Football: All you need to know about Euro 2024

The Euros kick off this Friday, June 14 when host nation Germany take on Scotland at the Munich Football Arena (better known as the Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich matches). The final will take place on July 14 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

England and France are widely considered the favourites to lift the trophy. England have not won a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup, but were beaten in the final at the last Euros. France, beaten finalists in the 2022 World Cup, is led by Kylian Mbappé, who has just joined Real Madrid and is widely considered the heir to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s best player.

The tournament format

The tournament begins with six groups of four teams. Teams from each group play each other once, with three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss. The top two teams from each group, plus the top four third-placed teams, advance to the round of 16.

From the round of 16 onwards, the tournament becomes a knockout competition with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to determine the champion.

Euro 2024 grids

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: Türkiye, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic

Host stadiums and capacity

Berlin Olympiastadion (71,000)

Cologne Stadium (43,000)

BVB Stadion Dortmund (62,000)

Duesseldorf Arena (47,000)

Frankfurt Arena (47,000)

Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen (50,000)

Volksparkstadion, Hamburg (49,000)

Leipzig Stadium (40,000)

Munich Football Stadium (66,000)

Stuttgart Arena (51,000)

Who is the reigning champion?

Italy won the last Euros, which were staged in 2021 because the original tournament was postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Italy beat England in the final at Wembley Stadium in a penalty shootout.

Previous champions

Germany and Spain have won the Euro three times.

The only other multiple winners are Italy and France, with two wins each.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s records

The Portuguese is participating in his sixth European Championship, a record. Before the start of the competition, he already holds the record for the number of appearances at the Euro, with 25, and that for the number of goals, with 14. Ronaldo, 39, won the competition with Portugal in 2016.

Ronaldo, who plays for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, has been an icon for Manchester United and Real Madrid. He has won five Champions Leagues and the Ballon d’Or for the best player in the world five times.

Why isn’t Erling Haaland playing?

Despite being one of the most prolific goalscorers in world football, Manchester City striker Erling Haaland failed to qualify his team, Norway, for the Euros. Norway also failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.