The Euro 2024 tournament kicks off on Friday in Germany as the continent's footballing heavyweights prepare to fight it out over the next month with the aim of taking the crown away from reigning champions Italy.

Germany play Scotland in the opening game in Munich on Friday and the host nation are hoping their journey will continue all the way to the final in Berlin on July 14.

It is the first time the country has hosted a major men's international tournament since the 2006 World Cup, and it is a mouth-watering setting after the underwhelming nature of the last European Championship.

Euro 2020 was delayed by a year because of the pandemic, finally taking place in 2021 in front of limited crowds.

It was also staged in cities all across the continent, from Seville to Baku, and those factors stripped away much of what makes these tournaments so special.

This time though, supporters of all 24 teams will descend on Germany, where matches will be played in 10 stadiums, from Hamburg in the north to Munich in the south.

Germans are hoping for a repeat of 2006, when many fell in love with their national team again after a period in the doldrums similar to what they have experienced in the years leading up to this competition.

The 24-team tournament will feature one debutant in Georgia.

Winners list

Edition Hosts Champions Runners up
1960 France Soviet Union Yugoslavia
1964 Spain Spain Soviet Union
1968 Italy Italy Yugoslavia
1972 Belgium West Germany Soviet Union
1976 Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia West Germany
1980 Italy West Germany Belgium
1984 France France Spain
1988 West Germany Netherlands Soviet Union
1992 Sweden Denmark Germany
1996 England Germany Czech Republic
2000 Belgium and Netherlands France Italy
2004 Portugal Greece Portugal
2008 Austria and Switzerland Spain Germany
2012 Poland and Ukraine Spain Italy
2016 France Portugal France
2020 Europe Italy England

The groups

Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

Group C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

Group D: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France

Group E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine

Group F: Turkey, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic


City Stadium Capacity
Berlin Olympiastadion 70,033
Munich Allianz Arena 66,026
Dortmund Westfalenstadion 61,524
Stuttgart MHPArena 50,998
Hamburg Volksparkstadion 50,215
Gelsenkirchen Arena AufSchalke 49,471
Frankfurt Waldstadion 48,057
Cologne RheinEnergieStadion 46,922
Leipzig Red Bull Arena 46,635
Dusseldorf Merkur Spiel-Arena 46,264


The Euros have adopted a new format since the 2016 edition that features 24 teams. The addition of new sides to the competition has certainly added more colour to it, but has also made the qualification process from the group stage a little bit more complex.

With 24 teams split across six groups, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16. To make up the remaining four slots, the four best third-placed teams will join them in the next stage.

The rules for classification for third-placed teams are as follows:

1) Points

2) Goal difference

3) Goals scored

4) Wins

5) Lower disciplinary points total

6) European Qualifiers overall ranking

For general scenarios when two or more teams are locked on the same number of points, the following criteria will be used to split them:

  1. Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;

  2. Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;

  3. Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;

  4. If, after having applied criteria 1 to 3, teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 3 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams who are still level to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 10 apply;

  5. Superior goal difference in all group matches;

  6. Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;

  7. Higher number of wins in all group matches;

  8. If on the last round of the group stage, two teams are facing each other and each has the same number of points, as well as the same number of goals scored and conceded, and the score finishes level in their match, their ranking is determined by a penalty shoot-out. (This criterion is not used if more than two teams have the same number of points.);

  9. Lower disciplinary points total in all group matches (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card);

  10. Higher position in the European Qualifiers overall ranking.

Note: If there is a three-way tie on points, the application of the first three criteria may only break the tie for one of the teams, leaving the other two teams still tied. In this case, the tiebreaking procedure is resumed, from the beginning, for the two teams that are still tied.

The draw


Match 1: 2A vs 2B

Match 2: 1A vs 2C

Match 3: 1C vs 3D/E/F

Match 4: 1B vs 3A/D/E/F

Match 5: 2D vs 2E

Match 6: 1F vs 3A/B/C

Match 7: 1D vs 2F

Match 8: 1E vs 3A/B/C/D


QF 1: Winner of Match 5 vs Winner of Match 6

QF 2: Winner of Match 4 vs Winner of Match 2

QF 3: Winner of Match 3 vs Winner of Match 1

QF 4: Winner of Match 8 vs Winner of Match 7


SF 1: Winner of QF 2 vs Winner of QF 1

SF 2: Winner of QF 4 vs Winner of QF 3


France and England are heavy favourites to lift aloft the Henri Delaunay trophy on July 14.

France are Europe's top-ranked nation and have featured in the last two World Cup finals. Fresh from sealing his move to Real Madrid, Kylian Mbappe is eager to make up for a disappointing showing at the last Euros, when his penalty miss sealed a shoot-out defeat to Switzerland in the last 16.

England have never been European champions, although they came mightily close in 2021 when they lost the final on penalties to Italy.

Optimism about their prospects this time is fueled by the fact that star players Harry Kane, of Bayern, and Jude Bellingham, formerly of Borussia Dortmund, should feel so at home on German soil.

England begin their tournament against Serbia on Sunday in Gelsenkirchen, home of fallen German giants Schalke 04.

The French and English will be on course to meet in the semi-finals if they both top their groups.


Portugal, champions in 2016, are genuine contenders even if they are still led by Cristiano Ronaldo, now aged 39 and playing club football in Saudi Arabia.

Around Ronaldo, Portugal have some of the best talents in the continent including the likes of Bernardo Silva, Rafael Leao, Bruno Fernandes, Diogo Jota and Ruben Dias.

Hosts Germany, despite underwhelming performances in their last three major tournaments, can never be discounted. The four-time World Cup winners have not won the Euros since winning their third title in 1996.

The hosts have a balanced squad led by talisman Ilkay Gundogan, star player Jamal Musiala and veteran goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The Germans also have the added motivation of winning the title for Toni Kroos who has announced his retirement from the sport after the tournament.

Where to watch

Euro 2020 will be held from June 14 to July 14 and can be watched in India across the Sony Sports Network and on Sony LIV.

(With AFP inputs)