Euro 2020 was a tournament like no other, marked by extraordinary circumstances and unforgettable football moments.

Held in 2021 due to global disruptions, it brought together nations in a celebration of resilience and competition.

With games taking place across multiple cities in Europe, a first of its kind format for the tournament, we travelled through 11 different cities including London, Munich, Rome, and Budapest among others.

This unique approach allowed various countries to host matches, spreading the excitement of the European Championship across the continent.

As we dissect how the event unfolded in 2020, from team selection to the finals, we gain valuable insights into what the future holds for Euro 2024.

With the stage set for another incredible battle of the nations in Germany, it promises to be another captivating chapter in the history of European football.

Gareth Southgate’s Team Selection For England

After delaying it as long as he could, Gareth Southgate finally announced his squad for Euro 2020 and there were some big talking points!

In England, it’s always a huge debate as to who should go to any international tournament.

For a month before it, everyone turns into a football expert, when really they just want the players from their club to go!

Trent Alexander-Arnold made the cut having previously been dropped from the squad for World Cup qualifiers due to a bad run of form.

Bukayo Saka was also included which was a surprise to many. However, his ability to play in a number of positions, made him the right man for the job.

Southgate also selected Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire despite some injury worries. However, both players recovered in time and played their part in getting England to the final.

Despite a healthy and robust squad, it meant that Southgate had to leave some pretty decent players at home.

They were Mason Greenwood who withdrew with an injury, Ramsdale, Godfrey, White, Ward-Prowse, Lingard and Watkins.

Phil Foden Got A Makeover

Three years is a long time in football and in 2020 all people could talk about was Phil Foden’s hair!

Just four days before the start of Euro 2020, he got himself a mini-makeover, strikingly familiar to that of Paul Gascoigne in Euro ’96!

Already well-established at Manchester City, he went to Euro 2020 as a Premier League and League Cup winner and was also named the Young PFA Player Of The Year.

To celebrate, he dyed his hair bleach blonde.

As one of the most exciting players in the world right now, he is a huge asset for the England team and could do very well again in 2024.

Match Day Round-Ups

Matchday 1

Match day one of Euro 2020 got the tournament off to a brilliant start and it wasn’t short of entertaining moments either!

Italy opened the proceedings, taking on Turkey who they beat 3-0. This set the tone for Matchday 1, with just three out of the twelve games seeing both teams score.

2018 World Cup winners France took on the 2014 World Cup Winners Germany and Cristiano Ronaldo set another record by becoming the all-time top goalscorer in European Championship history when he got two against Hungary to take his total to 11.

Italy sat on top of Group A, in Group B it was a winning start for Belgium and surprisingly Finland.

Austria took on North Macedonia in the first game of Group C and came away with a 3-1 win with the Netherlands taking on Ukraine in a five-goal thriller.

England got Group D underway at Wembley with Southgate’s side coming out on top with a 1-0 win thanks to a Raheem Sterling goal.

Slovakia shocked Group E when they got off to a winning start vs Poland. The final group, Group F with Portugal and France winning their opening games.

Match Day 2

With the second round done and dusted, some teams were looking in trouble while others seemed to be sailing into their third and final game.

With a total of 27 goals in this round, one less than Match day 1, there were some big upsets for France, Spain and England, as well as a six goal thriller between Germany and Portugal.

Turkey took on Wales in Group A at the Baku Olympic Stadium, with the Welsh fans heavily outnumbered.

This didn’t matter though as the side captained by Gareth Bale put on a fantastic performance to win 2-0.

Italy continued their impressive campaign with another 3-0 win, this time over Switzerland.

Belgium and Denmark met in Group B, with Belgium keeping their perfect start, winning 2-1.

Top of Group C with two wins in two was the Netherlands. They beat Austria 2-0 with new Barcelona forward Memphis Depay opening up his account at Euro 2020.

One of the most anticipated games of Match day 2, was England vs Scotland. Southgate’s side were expected to win this game by a some goals, but ended up drawing 0-0 in what was a huge result for Scotland.

