When it comes to the world of sport, in terms of pure popularity, one sport stands head and shoulders above the rest. That sport is football and it has an estimated 3.5 billion fans worldwide. It’s rapidly gaining fans in India as well, with it now only being behind cricket in terms of viewers. If you wanted to watch a feast of football that is happening this summer then the delayed Euro 2023 is currently underway and now that the last group games have happened and everyone is now gearing up for the excitement of the knockout rounds.
The Euro’s is an international tournament that pits the best national teams from around Europe against each other to find out which one will come out as the true champion. It only happens every four years, so when it kicks off the whole of Europe and beyond is caught in a frenzy of football fever.
Here, then, is a quick look at which teams have lit up Euro 2023 so far.
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Italy is a giant on the international stage, but these last few years have been a sobering time for Italian football. They managed to fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which rocked the football world to its core. Italy was a team that always qualified to play at the biggest tournaments. Since then, manager Roberto Mancini has taken over the side and made it his own. They have now won each of their group games emphatically and so far not conceded a single goal.
Italy is a team that has historically done well at international tournaments. They have won the World Cup an immense four times with their most recent capture of the greatest prize in international football coming in 2006. When it comes to the Euro’s though, they have only won it once, way back in 1968. With how they’re playing now, though, they’re one of the favorites to capture the cup, with odds of 6/1 at the https://www.sbo.net.
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Many pundits were concerned about this Netherlands team coming into the tournament. They felt that their manager, Frank De Boer, had proven himself to not be up to the task needed to manage at the elite level. Plus, they were missing their defensive force in Virgil Van Dijk due to long-term injury. Van Dijk would be a massive miss for any team and to know his worth, the player was one of the biggest January transfers in Premier League history.
The Dutch have come out roaring though, and seem delighted in proving those pundits wrong. Their offensive talisman Memphis Depay has been swarming all over their opponents’ defense in every match they’ve had so far, and the side has been scoring goals for fun. On top of that, majestic midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has stepped up as the Dutch captain in Van Dijk’s absence and has looked like a commanding presence bringing some much-needed steel to the side. They’ve been the absolute entertainers of the tournament so far.
There’s always a team in the Euro’s that goes further than everyone expected. The Czech Republic has started the tournament in a way that has caught everyone’s eye and made them look like they could be that team. They are only rated fortieth in the world by FIFA coming into the competition, but they have played with a swaggering cohesion that has made them look like they should be in the top ten.
Their star-man has been the striker Patrick Schick who has scored three goals so far, including one absolutely world-class strike against Scotland from a distance that made the entire football world sit up and take stock. Now pundits are unanimous in calling Schick the poster boy for Czech football, and that he could take them deep into the tournament with his slick goal-scoring skills. They play the Netherlands next and it will be a real clash of styles, with the Dutch liking to play possession football and the Czech’s looking to hit them on the counter. The Czech’s just have to hope it will be their style that comes out on top.
When tragedy struck in their first game, and the midfield maestro Christian Eriksen collapsed onto the floor, people obviously feared the worst for Denmark. They went on to lose the restarted game against Finland and pundits were saying the psychological toll of watching one of their teammates have a cardiac arrest could be too much for them to be able to carry on as normal. Luckily, in a tale that united the sporting world, Eriksen made a quick recovery and has been already discharged from the hospital. It seems the Danes now have a spirit in their camp that seems unbreakable, and that through near-tragedy they have prospered.
They managed to smash Russia 4-1 in their last group fixture in front of a raucous Copenhagen crowd. This meant they leaped above Russia and Finland and finished second in Group B. It was a rip-roaring match that had some fantastic goals including an absolute piledriver from defender Andres Christensen that nearly took the net off.
It was then a heart-warming sight to see all the Danish players and staff huddled around someone refreshing their phone to see if they had qualified for the knockout rounds. As soon as the news filtered through, via dodgy reception, they all rightly went into masses of celebration. This Denmark team has got not just their own nation behind them but also has become nearly everyone’s second team, and we all hope they go as deep as possible in the tournament.