June 11, 2024
Melinda Head

Love Football (aka Soccer in the US)?

Bring On the 2024 UEFA European Championship

Football (aka Soccer in the US) is the largest sport in the world, with an estimated 4 billion fans.

FIFA, the worldwide governing body, is divided into 6 continental football confederations – Europe is one of them. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is about to roll out its quadrennial month-long European Championship from June 14th-July 14th. Yup, just like the Olympics, the momentum builds up over 4 years.

There will be 51 matches contested to determine which European team succeeds Italy, the 2020 winner.  

In 2020, after extra time, Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties. Leonardi Bonucci was named the Man of the Match

Germany, 3X European Champions, will host this 17th edition of the Tournament. This marks the first time Germany has staged the UEFA European Championship since reunification (October 3, 1990), when East Germany joined the Federal Republic of Germany in the West, ending 45 years of division and the end of the communist German Democratic Republic.

For the UEFA European Championship there are 6 groups (A-F), each made up of top talent from 4 European countries (24 in total). Each national team is allowed a squad of 23-26 players. The top 2 teams in each group proceed to the next round, along with the 4 (out of 6) 3rd best placed finishers. Thus, 24 becomes 16. This is followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals and the final match.

Georgia is the only team making its UEFA European Championship finals debut. Ukraine and Poland qualified in play-off rounds, while Sweden and Norway failed to qualify. France, Germany, England, Portugal and Spain are largely considered to be the frontrunners.

Ukraine beat Iceland to make its way to the 2024 UEFA European Championship for the first time since Russia’s invasion 2 years ago. No games could be held in Ukraine due to the Russo-Ukrainian War.  Since February 2022, FIFA and UEFA have banned all Russian club and national football teams

UEFA European Championship matches will be played at 8 stadiums throughout Germany (Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich, Stuttgart). The opening game will be held this coming Friday in Munich (June 14), and the final will be held in Berlin on Sunday, July 14th.

Key Tournament Dates

  • Group Stage: June 14-20
  • Round of 16: June 29-July 2
  • Quarterfinals: July 5-6
  • Semifinals: July 9-10
  • Final: July 14

Built for the 1936 Summer Olympics, this is the Olympiastadion in Berlin, where the final 2024 UEFA European Championship match will be played on July 14th. The largest stadium in Germany, it has a capacity of 74,475 people

Here’s how you can watch the Tournament, including in the U.S. and Canada in ET.

Despite joining Real Madrid as of July 1 in his quest for “a reboot”, 25 year old phenom Kylian Mbappé will represent France at the 2024 UEFA European Championship

A 20 year old sensation who plays for Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham has been suffering from a painful shoulder injury but is still determined to make his mark for his home country (England) at the 2024 UEFA European Championship

Cristiano Ronaldo, the 39 year old Forward who now plays for Al Nassr, will represent his homeland, Portugal, at the 2024 UEFA European Championship

“Fire”, an uplifting dance/electronic piece from Leony, Meduza and OneRepublic, is the UEFA European Championship’s official song.

Adidas’ “Fussballliebe” (which means “for the love of football”) is the official match ball, made from more sustainable bio-based materials than ever before, including corn fibres, sugar cane, wood pulp and rubber. Importantly, Connected Ball Technology, a variant of KINEXON Sports’ ball tracking, is being used for the first time at a UEFA European Championship, providing powerful insights into elements of the movement of the ball, while also contributing to UEFA’s video assistant refereeing decision-making process. Essentially, a ball sensor is integrated within the ball using a suspension system that has been developed and patented by Adidas.

A micro-chip suspended in Adidas’ UEFA European Championship ball will help referees make quicker, accurate decisions. Wouldn’t it be cool to be a football data scientist?

The UEFA will dish out $360 million in total prize money to the 24 national teams, and expects to earn about $2.61 billion in commercial revenue from the Tournament.

The UEFA European Championship winner will compete in the 2025 CONMEBOL-UEFA Cup of Champions against the 2024 Copa America winner. First held in 1985, this periodic intercontinental competition bates Europe against South America. The last match, in 2022, saw Argentina demolish Italy (3-0) in front of a capacity crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium. Stay tuned for more information as details become available.

Ole, ole, ole!

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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