In Group E, Spain were looking to finally get their first win of Euro 2020, but were unable to do so once again. Sweden kept up their impressive start, by beating Slovakia 1-0 to put them top of the group.

The final group provided us with the best game of the round. Portugal took on Germany and the hosts took the lead through Ronaldo.

However, two own goals later and the game was in Germanys hands. It finished 4-2 to the Germans then the pressure was on Portugal to take on France in the last game.

Match Day 3

The most exciting game week of Euro 2020 took place with nations battling it out to try and get through to the Round of 16.

With the group stages over, 16 teams progressed from six groups to the knockout stages.

The top two from each group went through to the next round, with the then four best third-place finished sides also making the cut.

In a round of fixtures that saw 35 goals making everything even more exciting.

Italy hosted Wales in Rome for the final group game, winning it 1-0 which made it three out of three for the Italians.

In Group B, Belgium made it three out of three, when they beat Finland 2-0. In the other game, Denmark beat Russia 4-1 which saw them finish second in the group on goal difference with Finland and Russia both exiting the competition.

Like Belgium and Italy, the Netherlands also won all three of their games. Austria beat Ukraine 1-0 in their final game, to finish second in the group.

England managed to finish top of their group, with another 1-0 win, this time over the Czech Republic. Croatia beat Scotland 3-1 and the Czech Republic were one of the four third-placed teams to get four points, meaning three sides progressed from Group D.

In Group E, Spain has finally showed their class with a 5-0 win over Slovakia. Only Spain and Slovakia progressed out of Group E, due to Slovakia’s poor goal difference.

The group of death nearly became the group of dreams for Hungary. Twice in their game with Germany, they took the lead which would have seen them finish on four points and progress from the group.

It ended up 2-2 and as a result, Hungary’s Euro 2020 was over. The other game in Group F, saw France and Portugal go head to head with the winner finishing top.

The match finished 2-2 with three penalties being awarded, two of which were scored by Euro all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

At the end of this group stage, Germany, France, and Portugal all progressed.

Euro 2020 Round Of 16

Next up in Euro 2020 came the Round Of 16. This is where we get down to business and given how the groups are laid out for Euro 2024, we could well so some of the same faces at the same stage this year.

So how did the first knock out stage play out and which eight teams moved on to the quarter finals?

The eight games did not disappoint and included an eight-goal and six-goal game that saw two dramatic comebacks as well as one penalty shootout and three red cards.

Wales (0) vs Denmark (4)

Wales saw their Euro 2020 campaign come to an end against Denmark.

The Danes took the lead midway through the first half, with Dolberg finding the bottom right corner.

He then doubled his sides lead shortly after halftime, capitalising on a mistake in defense from Wales.

Denmark controlled the game and with Wales pushing to get back in it, they increased their lead scoring twice in the 88th minute and the 94th.

However, the Danish kept a clean sheet and moved on to the next round.

Italy (2) vs Austria (1)

One of the favourites to win the competition was Italy and due to how they had been playing, many thought the match up against Austria would be straightforward.

instead it was a cagey game that finished 0-0 after 90 minutes.

Chiesa opened the scoring though in the 95th minute and Italy then doubled their lead on the 105th through Pessina.

Austria got one back in the 114th but couldn’t find a way to get the all-important equaliser with just five minutes left.

Netherlands (0) Czech Republic (2)

One of the first upsets was The Netherlands getting knocked out by the Czech Republic.

The game was close until De Ligt was sent off in the 55th minute for a handball. He appeared to have fallen over and dragged the ball back with his arm to stop his side from conceding a goal.

Shortly after Holes scored, giving his side the 1-0 lead. Czech Republic star man Patrick Schick doubled his sides lead and got his fourth goal of the tournament to put the game to bed and send the Netherlands home.

Belgium (1) vs Portugal (0)

On paper what looked to be one of the most exciting games of the round, was actually one of the most boring.

Neither side wanted to give too much away and were both cautious in the first half.

Belgium got the only goal of the game on the 42nd minute through Thorgan Hazard. He shot from range, with the swerve of the ball outdoing Rui Patricio in goal.

