Despite the absence of the World Cup or the European Championship, fans will be able to watch the rivalry of the best youth teams of the Old World.
What do you need to know about the upcoming tournament?
1. Host country
The European U-21 Championship will be held in neighboring Poland. For the Poles, this is the first time they have hosted this tournament.
The opening match will take place on June 16, and the current winners of the tournament – the Swedish national team, which will be opposed by the British-will take part in it.
The matches will be hosted by six cities located across the country — Lublin, Kielce, Gdynia, Bydgoszcz, Karkov and Tychy. The final match will take place on June 30 at the Cracovia Stadium in Krakow.
CRACOVIA STADIUM-FINAL VENUE, ESSMA
2. Tournament History
Italy is the most successful country in the history of the competition, having won the competition five times, including the very first, which took place in 1978. The last” victoria ” of the Italians dates back to 2004, when Daniele de Rossi and Andrea Barzagli played in the team.
The Netherlands won two consecutive years in 2006 and in 2007, when the tournament shifted from an even year to an odd one. Germany won in 2009.
In 2011, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, David de Gea and Thiago Alcantara brought victory to Spain, and two years later, the current Bayern midfielder, with the support of Isco and Alvaro Morata, won again.
SPAIN — 2013 UEFA U-21 CHAMPION, GETTY IMAGES
The last European Championship was won by the Swedish national team, which, led by Victor Lindelof and Jon Guidetti, beat the Portuguese in the final.
3. Participants and tournament format
This year, the tournament was modified, increasing the number of participants. In previous years, 8 teams participated in the Youth Euro, but in 2017 there will be 12 teams.
The teams were divided into three groups of 4 teams. In Group A were the hosts of the tournament – the Poles, as well as England, Sweden and Slovakia.
Group B consisted of Portugal, Serbia, Spain and the debutants of the tournament – Macedonia. Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark and Italy will play in Group C.
SERBIA AND ITALY MET IN THE QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT, GETTY IMAGES
The winners of the groups and the best of the second-placed teams in the groups advance to the semifinals of the tournament.
The Ukrainian national team did not qualify for the tournament, taking only fourth place in its qualifying group. The winner of the group was Macedonia. In total, the Ukrainians played at such a tournament twice, in 2006 reaching the final, and in 2011 failed to get out of the group.
4. Who is eligible to play?
Despite the fact that this is the Under-21 World Cup, players who are already 23 can also take part in the tournament.
The fact is that the player should have been 21 years old at the beginning of the year in which the selection for the championship began. Thus, all players who were born after January 1, 1994 are available.
For example, Jordan Pickford and Nathan Redmont will play for England, and Gerard Deulofeu and Denis Suarez (if the Barca midfielder had been born a week earlier, he would not have played in this tournament), who are already 23 years old.
DENIS SUAREZ — THE MOST ADULT PARTICIPANT OF THE TOURNAMENT, GOAL.COM
5. Tournament Favorites
The main favorites of the championship, according to bookmakers, are the Germans and Spaniards.
Already experienced players such as Max Meyer and Jonathan Ta will play for the German national team, Borussia D newcomers Mahmoud Dahoud and Maximilian Philipp and Serge Gnabry, who moved to Bayern.
THE GERMANS IN QUALIFYING AGAINST THE FINNS, GETTY IMAGES
Fury Roja will also feature famous players-Hector Bellerin, Saul Nyiges and Marco Asensio.
Italy, led by Gianluigi Donnarumma, will be another team to claim victory in the tournament.
The main outsiders of the championship are not frequent guests of such championships — Macedonia and Slovakia.
The Swedes also have little faith in the victory, but at the last youth Euro, the Scandinavians were also not in the favorites, but still managed to win.