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EURO 2020: Capsules for teams at the European Championship
Published in Ahram Online on 04 - 06 - 2021


Group A
TURKEY
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Italy in Rome, June 11; vs. Wales in Baku, June 16; vs. Switzerland in Baku, June 20.
Qualifying: Group H runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Semifinals (2008).
FIFA Ranking: 29th.
Coach: Senol Gunes (Turkey)
Key Player: Burak Yilmaz _ The veteran forward is Turkey's second highest scorer of all time, with his 28 goals putting him behind only the now-retired Hakan Sukur. His scoring touch at club level helped Lille win the French league title this season and he also scored a hat trick against the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier in March.
ITALY
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Turkey in Rome, June 11; vs. Switzerland in Rome, June 16; vs. Wales in Rome, June 20.
Qualifying: Group J winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Quarterfinals.
Best Result: Champion (1968).
FIFA Ranking: Seventh.
Coach: Roberto Mancini (Italy)
Key Player: Gianluigi Donnarumma _ The 22-year-old goalkeeper will have to fill the hole left by Gianluigi Buffon, who played between the posts for Italy at every major tournament the Italians qualified for since the 2002 World Cup. Donnarumma made his Serie A debut for AC Milan at 16 in 2015 and he's already been part of the Italy team for nearly five years.
WALES
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Switzerland in Baku, June 12; vs. Turkey in Baku, June 16; vs. Italy in Rome, June 20.
Qualifying: Group E runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Semifinals.
Best Result: Semifinals (2016).
FIFA Ranking: 17th.
Coach: Robert Page (Wales)
Key Player: Gareth Bale _ The forward is the national team's leading scorer and helped Wales reach the semifinals at Euro 2016. He spent the past season on loan at Tottenham, where he regained his scoring touch _ especially after the departure of Jose Mourinho _ and at least got some game time in his legs after being often overlooked at Real Madrid in recent seasons. With Carlo Ancelotti taking over at Madrid, Bale could end up back in favor in Spain for the start of next season, particularly if he plays well at Euro 2020.
SWITZERLAND
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Wales in Baku, June 12; vs. Italy in Rome, June 16; vs. Turkey in Baku, June 20.
Qualifying: Group D winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Round of 16 (2016)
FIFA Ranking: 13th.
Coach: Vladimir Petkovic (Switzerland and Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Key Player: Granit Xhaka _ The Arsenal midfielder makes the Swiss team tick and is prized by national team coach Vladimir Petkovic. Xhaka forms part of a solid core of an experienced Swiss team who are each approaching 100 appearances while still in their 20s.
Group B
DENMARK
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Finland in Copenhagen, June 12; vs. Belgium in Copenhagen, June 17; vs. Russia in Copenhagen, June 21.
Qualifying: Group D runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Did not qualify.
Best Result: Champion (1992).
FIFA Ranking: 10th.
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand (Denmark)
Key Player: Christian Eriksen _ The 29-year-old attacking midfielder will be the one expected to create scoring chances. Eriksen has made more than 100 international appearances for Denmark and became a key part of the Inter Milan team that won its first Serie A title in 11 years this year.
FINLAND
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 12; vs. Russia in St. Petersburg, June 16; vs. Belgium in St. Petersburg, June 21.
Qualifying: Group J runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Did not qualify.
Best Result: Never before qualified.
FIFA Ranking: 54th.
Coach: Markku Kanerva (Finland)
Key Player: Teemu Pukki _ The Finland forward led his country into its first international tournament and scored 26 goals this season to help Norwich get promoted to the Premier League. He was even more prolific in Euro 2020 qualifying with 10 goals in 10 games, finishing one goal behind Portugal great Cristiano Ronaldo and two behind England striker Harry Kane.
BELGIUM
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Russia in St. Petersburg, June 12; vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 17; vs. Finland in St. Petersburg, June 21.
Qualifying: Group I winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Quarterfinals.
Best Result: Runner-up (1980).
FIFA Ranking: First.
Coach: Roberto Martinez (Spain)
Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne _ The Manchester City midfielder was injured in the Champions League final loss, fracturing his nose and eye socket. But he is still expected to be the key creative force for Belgium. He scored four goals and had seven assists in six Euro 2020 qualifying matches.
RUSSIA
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Belgium in St. Petersburg, June 12; vs. Finland in St. Petersburg, June 16; vs. Denmark in Copenhagen, June 21.
Qualifying: Group I runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Champion (1960, as USSR)
FIFA Ranking: 38th.
Coach: Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia)
Key Player: Alexander Golovin _ The Monaco midfielder was a breakout star for Russia at the 2018 World Cup and has become the main creative spark in the national team's midfield.
