Once the domestic seasons come to a conclusion this year in Europe, the football does not stop there as fans will be treated to the European Championship in France, which begins on June 10 when the hosts kick off against Romania at the Stade de France.
After winning the last two consecutive tournaments, Spain are bidding for a hat-trick of successes in France. Here are the main contenders to lift the trophy this year:-
World champions Germany will be looking to do the World Cup and European Championship double in France following their victory in Brazil two years ago where they beat Argentina after extra-time in the final.
Germany played an exciting brand of football in Brazil which was notably evident in their 7-1 win over the hosts in the semi-final. With the likes of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Manuel Neuer all in the peak years of their careers, Germany have to be considered as one of the leading contenders for Euro 2016.
A young France squad was beaten by the eventual winners Germany in Brazil two-years ago in a tight contest where they lost 1-0. With home field advantage in the European Championship, France are one of the leading contenders for the trophy. The last time the country hosted a major championship, they went on to win the World Cup (in 1998).
France can be backed at 7-2 for the tournament. You can bet on the Euros with Paddy Power, who are offering the top price on the hosts going all the way.
Spain have dominated the European Championship over the last eight years; they won in Austria and Switzerland in 2008, and four years later hammered Italy 4-0 in Ukraine to defend their trophy.
Although many of the players who contested that 2012 final are still a big part of the Spain squad, they are now reaching the latter stages of their careers and could be considered past their best on the international stage. Age may no longer be on this Spain squad’s side, but they have plenty of experience of winning big football matches so they can never be discounted.
According to FIFA’s rankings, Belgium are the number one ranked team in the world at the moment. Many of their stars, including Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany, now ply their trade in the Premier League.
It’s been 50-years since England last won a major tournament. The Three Lions were the only team to go through qualifying with a 100% record as they won all 10 of their games in Group E.
With a young squad that features the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and John Stones, their long wait for another major trophy could end this year.