Tonight’s first match will take place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome … which, according to our comprehensive guide to all Euro 2020 stadiums, “resembles a large uncovered bowl slowly sinking into the designated terrain between the Tiber River and the Monte Mario hill.” It is not a very safe ground for the hosts. While his all-time record in Rome is 35 wins, 18 draws and just six losses, three of those losses have come in his last six games here. However, they beat Greece 2-0 here in qualifying, while their record for finals in the capital in the Euro and World Cup is eight wins and two draws. You can view it in two ways so take your pick.
Euro 2020: the complete guide to all stadiums
So how should we start The Guardian’s live coverage of up to a nanosecond of Euro 2020? That’s right, with material first published ten days ago! Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a quick refresher course.
Euro 2020 Team Guides Part 3: Turkey
Euro 2020 Team Guides Part 1: Italy
Hello! Where the hell have you been? We have been waiting for you 364 days. But don’t worry, we’ve stalled everyone. Turns out, you arrived just in time. This is going to be a explosion.
The thing is, people get so nervous about where the tournaments in play will end in the pantheon. Endless arguments. Half-decent matches are compared to the 1984 semi-final between France and Portugal by people desperate to believe that they are living in a golden age; Half-decent tournaments are compared to Euro 80 by the edgelord crowd with the glass half empty. The truth, we can exclusively reveal, is almost always somewhere in between.
But this time it really, really, really didn’t matter. There will be 51 games in the 16th UEFA European Championship. They could all finish 0-0, and it would still be an excuse to enjoy every minute, a reason to party, a cause for wild celebration. After everything that has happened in the world in the last year and a bit, a great international soccer tournament is about to begin! With fans on site !!! Whatever happens, this will be the best hit of the summer. Sit back and enjoy.
The tournament begins with an intriguing match between the visiting team Italy, which they host in Rome, and the designated home team, Turkey, playing away. (Go with him, it’s going to be that kind of tournament). The Turks have scored 14 goals in their last six games, while the Azzurri, back in the big moment after missing the last World Cup, have not been defeated since 2018, a streak that extends to 27 games.
Before that, there is an opening ceremony to go through. More on that anon, because we will have plenty of time to fill. The ceremony is scheduled to start at 7pm BST, the big game at 8pm BST. At last, we can say it. Euro 2020: that’s it!