Group C
NETHERLANDS
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Ukraine in Amsterdam, June 13; vs. Austria in Amsterdam, June 17; vs. North Macedonia in Amsterdam, June 21.
Qualifying: Group C runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Did not qualify.
Best Result: Champion (1988).
FIFA Ranking: 16th.
Coach: Frank de Boer (Netherlands)
Key Player: Memphis Depay _ The forward is coming off the best scoring season of his 4{ years at Lyon, with 20 goals in the French league, and is expected to join Barcelona once his contract expires at the end of this month. Depay is fast and direct, as well as being dangerous from free kicks, and is a much more mature player from the one that struggled in a short spell at Manchester United from 2015-17.
UKRAINE
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Netherlands in Amsterdam, June 13; vs. North Macedonia in Bucharest, June 17; vs. Austria in Bucharest, June 21.
Qualifying: Group B winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Group stage (2012, 2016).
FIFA Ranking: 24th.
Coach: Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine)
Key Player: Oleksandr Zinchenko _ Converted into a left back at Manchester City, Zinchenko primarily plays as a central midfielder for Ukraine and is preparing to captain his country for the first time at a major tournament. He has the experience of being a Premier League title winner with City and started this season's Champions League final, with manager Pep Guardiola a fan of his positional play and ability on the ball in tight spaces.
AUSTRIA
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. North Macedonia in Bucharest, June 13; vs. Netherlands in Amsterdam, June 17; vs. Ukraine in Bucharest, June21.
Qualifying: Group G runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Group stage (2008, 2016).
FIFA Ranking: 23rd.
Coach: Franco Foda (Germany)
Key Player: David Alaba _ Alaba has been a key member of Bayern Munich's defense, not in his long-time position of left back but as a center back where he uses his reading of the game and ability to launch attacks to great effect. For Austria, he is mostly used as an attacking midfielder and doesn't always carry his club form to the national team. Alaba has already agreed to join Real Madrid after Euro 2020.
NORTH MACEDONIA
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Austria in Bucharest, June 13; vs. Ukraine in Bucharest, June 17; vs. Netherlands in Amsterdam, June 21.
Qualifying: Playoff Path D winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Did not qualify.
Best Result: Never before qualified.
FIFA Ranking: 62nd.
Coach: Igor Angelovski (North Macedonia)
Key Player: Goran Pandev _ The 37-year-old Pandev, who has spent most of his career playing in Italy, scored the goal that earned North Macedonia a spot at Euro 2020, sparking wild celebrations ahead of the country's first appearance at a major tournament. He was a striker in the Inter Milan team that became the first Italian club to win the treble in 2010, claiming the league title, the cup and the Champions League, and has now represented his country for 20 years.
Group D
ENGLAND
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Croatia in London, June 13; vs. Scotland in London, June 18; vs. Czech Republic in London, June 22.
Qualifying: Group A winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Third-place (1968).
FIFA Ranking: Fourth.
Coach: Gareth Southgate (England)
Key Player: Harry Kane _ The Tottenham striker, the leading scorer at the 2018 World Cup, led the Premier League in goals this season, even though his team finished in seventh place. He has also added an extra edge to his game by showing off his ability to drop deeper and be the link-up man in attacks.
CROATIA
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. England in London, June 13; vs. Czech Republic in Glasgow, June 18; vs. Scotland in Glasgow, June 22.
Qualifying: Group E winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Quarterfinals (1996, 2008).
FIFA Ranking: 14th.
Coach: Zlatko Dalic (Croatia)
Key Player: Luka Modric _ The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner, who led the team to the 2018 World Cup final, is still the key to Croatia's game. He controls the midfield with his passing and vision. If left alone, he can dictate the entire match.
SCOTLAND
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Czech Republic in Glasgow, June 14; vs. England in London, June 18; vs. Croatia in Glasgow, June 22.
Qualifying: Playoff Path C winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Did not qualify.
Best Result: Group stage (1992, 1996).
FIFA Ranking: 44th.
Coach: Steve Clarke (Scotland)
Key Player: Andy Robertson _ The Liverpool defender should be playing as a left wingback in Scotland's national team, making him an attacking threat. His experience against the best players in the world will also make him a leader in a team that hasn't played in a major tournament since the 1998 World Cup.
CZECH REPUBLIC
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Scotland in Glasgow, June 14; vs. Croatia in Glasgow, June 18; vs. England in London, June 22.
Qualifying: Group A runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Champion (1976, as Czechoslovakia)
FIFA Ranking: 40th.
Coach: Jaroslav Silhavý (Czech Republic)
Key Player: Tomas Soucek _ Soucek is a tall defensive midfielder renowned for being a regular scorer at club level, first at Slavia Prague and for the past year and a half at West Ham in the Premier League. So far this season, he has scored 14 goals for his club and his country and has proved to be dangerous not just in the air _ he is 6-foot-4 (1.92 meters) _ but also with the ball at his feet.
