The European Football Championship starts on June 11, the best players of the continent will fight for the prestigious trophy. 112.international introduces its readers to all participants of the Euro and today we study Group F, which brings together France, Germany, Portugal and Hungary.
The Hungary national football team
Goalkeeper: Ádám Bogdán(Ferencvaros), Dénes Dibusz(Ferencvaros), Péter Gulácsi(Leipzig)
Defender: Bendegúz Bolla(Fehervar), Endre Botka(Ferencvaros), Attila Fiola(Fehervar), Ákos Kecskés(Lugano), Ádám Lang(Omonia), Gergő Lovrencsics(Ferencvaros), Willi Orbán(Leipals), Attila Szalai(Fenerbahçe).
Midfielder: Tamás Cseri(Mezőkövesdi), Daniel Gazdag (Philadelphia Union), Filip Holender(Partizan), László Kleinheisler(Osijek), Adam Nagy (Bristol City), Loïc Négo(Fehervar), András Schäfer(DAC), David Siger(Ferencvaros).
Forward: János Hahn(Paks), Nemanja Nikolić(Fehervar), Roland Sallai (Freiburg), Szabolcs Schön(Dallas), Ádám Szalai(Mainz), Kevin Varga (Kasimpasa), Roland Varga (MTK).
The way to the Euro
The Hungarian national team made its way to the Euro through the sieve of the NationsLeague playoffs. In their group, they went down swingingfor the European Championship but took only fourth place. But in the group of the Nations League, the Hungarians managed to beat strong Russia, Serbia and Turkey. And in the playoffs, the Hungarians first beat Bulgaria and then coped with Iceland.
UEFA Nations Leagueplayoffs
Semi-final, Bulgaria - Hungary, 1: 3
Final, Hungary - Iceland, 2: 1
If not for the injury, the focus of the Hungarian team was the midfielder of LeipzigDominik Szoboszlai. But the injury did not allow Hungary's main hope to go to the Euros. The leader in the locker room should be goalkeeperPéter Gulácsi, who also plays for the German Red Bull. Again, the Hungarians are represented by the goalkeeper, only this time not Gabor Kirai in sports pants, the main player of one of the leaders of the Bundesliga.
Péter Gulácsihas played in almost all matches for his club this season. His game has already attracted scouts from Borussia Dortmund. Although Gulácsi signed a new contract with Leipzigjust before the Euro. So, the "bumblebees" will have to either be generous or wait some more.
Italian Marco Rossi did not shine much during his stay as a player - he played for modest clubs. In 2004, he started his coaching career in his homeland. In 2012, he decided to move to Hungary, where he headed Honved. Sensationally winning the championship with a modest club, Rossi took thebronze with the Slovak DAK, after which he started leading the Hungarian national teamin 2018.
At first, the Italian did not succeed in the national team. But over time, the players got used to Rossi's demands and the Hungarian team began to show results. The country has talented players around whom you can build a strong team. It was not possible to bring all the strongest to the Euro, but Rossi's tactical literacy and flexibility will allow his wards to show themselves in matches against top rivals.
The Germany national football team
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern), Bernd Leno (Arsenal), Kevin Trapp (PSG);
Defender: Matthias Ginter (Borussia M), Robin Gosens (Atalanta), Christian Günter(Freiburg), Marcel Halstenberg, Lukas Klostermann (both Leipzig), Robin Koch (Leeds), Antonio Rüdiger(Chelsea), Niklas Süle(Bayern), Mats Hummels (Borussia D);
Midfielder: Emre Can (Borussia D), Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala (all - Bayern),İlkay Gündoğan (Manchester City), Florian Neuhaus, Jonas Hoffmann (all - Borussia M), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).
Forward: Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller(all - Bayern), Kevin Volland (Monaco), Timo Werner, Kai Havertz (Chelsea).
The way to the Euro
The Germans qualified for the Euro, becoming the first in their group. Their rivals were the national teams of the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Belarus and Estonia. The Bundesteam won seven matches out of eight in light mode and with constant tactical searches.
Germany - 21 points
The Netherlands - 19
Northern Ireland - 13
Belarus - 4
Estonia - 1
The German national team has enough world-class players. Herethe legendary goalkeeper Neuer, the winner of the Champions League Antonio Rüdiger, one of the prominent players of the Manchester City İlkay Gündoğan. But at the Euros, the main role in the German national team should go to the Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
After the departure of Thiago Alcantara from the Bavaria at the Munich club, there was a temporary qualitative failure in the center of the field. And it was Kimmich who became the replacement for the Spaniard, who was able to return the game of the Bavarians in midfield to the former top level. As a result, he played in 35 games for Bayern in the season, scored five goals and gave 14 assists.
It is hard to believe, but Joachim Löw has been working with the German national team for 15 years. After the home World Cup, Jürgen Klinsmann left his post and his assistant Löw took the chair of the head coach. Already at Euro 2008, Germany played in the finalunder the leadership of Löw, at the World Cup in Africa, the Germans were third, at Euro 2012, Germany played in the semi-finals. The trophy was won at the 2014 World Cup.
