southgate has faced backlash for the way he’s lined this team up, namely with his assertion of Trent Alexander-Arnold into the midfield instead of at right-back where he shined for Liverpool this season. Along with that, the inclusion of 19-year-old midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, left some head-scratching questions on some fans’ minds, especially after a subpar performance in an international friendly against Iceland. All of this on top of the lack of trophies in England’s recent history could lead to Soutgate’s departure if England fail once again. Luckily for him, this team has the most talent in their starting 11 out of any country.  While France is a close second, this England squad on paper is purely ridiculous to where usual staples on England squads got left at home. I mentioned Rashford but even his United teammate Harry Maguire who has captained for England before didn’t make the final squad along with the likes of Jack Grealish of Manchester City and Tottenham’s James Maddison. These quality players being left at home show how scary this team is and coach Southgate must win this tournament, especially with the team that he has picked. Even with all the jokes of the “It’s coming home!” that are made about England not being able to win a big trophy, this is their time and their tournament to make it happen. 

Dark Horses

  • Croatia (Best finish: Quarter Finals [2008])

In what will be the icon Luka Modric’s final big tournament, Croatia looks to make one more deep run in a tournament. In the last two World Cups Croatia finished 2nd and 3rd against all odds and went toe to toe with teams that are, on paper, much better than them. Croatia’s style of play in the “Luka Modric era” can be classified as methodical, leading them to break down their opponents and create goals. Even with an aged core, Modric continued to play well this year at Real Madrid even as a 38-year-old. Most of their core is on the wrong side of 30 and I don’t expect them to go as deep as they’ve gone in their past two world cups, but Croatia will definitely be in the mix causing potential upsets. Josko Gvardiol heads the young defensive unit which may cause some problems, due to the lack of experience but the leadership from the midfield should stabilize the backlines. I also worry about where the goalscoring will come from, so a lot of faith is being put in their stellar midfield to make a good run happen. Overall this group should have a little left in the tank to shake up Group B and make a run in the knockout rounds. 

  • Turkey (Best finish: Semi-Finals [2008])

Turkey feels like a coinflip dark horse pick to me. In the last eight months, Turkey has played some really good soccer and some really stinky soccer. In the qualifiers, they beat Germany and Croatia, two impressive wins but as of late they’ve had some games where they haven’t played as well. Even with this, I’m pretty high on this team and they have talent littered around the field. While it doesn’t come close to some of the talent of other nations, there is still quality that could lead to them topping their group. Group F is one of the weaker groups, but Turkey has a fair shot to beat Portugal and win out their group to finish on top of the group. Turkey is Led by Hakan Calhanoglu, from Inter Milan, and a catalog of decent players that includes Arda Guler. Guler is my pick for breakout player of the tournament, as the 19-year-old closed his season with Real Madrid on a high note. Turkey has a fighting chance to make it not just to the knockouts but potentially to the quarter-finals. 

Who Do I Think Will Win? 

France. They have all the tools, players, coaching, and experience to win this tournament. Their players are accommodated so well by Deschamps, it seems like it’s destined to happen and after the World Cup final loss, France looks to avenge that loss with a trophy. 

Other Awards:

Golden Ball (Best Player ):

Kylian Mbappe (France)

 

 

 

 

Golden Boot (Most Goals Scored ):

Harry Kane (England ) [7 goals]

 

 

 

 

Best Young Player:

Xavi Simons (Netherlands)

 

 

 

 

Best Team:

France

Most Disappointing Team:

Italy

About the Contributor
Cameron Hooper
Cameron Hooper, Staff Writer
It's all about the details.
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