The European Championship in Germany takes shape with just one day left for the groups to be decided. The qualification of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Romania brought the number of teams with a ticket for the final round to 16. They are Germany, Spain, Scotland, Belgium, France, Portugal, Turkey, England, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Albania and Denmark, in addition to the other three already mentioned. Only 5 places will be distributed in the last three days of the competition which starts today until Tuesday.
Therefore, the draw on December 2 in Hamburg will be held with 21 of the 24 finalists. The final three will advance to the playoffs to be played in March. At the time of the draw, therefore, the name of the three countries that will complete the draw will not be known.
How are the seeds settled?
Barring a disaster, none of the great men would fail in the event. Germany, the host, meets the partners from pot 1, the seeded group. Portugal and, since last night, France, after their scandalous defeat in Gibraltar, have been assured of that honour. If they fail against Macedonia and Georgia, the other two are England and Spain.
The only major European country that has yet to define its future is Italy. The transalpines must get at least a draw against Ukraine. The match will be played in Leverkusen. If not, the ghosts of the play-offs will appear again, as happened with the defeats of the Italians in Macedonia (2022) and Sweden (2018) that made it impossible for them to participate in the last two World Cups.
What big ones are missing?
One that did and did not fail was the Netherlands. It took Koeman a long time to find the right button, but he is finally in Germany. The same Switzerland and Romania. The Croats haven’t secured it yet, but they got it back on track after their victory in Latvia. In this way, the European elite will be almost in full force in a tournament that will run from June 14 to July 14, 2024.
With France, England and Portugal as the strongest teams in the group stage, the Euro Cup promises strong emotions and a fight for the title as open as 2020, when Italy surprised and became champions at Wembley.