Group E
SPAIN
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Sweden in Seville, June 14; vs. Poland in Seville, June 19; vs. Slovakia in Seville, June 23.
Qualifying: Group F winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Champion (1964, 2008, 2012)
FIFA Ranking: Sixth.
Coach: Luis Enrique (Spain).
Key Player: Sergio Busquets _ While Spain has moved on from most of its title-winning veterans, Busquets is still in the squad and still causing problems for opposing attacks. The Barcelona defensive midfielder will be accompanied by more dynamic players at this year's tournament, but he'll still serve as the anchor in front of the defense.
SWEDEN
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Spain in Seville, June 14; vs. Slovakia in St. Petersburg, June 18; vs. Poland in St. Petersburg, June 23.
Qualifying: Group F runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Group stage.
Best Result: Semifinals (1992).
FIFA Ranking: 18th.
Coach: Janne Andersson (Sweden).
Key Player: Emil Forsberg _ A creative midfielder with an attacking mindset, Forsberg helped Sweden reach the quarterfinals at the last World Cup. He was then part of the Leipzig team made it to the Champions League semifinals in 2020.
POLAND
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Slovakia in St. Petersburg, June 14; vs. Spain in Seville, June 19; vs. Sweden in St. Petersburg, June 23.
Qualifying: Group G winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Quarterfinals.
Best Result: Quarterfinals (2016).
FIFA Ranking: 21st.
Coach: Paulo Sousa (Portugal)
Key Player: Robert Lewandowski _ The 32-year-old Lewandowski is already the country's leading scorer with 66 goals, and he just broke the Bundesliga's 49-year-old record for goals in a season with 41 in 29 appearances for Bayern Munich. If he is scoring at Euro 2020, Poland will be tough to beat.
SLOVAKIA
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Poland in St. Petersburg, June 14; vs. Sweden in St. Petersburg, June 18; vs. Spain in Seville, June 23.
Qualifying: Playoff Path B winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Round of 16 (2016).
FIFA Ranking: 36th.
Coach: Stefan Tarkovic (Slovakia)
Key Player: Marek Hamsik _ Slovakia relies on Hamsik's creativity and vison. No one has played more games or scored more goals for the national team. The big question for Slovakia, however, is whether the 34-year-old attacking midfielder can still produce on the biggest stage.
Group F
HUNGARY
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Portugal in Budapest, June 15; vs. France in Budapest, June 19; vs. Germany in Munich, June 23.
Qualifying: Playoff Path A winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Round of 16.
Best Result: Third-place (1964).
FIFA Ranking: 37th.
Coach: Marco Rossi (Italy)
Key Player: Adam Szalai _ Szalai is the most experienced member of the national team and has scored 23 goals for his country. The Mainz forward is one of four Bundesliga players in the Hungary team and will have to pick up the slack left by the injury to attacking midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai.
PORTUGAL
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Hungary in Budapest, June 15; vs. Germany in Munich, June 19; vs. France in Budapest, June 23.
Qualifying: Group B runner-up.
Euro 2016 Result: Champion.
Best Result: Champion (2016).
FIFA Ranking: Fifth.
Coach: Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Key Player: Cristiano Ronaldo _ Ronaldo will attempt to become the all-time leading scorer with a national team at Euro 2020. The 36-year-old Ronaldo will be playing in his fifth straight European Championship, having won the title in 2016. He is six goals from tying the all-time scoring record for a men's national team. The record of 109 goals is held by former Iran striker Ali Daei, the only other male soccer player to surpass the 100-goal milestone.
FRANCE
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. Germany in Munich, June 15; vs. Hungary in Budapest, June 19; vs. Portugal in Budapest, June 23.
Qualifying: Group H winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Runner-up.
Best Result: Champion (1984, 2000).
FIFA Ranking: Second.
Coach: Didier Deschamps (France)
Key Player: Kylian Mbappe _ Three years ago, Mbappe became only the second teenager to score a goal in a World Cup final _ after Pele in 1958. France won that match, and will be counting on the the Paris Saint-Germain forward's abundant talent to take them back to the final at Euro 2020.
GERMANY
Euro 2020 Schedule: vs. France in Munich, June 15; vs. Portugal in Munich, June 19; vs. Hungary in Munich, June 23.
Qualifying: Group C winner.
Euro 2016 Result: Semifinals.
Best Result: Champion (1972, 1980, 1996).
FIFA Ranking: 12th.
Coach: Joachim Low (Germany)
Key Player: Thomas Muller _ Recalled to the national team after being dropped in recent years, the 31-year-old Muller is a versatile forward who can play in any forward position. He scored 11 goals and set up 21 more for Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich this season.


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