Portugal pushed for most of the second half but the Belgians defended well and saw out the remainder of the game.

Croatia (3) vs Spain (5)

Probably the best game of the Round of 16, was this one. Croatia took an early lead through a Pedri own goal after just 20 minutes, he passed the ball back to the keeper, who completely missed it.

Sarabia though leveled it up before halftime. Spain then extended their lead with an Azpilcuete header before Ferran Torres made it 3-1 with 13 minutes to go.

Croatia got a scrappy goal to make it 3-2 and then Pasalic header home to make it 3-3 on the 92nd minute.

Croatia should have made it 4-3 in extra time but Simon made up for his mistake with a huge save from four yards out.

Moratta silenced the doubters when he gave Spain the lead in the 100th minute and then Oyarzabal finally put it to bed.

France (3) vs Switzerland (3)

Another huge shock came in this game with tournament favourites suffering an early exit.

Switzerland opened the scoring through Seferovic and took a 1-0 lead into halftime. France came out a different side in the second half and after 15 minutes it was 2-1, thanks to two Benzema goals.

They thought it was game over when Paul Pogba scored from 25 yards out, putting into the top right corner. But as the game earlier that day showed, it’s not over until the final whistle goes.

Seferovic scored on the 81st minute and Switzerland piled on the pressure. Gavranovic was the hero in the 90th minute, finding the bottom right corner from outside the box to take it to extra time.

The two sides couldn’t be split and it went to penalties. Everyone scored their penalty, apart from Kylian Mbappe who has had a summer to forget for France.

England (2) vs Germany (0)

One of the biggest rivalries in international football took place with England playing Germany at Wembley.

Both sides had good chances in the first half to win the game with Pickford saving Werner’s effort from close range and Kane not able to get the ball out of his feet inside the six-yard box.

England opened the scoring through their player of the tournament so far, Raheem Serling.

Muller had a great chance to get Germany level when Havertz put him through one on one. He was unable to do so though putting it wide of the left post.

Kane finally got his first goal of the competition, heading homes Grealish’s cross to put England 2-0 up and into the quarter-finals.

Sweden (1) vs Ukraine (2)

In the final game of the Round of 16, Sweden were the favourites having finished top of their group.

The game didn’t start like that though, with Manchester City’s Zinchenko opening the scoring on the 27th minute.

Forsberg leveled it up and in doing so got his fourth goal of the tournament. His shot from outside the box taking a deflection to make it 1-1 at halftime.

Both sides had chances to get a winner, with Ukraine hitting the post and Forsberg hitting the post and the bar.

The game looked to be heading to penalties when Ukraine scored in the 121st minute, Dovbyk heading home from Zinchenkos’s cross.

Quarter Finals

The quarter finals came and went with plenty of excitement and fanfare.

Italy beat Belgium 2-1, Spain and Switzerland went to penalties with the Spaniards going through, England beat Ukraine 4-0 with Denmark getting the better of the Czech Republic winning 2-1.

Semi-Finals

With four teams left England became the firm favourites in the betting markets to win the tournament outright.

But first up was Italy versus Spain. Italy had come a long way, and had reached the final of the Euro’s back in 2012, losing to Spain, so this game meant a lot to their fans.

Against Spain, they defended well and when the pressure was on, they stood up to it and got themselves to the final, winning 4-2 on penalties after 1-1 draw after extra time.

The following day, England took on Denmark in the semi-finals with the Danes opening the scoring with a goal from Damsgaard in the 30th minute.

But an own goal from Kjær just nine minutes later and it was all level again.

With extra time on the cards it was left to Harry Kane to find the net, send England through to the Final.

The Final in 2020

As we head into 2024 English fans will be hoping, wishing and praying that England can finally win a major trophy.

Three years ago, it was not to be as once again, penalties decided the winners.

When the game ended 1-1 after extra time with goals from both Shaw and Bonucci, it was time for Kane, Maguire, Rashford, Sancho and Saka to step up.

But when only Harry Kane and Harry Maguire managed to score, Italy won 3-2 on penalties.

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