YEREVAN. – Even though the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2016—which France hosted—is now history, it will be spoken about for still a long time.
We need to say that France solved its respective tasks very well.
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The country, however, was unable to see to it that this tournament would be worth watching.
I will attempt to analyze why Euro 2016 was less interesting.
Number of participants
It was said a long time ago that UEFA had made a mistake by increasing the number of participating nations by eight. But until they had not tested it, it would not have become clear whether or not this novelty would succeed. The group phase already showed that having this many squads in the European Championship is wrong. The stronger teams were not putting much effort in this stage, since even one win would make them advance to the knockout phase. This was also the first time that even some third-place squads would advance to the next round.
Most of the European Championship participants compete in national leagues all through the year, they also play in the Champions League, cup games, and at the end of the year, they participate in the European Championship in an extremely fatigued condition.
Comparison between the European Championship and the World Cup
Why was the most recent World Cup, which was held two years ago, more interesting? There is but one reason: strong competition. The strongest squads from all continents compete in the World Cup. The competition between the strongest sees to it that we witness interesting matches starting from the group stage.
Although we see marvelous coaching in the top football leagues, this is virtually impossible to see in the European Championship because it is hard to invent too many innovations with a national squad, five or six times a year.
In Euro 2016, the capabilities of the knockout phase participants were distributed unevenly. The weaker squads were on the left of the respective table, whereas the stronger teams eliminated one another on right of this table.
Portugal phenomenon? Or luck factor?
It seems to me that with its game, Portugal, which eventually were crowned the Euro 2016 champions, dictated all other squads to play inadequately. Portugal were a one-man team. If not for Cristiano Ronaldo, they would be called a mediocre squad. But when their star sustained an injury and had to leave the pitch in the final, the team game came into “play” here.
Football and coincidences
Many things in football depend on small details, and everything can be decided in a matter of seconds.
No Champions League final can bring the world the celebration which the European Championships and the World Cup bring, since in this case the footballers do not play for money, but their countries. And it is here that hundreds of thousands of fans assemble and celebrate the football feast. That is why I already have started counting down to the next World Cup, which Russia will host.
Ucom company is the main sponsor of the Armenian News-NEWS.am coverage of Euro 2016.
By Vera Martirosyan