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Category: European Championship

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Gareth Southgate puts Maddison at heart of his latest England evolution

England have excelled on the counterattack but manager knows they must keep the ball better to challenge the bestWith a waistcoat rather than a donkey jacket, Gareth Southgate does not look like a radical. But the England manager can sound like he has …

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England 5-0 Czech Republic ratings: Who caught the eye at Wembley

Raheem Sterling stole the show but Harry Kane and Ben Chilwell also impressed in England’s first qualifier for Euro 2020 Continue reading…

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Euro 2020 qualifiers: Georginio Wijnaldum strikes for Netherlands

• Netherlands in easy 4-0 stroll against Belarus• World Cup finalists Croatia leave it late to beat Azerbaijan 2-1The Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum scored a rare goal as the Netherlands began their European Championship qualifying campaign i…

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VAR to be used in Champions League from next season and at Euro 2020

• Uefa will first use technology in next year’s Super Cup• Will also be seen at Euro 2020 and in 2020-21 Europa LeagueUefa has announced it will begin using video assistant referees (VAR) in next season’s Champions League, after a debut in the Super Cu…

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Nessun Dorma podcast: from Jack Charlton to Euro 96, via Paul Merson

The pod revisit Euro 96, talk transfer records, remember Graham Taylor and debate Republic of Ireland under Big JackThere’s a surprising dearth of football podcasts these days. Thankfully for you and your ears, Nessun Dorma is here to fill the gap. We …

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Andrea Pirlo’s five greatest assists

Andrea Pirlo scored a lot of goals and won a lot of trophies – the World Cup and Champions Leagues among them – but his passes were his greatest triumphsBy Emmet Gates for The Gentleman Ultra, of the Guardian Sport NetworkCarlo Ancelotti once said: “Pi…

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FA: Brexit will not derail plans to host final stages of Euro 2020 or 2028 bid

• FA’s Martin Glenn says vote to leave EU will not affect hosting of 2020 games
• Chairman Greg Clarke says FA is reaching out to friends in Uefa over 2028 bid

The Football Association has insisted Brexit will not derail its plans to hold the final stages of Euro 2020 at Wembley, hoping it will act as precursor to an England bid to host the 2028 European Championship.

Since the FA won the right to stage the 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley as one of 12 venues for the tournament, which will be scattered across Europe under a plan drawn up by the former Uefa president Michel Platini, the UK has voted to leave the European Union.

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Eleven thoughts from Euro 2016 for rugby league fans

People love international sport so rugby league should find a large audience on free TV, promote its underdogs and have faith in its own entertainment value

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

1) A fortnight after the RFL announced they will be bidding to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, the draw for the 2017 finals will be revealed next Tuesday morning. All we know so far are 11 of the 14 finalists and that it will start on 27 October, with the final on 2 December. Venues and fixtures will be confirmed next Tuesday, with three groups games set for Papua New Guinea and the rest split between co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

2) Let’s hope the World Cup is fair. The draw released on Tuesday will have been curated, rather than being an open draw. Another 14-team World Cup means a potential repeat of the close shave with farce we had in 2013, when Scotland could have been eliminated despite earning five points while France would have progressed with just one! The 2021 World Cup will have 16 teams, bringing an end to the “super group” that was a dismal failure in 2008 when heroic Papua New Guinea were cast as the giants’ doormat, a baton passed to Ireland in 2013. Every nation should have a chance of escaping their group.

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Euro 2016: 24 fans from 24 countries give their verdicts on the tournament

Portugal tasted glory, France were left to rue a missed opportunity, Wales are excited about the World Cup qualifiers and Ukraine have little to shout about

It won’t come as a massive shock to learn that I’ve enjoyed this tournament. The team didn’t really get going in Group F but I was thrilled with the Portugal performances in the knock-out stages. I was in Lens for the Croatia game in the second round. It is widely regarded as the worst game of the tournament but it wasn’t boring for the Portuguese fans inside the stadium.

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Euro 2020: get ready for games from Bilbao to Baku and more minnows

Hosting Euro 2020 in 13 cities across the continent and using the Uefa Nations League as part of the qualifying process mean it will feel very different from the tournament in France – and not necessarily for the better

Like all tournaments, it feels suddenly over far too soon. Euro 2016 isn’t going to go down as a classic overall, but it had the incredible stories of Wales and Iceland, some brilliant goals, and the most ridiculous penalty shootout you are ever likely to see between two of the heavyweights of the international game.

And there won’t be another tournament like it for eight years. Next time we get together to crown the champions of Europe, it will be in an experimental multi-city format, stretching across the continent, with London’s Wembley hosting the semi-finals and final.

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Euro 2016: vote for the best goal, game, player, team and biggest disappointment

How do we make sense of Euro 2016? Portugal won a strange tournament thanks to a striker who was dire at Swansea. Our writers picked their standout moments yesterday and you added your views in the comments. Now it’s polling time

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Sport picture of the day: Portugal fans welcome home Euro 2016 heroes

Thousands of fans lined the streets of Lisbon as the victorious national football team flew home after defeating France to become Euro 2016 champions and claim their first major trophy Continue reading…

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Portugal greeted by thousands of fans after flying home to Lisbon

• Supporters in capital hail new goal hero Éder
• President to honour European Championship winners

Portugal flew home to Lisbon on Monday to be greeted by thousands of fans chanting the name of their goal hero Éder, whose extra-time strike sealed their 1-0 victory over France in the final of the European Championship.

