In a few hours, we’ll have the chance to follow Italy and Turkey as they (hopefully) shoot their first goals at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in the first match of the 2020 European Championship. It remains 2020 because it’s still the 60-year anniversary of the tournament, albeit held a year later, that’s hosted in almost a dozen cities around Europe. It is, without a doubt, the biggest football event of the last three years, with all football lovers’ eyes on it.
Expect the keo168 tips to pour, expect the press to extensively cover the tiniest details of the matches day after day, for a whole month.
And expect to see familiar faces at the tournament, with these Pensioners stepping onto the turf for their respective countries – many of them against their teammates playing with the Three Lions: Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Mason Mount.
Palmieri and Jorginho (Italy)
The first two Chelsea players to play on the very first matchday of the EURO 2020 are left-back Emerson Palmieri and midfielder Jorginho who, despite his Portuguese-sounding name, is Italian.
Ethan Ampadu (Wales)
Welsh defender Ethan Ampadu is also at his first major international tournament, having previously played in Wales’ World Cup qualifier and in the Europa League.
Michy Batshuayi (Belgium)
Batshuayi is one of the faces that may look unfamiliar, having spent the better part of the last two years on loan at Crystal Palace. Although he was eligible to represent Congo as an international, he chose his native Belgium instead – he made his debut in a EURO 2016 qualifier with a goal. He later scored in Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Bosnia.
Andreas Christensen (Denmark)
Christensen graduated from Chelsea’s academy in 2013 and has been with the club ever since. The 25-year-old defender has represented his country in more than 40 matches since 2015, including in the country’s World Cup qualifier in 2018.
Mateo Kovacic (Croatia)
Kovacic is a versatile midfielder able to play in many positions. He is also a player with a lot of relevant experience, having played in two World Cups and one European Championship.
Billy Gilmour (Scotland)
Gilmour has played more games with the Scottish U21 team than he has with Chelsea since joining the club in 2019. He made his full debut with the National Team this month – now, in turn, he’ll have a chance to shine.
Cesar Azpilicueta (Spain)
Azpilicueta is an experienced international with two World Cups under his belt, and at his second European Championship with La Roja, plus more than 50 games at a youth level. Under his captaincy, Chelsea won the Champions League.
Kurt Zouma, N’Golo Kanté, Olivier Giroud (France)
Zouma missed his first shot at a European Championship due to an injury he suffered while at Chelsea. Now he has the chance to make up for the lost time. Kanté was part of France’s squad that finished second in EURO 2016, and the one that won the 2018 World Cup, along with Giroud who was also there.
Antonio Rüdiger, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner (Germany)
Rüdiger missed the 2016 European Championship due to an injury and hardly played in the World Cup. Now he’ll have a chance to show his worth. Havertz is a newcomer at Chelsea but has a formidable history in the Bundesliga, and a chance to shine at the EUROs. And so does Werner, who won a Golden Boot in the 2019 FIFA Confederations Cup, and is at his first appearance at the European Championship