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Euro 2016 has been scheduled to be held in France from 10 June, 2016. It is the most exciting football championship participated by the European football playing nations. The whole world is waiting eagerly to see the strongest sides competing each others in Euro 2016. For the first time, the tournament will be contested by 24 teams. The group stage of the game is consisting of six groups of four teams, which is followed by a knock-out stage of three rounds and ultimately the final. It is the third time France has been hosting UEFA European Championship. The Euro 2016 is the 15th edition of UEFA European Championship. Spain along with host France are the most successful teams in Euro, winning two Euro titles. Now, it is the high time to watch who is the strongest teams to win Euro 2016.
Our Sportyghost team have made a list of most probable winners of upcoming Euro 2016. Each of them are top contenders for the European Championship. After World Cup football, European Championship is considered as the most thrilling football competition in the world. Let’s have a look at the list of top 10 teams to win Euro 2016.
Top 10 strongest teams to win Euro 2016
FIFA Ranking: 10
Austria is the imminent power house of football. They have been appearing as one of the strongest competitors in Europe. They showed some astonishing performances in the qualifying rounds of Euro 2016, winning 9 of their 10 matches. Bayern Munich’s David Alaba is the Austria’s talisman in their Euro campaign. He is a true sensation and currently is considered as one of the best footballers. David Alaba is a complete player who can play at full-back, centre back or in midfield. He incredibly helped Austria to climb into the top 10 of FIFA ranking for the first time. They will be competing in Group F. The other four teams in this group are Portugal, Iceland and Hungary.
Austria in Euro: It will be their 2nd appearance in Euro. As co-host at Euro 2008, they failed to win a single game in their first tournament.
Key player: Central midfielder- David Alaba. He is a versatile player who can play in nearly 10 positions in the field.
Premier league players: Kevin Wimmer (Tottenham), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City), Sebastian Prodl (Watford)
The Manager: Former Switzerland international Marcel Koller.
FIFA Ranking: 17
After a 58-year wait, Wales will be playing their first major football tournament in Euro 2016. It is a true reflection of the brilliant manager Chris Coleman and some awesome players in the squad. They have some real quality in key positions blessed with Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Williams and Gareth Bale, who became the top scorer in Euro qualification with seven goals. The Wales has got an amazing team spirit and they will be certainly one of the strongest teams to win Euro 2016.
Wales in Euro: It is their first appearance in Euro.
Key player: Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. Notably, he is currently the most expensive player in the world.
Premier league players: Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Andy King (Leicester City), Ben Davies (Tottenham), James Chester (West Brom), Joe Allen (Liverpool), Ashley Williams (Swansea), James Collins (West Ham)
The manager: Chris Coleman, who took over the job in a tough situation after the death of Gary Speed in 2011. He is expecting to expand the contract beyond 2016.
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FIFA Ranking: 7
The Portugal side is known by one name, “Cristiano Ronaldo”. He is the only one fighting almost single handedly in the team. With Cristiano’s remarkable performance in the qualifying with five goals, Portugal won seven of their eight matches. They will be the weakest side in the pot if Cristiano sustains any injury, as he did in 2014 World Cup. Portugal have reached at-least the quarter finals in last five European Championships. So, eyes on the Portuguese side as well as Cristiano Ronaldo, who is craving for international success.
Portugal in Euro: Their most remarkable achievement was in 2004, where they became runner-up. They were beaten by Greece on their home soil. The Portuguese side also played semi-finals in 2000 and 2012.
Key player: Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the top goal scorer for the Portugal with 56 goals. He also scored three hat-tricks in Euro. It will be his forth appearance in this tournaments.
Premier League players: Jose Fonte, Cedric Soares (Southampton), Eder (Swansea)
The Manager: Fernando Santos, 61 who has won his first seven competitive games in charge of Portugal. He has a bright history of coaching career. He led FC Porto winning five major titles.
