What was once 17 national football teams in 1960 has evolved into 53 teams in 2024. With this, it’s no wonder why the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA Euro has evolved into the prestigious and globally-awaited competition today.
Before the final match takes place in Germany, there are already 20 teams who have secured qualifying tickets to the UEFA Euro 2024. While these 20 teams move through the finals, the other 12 teams will still have a chance to book their tickets for the playoffs. With plenty of games awaiting, it’s best to take a peek at the qualified teams and those who are yet to prove themselves at next year’s playoffs:
How Do the Teams Qualify?
The qualifying draw happened in October last year in Frankfurt. The 53 teams were divided into ten groups, with three groups made up of six teams and the other seven made up of five teams. Moreover, the top two for each group qualify for the next round, and 23 teams will enter the field at the UEFA Euro.
Currently, 20 slots are already taken, with Russia suspended and Germany having secured its place as the event’s host. Moreover, the last three spots are set to join the rest after the top three winners are decided in the playoffs.
When Is the Final Tournament?
Football fans won’t have any rest, especially with a fully booked calendar, and even more so for online sports betting ventures. The final tournament will start with the tournament draw on December 2, 2023, at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany.
After the draw, the opening game will happen on June 14, 2024, at the Munich Football Arena. In a month, fans will see the long-awaited finals at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, a historic site that has hosted Olympic games, football championships, and the European Athletic Championships.
Who Are the Qualifying Teams?
Spain’s victory against Georgia and Scotland against Norway meant that the two teams earned their spot at next year’s games. Additionally, Spain took the top spot in Group A with 21 points and a +20 goal difference (GD). Scotland isn’t too far behind, with 17 points and +9 GD.
Group B has its own set of monster teams, as France sets a perfect qualifying record with 22 points and +26 GD. Not only this, the Netherlands also topped their victory against Ireland last November 21, earning themselves 18 points and +10 GD.
Although England still had two remaining games, their win over Italy solidified their position in Euro 2024. During this match, Jude Bellingham, a midfielder, set the stage, and captain Harry Kane took the chance to score for the win. On the other hand, Italy gained the second spot with 14 points, a shocking ending for fans who witnessed the team’s tense run.
Group D boasts Turkey and Croatia as the two qualifying teams. Turkey earned the spot with a 1-1 draw against Wales last November 22, where they had their share of spoils and one point needed to qualify for the Euro. Meanwhile, Croatia earned a comeback for the Euro 2024, overcoming Armenia and securing a spot with 16 points.
Albania wasn’t content with only two major tournaments in the previous years, as the team also drew the top spot for Group E. This team qualified with 15 points, as did the second qualifying team, Czechia. It was a straight battle against Moldova for Czechia, meaning whoever won would reach the finals. In this case, Czechia took home the winning title and the qualification spot.
The Teams for the Playoffs
Twelve teams are vying for the remaining spots in the finals. These are Georgia, Greece, Ukraine, Wales, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Kazakhstan, Israel, Iceland, Luxembourg, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
However, it won’t be an easy path. Before the 12 remaining teams battle each other in the playoffs, they must qualify for such based on their team performance in the 2022-2023 UEFA Nations League.
This means that the winners of Leagues A, B, and C will automatically advance to the playoffs. If the Nations League has already qualified, they will be replaced with the next-ranking team in the same league.
In League A, Croatia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy have claimed wins, while Scotland, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked at the top in League B. In League C, Turkey, Greece, Georgia, and Kazakhstan won. With these teams, six semi-final games will take place next year to determine the final three of the UEFA Euro.
Are the UEFA Euro Playoffs New?
The playoffs have been around for the last six years of the UEFA Euro, although it did have a different format in 2020 and 2022. Here, teams had more than one round of matches. Rather than use the Nations League as the basis for the qualifiers, the European Qualifiers were used instead.
Although you have this guide for the UEFA Euro, you still have plenty of updates to keep tabs on – as well as the last four groups that made it into the qualifiers. More importantly, it’s best to remember that the qualifiers are already fixed and look into the upcoming playoffs.
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