By: Henry Guo
2016 UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) European Championship tournament, or Euro 2016, is currently taking place in France. There are 24 teams in the finals stage playing for the championship. It is held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments Originally called the UEFA European Nations Cup, it used to have only 8 teams for the final stage until this year, when it was expanded to 24 teams.
There was a historic story moment in Euro 1992. Due to Kosovo war in former Yugoslavia, UEFA decided to ban Yugoslavia in the final stage. As a result, Denmark substituted Yugoslavia to play in the final stage with the traditionally strong teams in the group stage, such as England and France. They ranked 2nd in that group, then won over Netherland on knockout stage, and faced Germany in the final game. They shocked the world by defeating Germany 2-0, winning their first European Championship title. It was just like a Danish fairy tale come to true in European football history.
Another historic moment was in Euro 2004, hosted in Portugal. Greece qualified in the final tournament, yet no one thought this team could go too far. Among the 16 teams in the final stage were France, Spain, Italy, Netherland and Germany. However, the Greece team made a miracle and historic victory by defeating France, Czech Republic and Portugal and won European Championship title.
Any miracle can happen on football field; I think that is why this sport can attract billions of people in the world. So, let’s enjoy the Euro 2016 now, and see who will win the title this year.