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FIFA Ranking: 34
Poland were the top scorers in the Euro qualification with 33 goals. The team possesses world class goal machine, Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski. He is currently the most potent center-forward in the world. He scored a stunning 13 goals in the qualification, which is no one ever did. Poland will be making a big impact in Euro 2016. If Robert Lewandowski continues to maintain his form, it will be anything possible for Poland.
Poland in Euro: It is their third consecutive appearance in UEFA European Championship. They finished at group stage in last two Euros.
Key player: Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. He is undoubtedly the best number nine in the world. He scored 28 goals in 30 matches for his club and nation this season. He has been in a great shape of playing destructive football. Hopefully, Euro 2016 will be his place.
Premier league player: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea)
The manager: The former Polish international, Adam Nawalka was appointed as manager in October 2013. Euro 2016 will be his first away tournament.
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FIFA Ranking: 15
The four-time World Cup champions, Italy is one of the strongest teams to win Euro 2016. They were unbeaten in the Euro qualification with seven wins and three draws in their ten games. The Azzurri’s defence is fortified with Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Cheillini and Leonardo Bonucci. They have also got a hugely talented midfield which is boasted with Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti. But, the main problem of Italian side is they lack strikers. Still, Granziano Pelle had shown some prospects with his three qualifying goals. Euro 2016 will be a great challenge for the Azzurri.
Italy in Euro: They won their first Euro title at home in 1968. They are also the finalist in 2000 and 2012 Euro. They failed twice to pass the group stage (1996, 2004).
Key player: the great Lev Yashin award winner, Gianluigi Buffon. He is literally a unbreakable wall between the post. Moreover, he is the most experienced player of the side. He is the most capped player in Italian football (156).
Premier league players: Matteo Darmain (Manchester United), Granziano Pelle (Southampton)
The manager: the former Juventus coach, Antonio Conte. He replaced Cesare Prandelli after Italy’s failure to pass the group stage in 2014 World cup in Brazil.
Also read: Top 10 Italian footballers of all-time
FIFA Ranking: 9
Roy Hodgson’s men were unbeaten in their Euro qualification. The England team also showed some tremendous prospects in international friendlies. They grabbed a subsequent win over an emotional France and are in a good shape. England team have plenty of individual talents. Forwards like Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane performed extraordinary. But, the persistent worries continue over the form of all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney. Roy Hodgson is planning to introduce numerous combinations at the mid-field since the last World Cup. He tried a completely new one in the match against France and it worked properly. England is a youthful team now and showing some good football. So, let’s see, what England team will bring us in upcoming Euro 2016 in France.
England in Euro: England placed 3rd of the four finalist in 1968. As the host of Euro 96, the English reach semi-finals for the first time in Euro. In Euro 2012, they performed their best at the foreign soil, after being unbeaten they lost on penalties in quarter-final against Italy.
Key player: Wayne Rooney is the main key player for England. He scored seven goals in the qualification and still can do a lot for England.
The manager: the 68-year old, Roy Hodgson will the England boss. It will be his third major tournament for England. He has a glorious background of managing 14 clubs and 4 national teams.
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FIFA Ranking: 1
They are the top at FIFA ranking and studded with one of the most talented generations of players. Belgium is undoubtedly is one of the strongest teams to win Euro 2016. The team’s performance was dignified by some amazing players like Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. It is very hard to find holes in the Belgium squad. They only lack experience for playing at the biggest stage of football. However, their last year world cup performances were overwhelming, going out in the quarterfinals 1-0 to Argentina.
Belgium in Euro: They are qualified for Euro 2016 for the first time since 2002. Belgium were the runner-up in 1980 and stood 3rd in 1972.
Key player: No, it’s not Eden Hazard anymore, it is Kevin de Bruyne, who scored five goals and made three assists in the qualification.
