It’s here! It’s finally here! A year later than scheduled (don’t worry, we won’t get into all that) European football finds itself at the starting line of a month-long football feast: UEFA EURO 2020 is upon us!
It’s safe to say this tournament will be unlike any other that has come before it with the competition to be played in twelve different host countries, some of which will have stadiums at full capacity, others which will not. Quite frankly, it’s all new. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be exciting. In fact, the bizarre makeup of this tournament is probably likely to throw up more shocks than ever before. So what we’re trying to say is: don’t rule out an Austria v North Macedonia final…
And so that brings us to the Icons.com staff predictions. We’ve learned over the years that predicting the future, as it turns out, is pretty difficult. But that’s not going to stop us from trying!
Edward Freedman, Non-Executive Chairman
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: FIFA World Cup winners FRANCE have a whole host of technical players who are just excellent.
Runner-up: GERMANY always do very well in tournaments.
Golden Boot winner: France’s ANTOINE GRIEZMANN has the quality to finish as the tournament’s top scorer.
Player of the Tournament: Germany’s UEFA Champions League-winning talisman KAI HAVERTZ will impress at his first major tournament.
Notable overachievers: With a relatively straightforward group, the NETHERLANDS will go a long way despite being written off in some quarters.
Notable underachievers: Sadly, this will be ENGLAND.
England will… not do very well. I don’t see them making it past the quarter-finals.
Random bold prediction: Led by Christian Eriksen and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Denmark will go deep in this competition.
Dan Jamieson, CEO
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: With a forward line made up of Icons – Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo – PORTUGAL will retain it. Half of their defence comprises PFA Team of the Year honourees led by a coach who knows what it takes to win. And, of course, my Liverpool boy Diogo Jota!
Runner-up: At a tournament like this, having an ability to not concede is often more preferable to an ability to score tons of goals – just look at Portugal in 2016. With that in mind, I’m going with ITALY.
Golden Boot winner: Portugal’s DIOGO JOTA carries his domestic form on to the big stage.
Player of the Tournament: Another Portuguese star, BRUNO FERNANDES, seizes his opportunity to clamber into the pantheon of world class players.
Notable overachievers: Now that Christian Eriksen has found form, expect DENMARK to go far.
Notable underachievers: GERMANY can’t escape the clutches of that Group of Death.
England will… get to the quarters then go out to the first decent team we meet. The FIFA World Rankings put us third best in Europe and we’re basically at home this summer but unless the draw opens up and we get Sweden again it’ll be the last eight for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions.
Random bold prediction: Scotland draw with England but drop out of the tournament at the group stages after celebrating too much.
Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: FRANCE. The FIFA World Cup winners can can be triumphant once again.
Runner-up: I’m backing the NETHERLANDS to go the furthest in a UEFA EURO tournament since the great team of Marco Van Baste, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard in 1988.
Golden Boot winner: With an easy enough group to get a good head-start on likes of Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe, ROMELU LUKAKU wins this.
Player of the Tournament: Does a 26-year-old BRUNO FERNANDES have enough left in the tank after more games than any other player in Europe in 2020/21?
Notable overachievers: With a reliable keeper, strong centre-back pairing and Eriksen, Thomas Delaney and Hojbjerg in the middle creating a strong spine, DENMARK not only have a talented quite but a more than manageable group. I just worry if Martin Braithwaite, Yussuf Poulsen and Andreas Cornelius can get them the goals.
Notable underachievers: BELGIUM have the oldest squad in the tournament, Kevin De Bruyne has broken eyes, and they have to travel to Baku and back again. Although it’s an easy group I think they’ll get knocked out in the quarters or earlier.
England will… come up against tough competition en route to the latter stages and scrape to the quarters. But anything less than the semi-finals would be deemed a failure.
Random bold prediction: Wales to score the team goal of the tournament (I’m convinced after Harry Wilson’s goal vs Belgium). Goran Pandev to score three goals at his first UEFA EURO finals match with North Macedonia. There will be at least one five-goal thriller in Group F.
Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: There’s no reason to overthink this: FRANCE have the strongest team on paper, with multiple world-class players in key areas and depth beyond belief. The return of Karim Benzema should not be overlooked – he is the outstanding out-and-out centre forward Les Bleus didn’t quite have before (my sincere apologies to Monsieur Giroud).
Runner-up: With the likes of Foden, Mount and Grealish, ENGLAND have an explosive young squad tempered by the steady guidance of Gareth Southgate. Fitness is a concern, but don’t underestimate the fact they will likely have home advantage in all but one of their games – right up to and including the final.
Golden Boot winner: Only Cristiano Ronaldo had more shots than LORENZO INSIGNE in Serie A this season and with Group A looking relatively straightforward for Italy, the Napoli man – and Golden Boot outsider – will have this sewn up by the Round of 16.
Player of the Tournament: Now that he has hair like Gazza, PHIL FODEN will emulate the great Geordie legend and prove he is among the world’s very best players with a series of show-stopping displays.
Notable overachievers: Sometimes you just have to let your heart rule your head. This is one such occasion. Give me SCOTLAND to defy expectations and reach the quarter-finals. Because why not?
Notable underachievers: It’ll be quite the shock when the NETHERLANDS are not able to qualify from their group. Remember, third place won’t be enough for two unlucky teams.
Scotland will… be to UEFA EURO 2020 what Wales were to UEFA EURO 2016 – a joyous underdog story. If Che Adams or Lyndon Dykes can find the net, the likes of Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay and John McGinn have enough quality to ensure progress beyond the group stages. Third place in Group D may actually set them up quite kindly in the Round of 16… and you may now stop laughing.
Random bold prediction: No UEFA EURO finals match has ever been won by more than five goals. That will change at this tournament.
Jamie White, Online Content & Social Media Producer
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: It’s a toss-up between France and PORTUGAL. But I fancy the idea of Ronaldo and Fernandes taking them all the way in the competition.
Runner-up: FRANCE have the strongest team on paper, in my opinion. But the strongest team doesn’t always win the whole thing. Just look at 2016.
Golden Boot winner: Bit of an obvious choice but I’ll go KYLIAN MBAPPE. He is a world class player and, crucially, he loves an international competition.
Player of the Tournament: BRUNO FERNANDES is a top quality player. It’s just unfortunate that he plays for United. The playmaker has a fantastic attitude and I believe his desire to win for his country will show through this summer.
Notable overachievers: SWITZERLAND have had a good run of results in the lead-up to this tournament.
Notable underachievers: GERMANY will be the casualty of a very difficult Group F.
England will… win it! Only joking, I was really optimistic for England, with our young exciting squad. But after watching the warm-up games we looked to struggle to create many chances. I think Southgate will be a little too cautious with his team selection. I’m saying we will go out in the quarter-finals but I hope I’m wrong. Jack Grealish will be our stand-out player.
Random bold prediction: The Indian variant of COVID-19 cancels the whole thing!
Will Franklin, Head of Customer Support
UEFA EURO 2020 winners: This has to be FRANCE. Their players and manager are serial winners on the big stage and I think they’ll be too much for anyone else to handle this year.
Runner-up: With a fairly ‘easy’ route to the latter stages, if things go to plan for them, BELGIUM have enough to beat the likes of Portugal, England (unfortunately) et al.
Golden Boot winner: ROMELU LUKAKU should easily net some goals in the group stages. If they reach the final, you can expect him to be up there.
Player of the Tournament: N’GOLO KANTE. One of the best players in world football right now and his ‘under the radar’ work ethic is starting to be rightly appreciated.
Notable overachievers: I think TURKEY have some great players who are in good form so they have the potential to go far.
Notable underachievers: GERMANY (I hope). Let’s have a repeat of the 2018 FIFA World Cup group stages, please.
England will… be undone on the day by other top teams. That said, this is probably the most excited I’ve been before an international tournament for some time. We have a young, talented squad with a massive future. We could be gone by the Round of 16 with the route being as it is, but if not I’d expect us to get to the semi-finals.
Random bold prediction: Jack Grealish will be England’s best player by a country mile.