In this unprecedented Euro organized in 11 countries, Wembley now focuses, more than all other stadiums, on the hopes of the 16 participants in the Round of 16, disputed from Saturday to Tuesday, but also the compounded fears associated with the epidemic.
The legendary London stadium hosts two goals, Italy and Austria on Saturday, then a European classic match between England and Germany on Tuesday. The semi-finals (6-7 July) and the final (11 July) must also be played there.
Despite growing doubts, which were publicly expressed last Monday by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi about the feasibility of ending the tournament in London due to the health situation in the UK, the British government has expressed its confidence and even increased the authorized scale. The “Fourth Final” (60,000 spectators against 22,000 and 40,000 for the eighth).
History to deny rumor a possible transfer to Budapest or elsewhere.
Italian coach Roberto Mancini ensures he is happy to be back at this stadium as he has some bad memories – he lost the Champions League final to Sampdoria in 1992 – but also some good memories, like the FA Cup final he won as Manchester coach. Since years.
“In such a great stadium we have to play well because this stadium deserves it,” said Roberto Mancini, after he was able to walk on the grass with his players.
After impressing at home, in Rome, during the first round without a false note, Nacional want to show on Saturday (21:00) that they also know how to travel: they are ahead against Austria for David Alaba, even if the “das team” finishes his first lap In a fast race.
Dantesque for Portugal
The Euro Rollercoaster will start a few hours before Amsterdam (6:00 pm) with the first 8th Wales-Denmark.
It’s also the first ride for the Danes to win their ticket at home in Copenhagen during the first run that looked like an emotional rollercoaster, between the great fear associated with the cardiac arrest of Christian Eriksen and a brilliant qualification. Match against Russia (4-1).
“We feel very strong,” said Danish coach Kasper Hjolmand, praising the “mental and physical strength” of his players.
This “roller coaster” will not decrease the tops, which will also lose other stars, after the overthrow of the magnate Robert Lewandowski.
For example, there will be only one, Sunday in Seville, between Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo, once again head-to-head after the matches in Italy for the top scorer of the tournament (won by stainless steel “CR7”).
To maintain the title they won in 2016, Portugal faces a very uphill path: in the event of success against Belgium, one of the favorites with its golden generation Hazard-De Bruyne-Lukaku, attractive Italy can wait in the quarter-finals. Ronaldo and his companions, before a possible half against France or Spain …
To hope to get there, the Blues must avoid a slip against powerful Switzerland but a priori within reach of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema, on Monday in Bucharest.
England and Germany, what a story!
Spain, revived in the 5-0 final from their group against Slovakia after a nice start, appears more vulnerable against Croatia than Luka Modric, who will ironically be Real Madrid’s only representative on Monday on the grass in Copenhagen.
In light of this hot half of the picture, the other part presents a landscape a priori more understandable for the Netherlands, versus Sunday at eight for the Czech Republic. Orange could already reasonably think of the semi-finals.
The only other two ‘ghouls’ will be explained from their part of the schedule in effect from Part VIII, with England and Germany reminded of some of the matches that have entered future generations.
It is clear that the English will especially remember the final of the 1966 World Cup – already at Wembley – won (4-2 points) with the famous “ghost goal” from Geoff Hurst which we still do not know, 55 years later, crossed the line.
The Germans prefer the memory of the 90th World Championship semi-final match, which Italy won on penalties. England’s Gary Lineker maintained this legendary saying: “Football is a simple game: Twenty-two players run after the ball and in the end the Germans always win.”
Thomas Muller’s teammates will also be able to count on their elders qualifying in the semi-finals of Euro 1996, at Wembley, against the English, again on penalties: the current coach of the “Three Lions” Gareth Southgate failed in his attempt.
As for the meeting at Wembley on Tuesday, history has yet to be written.
Eighth Final Program
Wales-Denmark (6pm, Saturday 26 June, Amsterdam)
– Italy – Austria (9pm, Saturday 26 June, London)
– Netherlands – Czech Republic (6 pm, Sunday, June 27, Budapest)
– Belgium – Portugal (9pm, Sunday 27 June, Seville)
– Croatia-Spain (6pm, Monday, June 28, Copenhagen)
– France-Switzerland (9pm, Monday 28 June, Bucharest)
– England – Germany (6pm, Tuesday, June 29, London)
Sweden-Ukraine (9pm, Tuesday, June 29, Glasgow)