Premier league players: Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Tody Alderweireld, Nacer Chadli and Jan Vertonghen (all Tottenham), Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany (both Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (Everton), Christian Benteke, Simon Mignolet and Divock Origi (all Liverpool), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United)
The manager: Marc Wilmots, the Belgium manager will celebrate four years in charge next June. He took Belgium to the quarter-finals of 2014 world cup.
Also read: Top 10 managers in EPL history
FIFA Ranking: 25
They would have been second in the list of top 10 strongest teams to win Euro 2016. But, the recent scandal in which star striker Karim Benzema being charged with blackmailing his team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, will put France at third. Benzema will possibly miss Euro 2016. That will not be very concerning for the French, because the team is studded with many other stars. Real Madrid defender Rafael Varane, Juventus mid fielder Paul Pogba, Bayern’s Kingsley Coman, Athletico’s Antoine Griezmann, all are thirsty for international success. Every player in the French team is in incredible form and they eagerly want to keep the Euro cup at home. France are always favourite in Euro with their dynamic and athletic midfield.
France in Euro: France is the last host nation to win the Euro title in 1984. They are also the winner of Euro 2000. Euro 2016 will be their seventh successive European championships.
Key player: It is Blaise Matuidi. There are many other French players to play the key role, but Matuidi is the main driving force in the French mid-field.
Premier league players: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Oliver Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy, Laurent Koscielny (all Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial (both Manchester Unioted), Bacary Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala (both Manchester City), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea).
The manager: Didier Deschamps led France to the world cup quarter-finals in 2014. As a player, Deschamps captained France to victory at 1998 world cup and Euro 2000. It will be a great challenge ahead of him in Euro 2016.
FIFA Ranking: 3
Spain’s exit in 2014 World cup ended their long term international dominance, but there is no reason to believe that Spain is least favourite in this upcoming Euro 2016. The Spanish side won Euro 2012 by obliterating Italy in the final. The Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque has grown a huge pool of young talents, which include Dani Carvajal, Hector Bellerin, Alvaro Morata, Paco Alcacer etc. The Spanish midfield is graced with Iniesta, Koke, Cazorla, David Silva. They finished top in Group C qualification with nine wins. But the team is no longer as likely to overwhelm the best opposition as they did before. VDB mentioned his side is “practically a finished article”. So, let’s see, what new generation brings for the Spanish side.
Spain in Euro: They won Euro championship in 1964, 2008 and 2012. It will be their 10th appearance in Euro.
Key player: The 29-year-old, Manchester City playmaker, David Silva will be the key for Spain. He usually roams around the pitch to operate in pockets of space and creates numerous opportunities.
Premier league players: Davis Silva (Manchester City), Diego Coasta, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro (all Chelsea), David de Gea and Juan Mata (Manchester United), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)
The manager: Vicente del Bosque is bigwig of Spanish team since 2008. The world cup winner marked a national record of 100th match in charge of Spain in June 2015.
FIFA Ranking: 4
The current world champions are bursting with talented players and must be considered at no. 1 in the list of top 10 strongest teams to win Euro 2016. The German team is blessed with world class players like Scweinsteiger, Ozil, Reus, Gotze and Muller. All of them have elevated football in a new level after winning 2014 world cup defeating Argentina in the final. The German mid-field with Toni Kross , Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil, is the most devastating in the world. Germany is the most balanced team now and they are determined to win their 4th Euro title.
Germany in Euro: Germany won European Championship three times, in 1972, 1980 and 1996. They are the semifinalist of Euro 2012, where they lost by 2-1 to a Balotelli-inspired Italy.
Key player: Thomas Muller, the “German Goal-machine” without any doubt, is the key for Germany. He scored 31 goals in his 70 appearances for Germany. Muller received the Silver Boot for being 2nd top scorer (5 goals) in 2014 world cup.
Premier league players: Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United), Emre Can (Liverpool)
The manager: Joachim Low, the mastermind of Germany’s 2014 world cup triumph is still managing Germany. He must be targeting to fulfill all major titles as a head coach.