Article by Luis Pinto
The 2016 UEFA European Championship, usually referred to as Euro 2016, is starting this month. It will be held in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016. The UEFA European championship was started in 1960 and is held every four years, always falling on the even-numbered year between World Cups.
For the first time, the European Championship will be contested by 24 teams, which has been expanded from the 16-team format used since 1996. Under this new format, the finalists will enter a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final.
France was chosen as the host nation on 28 May 2010, beating Italy and Turkey for the right to host the 2016 finals. The matches will be played in ten stadiums in ten cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon,Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Étienne, and Toulouse. It will be the third time that France hosts the tournament, after the inaugural tournament in 1960 and the 1984 finals. The French team has won the European Championship twice: in 1984 and 2000, but this year the French team is in 21th place of the Fifa-UEFA ranking. Will they be able to defeat the opposing teams? Belgium is now at the top of the rankings, followed closely by the two favorites to win, Germany and three-time Euro winners Spain, who won the past two Euro tournaments. Will Portugal finally win the European cup before Ronaldo retires from the team? Will Italy make a comeback to their former glory and win this year? Or will we have a upset and get a new rising team as the champions? Let´s wait and see, but more importantly, let´s enjoy the games and live the excitement of this competition. I will be rooting for Portugal, of course, but I would put my money on Germany!
I have been in China on and off since 2007 and I have always told everyone that football is a huge market and that the Chinese education system could
support a stable development of Chinese football with a model like the American model of competition between schools, divided by regions. Every
school has the infrastructure to start local and national competitions. I believe it can be done, if we can all work together to learn about football and to
teach it to the children then they will be the future of a new Chinese football! Luisp1nt0@hotmail.com