The Fall of the Three Lions: England exiting out of Euro 2016

“England out of Europe twice in one week” was one of the numerous memes doing its rounds in the social media following Brexit and England’s inglorious exit from the Euro 2016. The immediate fallout of the shocking exit has been the resignation tendered by Roy Hodgson, who assumed the mantle of the coach from Fabio Capello way back in 2012.  Serious questions are being raised as some of the finest in the English Premier League failed to make any sort of impact. It brings back to the forefront the question, ‘Is EPL really the best football tournament in the world?’ Well, that is a topic for another discussion.

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Road to Perdition

What really went wrong with England? Some say it is because the English players were not psychologically strong enough to perform at the world stage against quality teams. One cannot deny that there has been sparks of brilliance every now and then, especially from the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, but these never grew into a raging fire. When faced with abject humiliation at the hands of an inexperienced yet fired up Icelanders, the English players withered away in a way that the fans will not forget in a very long time. The uninspiring tale of England’s Euro 16 can be summed up in the submissive performance of their captain Wayne Rooney. And Hodgson looked equally clueless and helpless on the sides.

One reason most experts point out is the lack of experienced players in the English side. However, this argument doesn’t hold any water. Germany, with an even younger team is having the time of their lives in the Euro 2016. Coupled with this is the fact that most of the English players have been playing for major teams in the Premier League. So, lack of match experience or quality is not the issue here. Could it be because they really lack the mental acumen to perform at the highest levels? Could it be because neither their captain nor the coach could inspire them enough to get the best out of them? The jury is out on this and several heads will roll soon.

A sliver of hope

There are certain commentators who think that this exit could bode well for English team in the long run. With England walking out of the European Union and a new coach at the helm, the time may just be ripe to build a competitive and undiluted ‘English’ team and get them ready for the World Cup in 2018. This could result in a much deeper, highly enriched pool of talented English players by then. It remains to be seen whether this opportunity will be taken for what it is or will the nation fall into deeper despair?

A new coach is yet to be named. A lot of names are doing their rounds. Instead of speculating of who could be at the helm, maybe it would serve the English term better if they concentrate on analyzing where things went wrong and start correcting them. For now, enjoy what is left of the Euro 16!

UEFA Euro 2016: A Game for the Champions

The Union of European Football Associations or UEFA which is one of the six continental confederations of world football governed by FIFA, consisting fifty-four national association members, is the administrative body for association football in partially Asia and Europe. Established in 1955, the 2016 UEFA European Championship which is also being known commonly as UEFA Euro 2016 is the 15th edition of the European championship. It is the international men’s football championship of Europe recurring every four years and currently France is hosting this championship which has commenced from 10th of June, 2016 and the Finals will be on 10th of July, 2016. Having won the 2008 and 2012 editions of UEFA Euro, Spain are the Defending champions. The championship was hosted in a 16 team format since 1996 but for the first time in the history of UEFA, it is being hosted by 24 teams consisting of a group stage where there will be six groups of four teams, which will be followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final.

France was chosen to host this championship post winning the bid on 28 May 2010 where they beat Italy and Turkey for being the Hosting nation for the 2016 finals. The first match between France v/s Romania was held in Stade de France , St Denis where the trophy was placed in front of the Basilica of St Denis which is interestingly the first Gothic church. Overall 10 cities from Paris to Marseille will be hosting these glorious matches.

 

Victors of the match previously

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Participating teams Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Milan, Liverpool and Barcelona were the privileged teams to win the multiple-winner badge for winning the UEFA Champions League three times in a row, or five times overall. 22 clubs, in total, have the honor of winning the championship and European cup in which Real Madrid have recorded the most victories ,having won the championship 11 times and also have the record of being the multiple winner badge for winning the championship 5 times in a row from 1956-1960.  Juventus have lost six finals and have the record of being runners-up for most times. Following the ‘Heysel disaster’, the English teams were banned from the UEFA competition for five years. Real Madrid is the current champions beating Atlético Madrid in 2016.

 

Let the match begin

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The Championship initiated with a stunning victory from France over Romania with a score of 2-1 followed by the victories of Switzerland over Albania (1-0) , Wales over Slovakia (2-1) and a tie between England and Russia (1-1). Croatia(1-0) and Poland (1-0) have also outshone Turkey and Northern Ireland respectively. As in the words of  Perišić who was being optimistic for his team to win the tournament  stated that this has been the best Croatian team in years. Apart from this Poland have claimed their first Euro victory, in the seventh attempt, against Northern Ireland with a score 1-0.

On a final note, The UEFA 2016 is going to be a huge gathering of the football lovers throughout the world and that can be sensed eventually as the tournament is in progress. The official ball “Beau Jeu” for the match was revealed by  Zinedine Zidane former France player on November 12th 2015. Also, the official Mascot “Super Victor” who is a child superhero in the France national Football team was inaugurated on November 18th 2014.

“’Le Rendez-Vous’ – The appointment , which is the official slogan for Euro 2016 is not just a reminder of the dates and venues but an invitation throughout the world for the football lovers to come and meet and share the glorious tournament “ says Jacques Lambert, chairman of Euro 2016 Organizing committee.