What is the UEFA European Championship Soccer Tournament?

Euro 2016Soccer Tournament

The UEFA European Championship, also known as the Euros or the European Cup, is the largest single-continent sporting event in the world. It is definitely the most watched soccer competition behind the World Cup, and many in Europe and throughout the world watch soccer in a bar that month to really get immersed in the atmosphere to cheer for their favorite UEFA nation and players.

How Are the Participants Determined?

The host country (2016 – France) receives an automatic spot while the other 23 sides are the survivors from a 14-month qualifying process that ends in November the year before. Every UEFA nation enters a national side in the qualification process, even ones as small as Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra. Fifty-three sides took part in qualifying for Euro 2016 while 55 will do so for Euro 2020. Many supporters of these teams regularly head to a bar to watch the Euro qualifiers as well as the main event.

Who are the Best Teams?

Three nations have won the European Cup on multiple occasions – Germany (1972, 1980 and 1996), Spain (1964, 2008 and 2012) and France (1984 and 2000) – while six others have lifted the trophy on one occasion apiece – Czech Republic (1976), Denmark (1988), Greece (2004), Italy (1968), Netherlands (1988) and Soviet Union (1960). The only teams to have played in a final, but have yet to win this competition are Belgium, Portugal and Yugoslavia. Who will be the winner and runner-up this year?

What is the Format?

The 24 countries are separated into six groups of four teams each in a draw that takes place the previous December, which is a televised affair that is usually held in the host country of the tournament itself.

Each of the teams play three games during the group stage, taking on their group opponents once apiece. All of the group winners and second-place sides advance to the round of 16 while the four best third-place teams also qualify for that round. The remaining nations then play a single-elimination format the rest of the way. As these soccer games require a winner, if tied at the end of 90 minutes, plus extra time, then two 15 minute overtime halves are played. If still tied after 120 minutes, then teams begin picking 5 players to enter into a 1-on-1 penalty shootout with the opposing goalkeeper. The intensity is through the roof at this point and may the best team, shooter, goalie win.

Where Can I Watch It?

Fans all around the world love to head to a bar to watch the Euro’s to cheer on their favorite national sides or to simply watch good futbol. In fact, one of the best places to watch soccer in a bar is in downtown Raleigh at The London Bridge Pub, so make sure to contact us or check out the Events Calendar, so that you can see when the games are playing and to gather with other fans in a fun environment.