After travelling in a plane named after the late striker Eusébio, the coach Fernando Santos and captain Cristiano Ronaldo were greeted by rapturous applause from the 5,000-strong crowd as they lifted the country’s first major trophy aloft.

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Euro 2016: The Guardian’s team of the tournament

Two Frenchmen – Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet – make our team of the tournament, as do Aaron Ramsey, Ragnar Sigurdsson and Ivan Perisic

Euro 2016 drew to a close on Sunday night with Portugal beating France in the final in Paris. As with all tournaments there were some good games and some bad games but most were intense and highly watchable.

At the Guardian we have rated every single performance in France and can now present our official best and worst team of the tournament.

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From Samuel Umtiti to Ivan Perisic – five players who thrived at Euro 2016

A centre-back and four midfielders, including Wales’ Aaron Ramsey, who started away from the spotlight but seized the chance to attract attention

Umtiti gained his call-up to the French squad at this tournament only after injuries ruled out Raphael Varane and Jérémy Mathieu, with Mamadou Sakho banned, and he was uncapped until Adil Rami’s suspension prompted involvement against Iceland. Those opponents actually ruffled his feathers on debut, particularly in the second half, with their direct, aggressive approach. Yet the 22‑year‑old showed enough assurance in possession to retain his place against Germany when his second‑half display, under pressure, was outstanding. The world champions did not muster a shot on target from midway through the first half until stoppage time at the end, with the Frenchman’s ability on the ball an indication as to why Barcelona have just paid £24.6m to prise him from Lyon. “He’s so sure of his ability,” said Hugo Lloris. “He’s strong in the challenge, very good at playing the ball out from the back which marks him out, and at his age, at this level, he’s achieving something great.”

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Euro 2016: Guardian writers pick their highs and lows from France

From Hal Robson-Kanu’s memorable turn against Belgium to Antoine Griezmann capturing hearts, plus walking into lamp-posts, our writers give their take

Match of the tournament The best I attended was France’s 2-0 win over Germany, when the upgrade in quality was very obvious. From afar Wales’ rumbustious elimination of a much-fancied Belgium was jaw-dropping.

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Portugal victory is a triumph of resilience and a well-drilled defensive unit | Michael Cox

Fernando Santos coached his side superbly but their win in the Euro 2016 final came from a piece of magic from an unexpected source in Éder

The defining feature of this tournament has been the number of teams lacking a discernible attacking plan and it seemed somehow appropriate that Portugal won the game in this manner. Before the tournament their coach, Fernando Santos, eschewed a traditional centre-forward in favour of playing two wingers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, up front – yet Portugal played their best football here after introducing Éder, an old-school No9. Few would have predicted, however, that the striker would settle the game in such spectacular fashion.

This was a defensive, cagey match between two teams attempting to regain possession in deep positions and lacking the tools to create regular chances. It started at a good tempo, with Moussa Sissoko moving inside from the right flank to charge forward from central positions. Portugal looked to play on the counterattack, although through long passes rather than quick combinations and rapid transitions. Their first chance came when Nani sprinted on to a 60-yard ball from the right-back Cédric Soares before firing over. The approach was obvious: get the ball towards the front two immediately.

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France’s knotted midfield left them bound for failure in Euro 2016 final | Barney Ronay

Portugal were worthy winners, and uplifting ones too, as when it mattered most their opponents were unable to stutter up out of second gear

Related: Portugal beat France to win Euro 2016 final with Éder’s extra-time goal

At the final whistle in Paris, as Portugal’s players danced and hugged, a team of real heart and craft, the image of Michel Platini appeared on the huge screen attached to the Stade de France’s halo-like roof.

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‘We were simple as doves, wise as serpents’: Portugal toast Euro 2016 win

• Coach Fernando Santos pays tribute to winning goalscorer Éder
• Pepe reveals new European champions ‘won it for Ronaldo’

Pepe revealed he had urged his team-mates to “win it for Cristiano Ronaldo” as Portugal claimed their first major trophy at France’s expense with their injured captain and talisman reduced to barking instructions from the technical area.

Related: Portugal 1-0 France: five talking points from the Euro 2016 final

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s tears of sadness turn to joy on Portugal’s greatest night

The captain’s participation on the pitch ended prematurely but it was a happy ending as Fernando Santos’ ‘ugly ducklings’ broke France’s hearts

Not for the first time in the evening Cristiano Ronaldo put his hands to his face and struggled to contain the emotion. On this occasion it was overwhelming joy. The Portugal captain, who was cruelly knocked out of this 2016 European Championship final by a knee injury early in the first half, walked along the touchline to take a moment alone, as the hysteria exploded around him.

Éder had just scored the goal of his life – one of the goals of Portugal’s history – the bench had emptied on to the pitch and the country was set fair for its first major trophy. After all the semi‑final misses and the defeat against Greece in the Euro 2004 final – at their championship – it was finally to be Portugal’s time.

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