At the Euros, the team stopped again in the semifinals. But at the 2018 World Cup, the Germans failed, unable to leave the group. The European Championship will be the last tournament for Joachim Löw - after which he leaves his post. So far, Joachim has not received any new proposals and he will be able to rest a bit.
The Portugal national football team
Goalkeeper: Anthony Lopez (Lyon), Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton), Rui Tiago Silva (Granada).
Defender: João Cancelo, Ruben Dias (both Manchester City), Nelson Semedo (Wolverhampton), Pepe (Porto), Jose Fonte (Lille), Raphaël Guerreiro(Borussia Dortmund), Nuno Mendes (Sporting).
Midfielder: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pedro Goncalves, João Palhinha(both Sporting), Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho (both Wolverhampton Sanchel), Sergio Oliveira (Porto), William Carvalho (Betis), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Diogo Jota (Liverpool), Rafa Silva (Benfica), João Félix(Atletico), Gonçalo Guedes(Valencia).
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Andre Silva (Eintracht).
The way to the Euro
The current European champions qualified for the tournament, becoming second in the same group with Ukraine, Serbia, Luxembourg and Lithuania. After that, the Portuguese surrendered the title of champion of the NationsLeague, giving first place in their quartet of France. And in the World Cup qualifiers, Portugal beat Azerbaijan and Luxembourg but drew with Serbia.
Ukraine - 20 points
Portugal - 17
Serbia - 14
Luxembourg - 4
Lithuania – 1
Whoever plays for the Portuguese national team while Cristiano Ronaldo is there, all the attention will be on him. Cristiano together with the Juventus managed to win only the Italian Cup but became the top scorer in Serie A. In total, Ronaldo scored 36 goals during the season.
Ronaldo is now 36 years old, and this Euro may be the last big tournament in which he is able to "pull" on himself. At the World Cup in Qatar, he will still be in shape but will pass every year. So, we have the opportunity to watch the sunset of one of the best footballers in history.
66-years-old Fernando Santoshas worked in two countries, Portugal and Greece, during his coaching career. There he worked with almost all local grandees: Porto, Sporting, Benfica, as well as AEK, Panathinaikos and PAOK. It was possible to win the championship only once - in Portoback in 1999.
In 2014, Santos accepted an invitation to lead the Portuguese national team. And two years later the Portuguese became European champions. At the same time, he extended his contract with the national team until 2020. But due to the postponement of the Euro, he remained at the helm of the team for another year.
The France national football team
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan(Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defender: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Clement Langlet (Barcelona), Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard (both (Bayern), Raphaël Varane(Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea).
Midfielder: N'Golo Kanté(Chelsea), Tomas Lemar (Atletico), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot(Juventus), Moussa Sissoko(Tottenham Hotspur), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern).
Forward: WissamBenYedder (Monaco), KarimBenzema (RealMadrid), KingsleyComan (BayernMunich), OusmaneDembélé, AntoineGriezmann (bothBarcelona), OlivierGiroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappé(PSG), MarcusThuram (BorussiaM).
The way to the Euro
The French were selected for the European Championship in Group H. Their rivals were Iceland, Turkey, Albania, Moldova and Andorra. Deschamps's wards took the first place, but could not cope with the Turks, for example. But France proved its top-level later, winning its NationsLeague division, where they played with the Portuguese. And in the World Cup qualifiers, the French started with a draw with Ukraine and victories over Bosnia and Wales.
France - 25 points
Turkey - 23
Iceland - 19
Albania - 13
Andorra - 4
Moldova – 3
The French national team belongs to the type of teams that have so many stars in the lineup that it is difficult to single someone out. Kylian Mbappé shone in the season, scoring 42 goals. Benzema's success at Real Madrid persuaded Deschamps to return Karim to the national team. Antoine Griezmann did not play too brightly in the Barcelona, but he was one of the leaders of the Catalan team.
But the main hero of France right now is N'Golo Kanté from Chelsea in London. After showing incredible football in the center of the field in the championship Leicester, Kanté moved to London, where he now captures with his interceptions and jerks of Chelsea fans. As a result, 47 matches per season and the role of one of the main creators of victory in the Champions League.
52-years-old Didier Deschamps has been working with the French national team since 2012. Prior to that, he led the Monaco to the final of the Champions League, returned the Juventus to Serie A and won the French Ligue 1 with the Marseille. After this, he was invited to the national team, where his work received a well-deserved return.
In 2016, the French were close to taking the home euro but lost the final to the Portuguese. Then "le ble" still won the title, winning the Russian World Cup. So, Deschamps has a great opportunity to take revenge on Portugal for the Euro final. And we will watch the match between the European and world champions.
Hungary obviously will not be able to impose the fight for the playoffs on top opponents. So, they are assigned the role of extras. But among others, there will be a tense struggle to move on. The French have a slight advantage, however, the composition of Deschamps is too cool. In recent matches with the Portuguese in the League of Nations, the world champions were stronger. But the Germans need to correct for the failure of the 2018 World Cup, the second absence from the group in a row they will not be forgiven. So, we bet on France and Germany, and Portugal will count on additional places.