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Top Stories: Issue #13

Euro 2016: Saved by Underdogs?

Euro 2016 ended with Portugal being crowned winners, overcoming the hosts and favourites France in the Final in Paris. As usual in the immediate wake of the competition, commentators from across Europe have released their opinions on the tournament as a whole. Many have praised individual moments and specific games but have criticised the competition as a whole. Too few high-scoring games and a generally dour quality of football are both criticisms levelled at the tournament, perhaps a little unfairly, but many seem to focus on the overall structure following UEFA's decision to expand from 16 to 24 teams. Indeed, many argue that the poor football on offer was in part due to the new structure, in which many third-placed teams qualified for the knock-out stages (including champions Portugal), therefore encouraging a "good enough" mentality.

While there may be some truth to this, we must also not forget what this expansion to 24 teams provided us as fans. It meant that teams such as Wales, Albania, Iceland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were able...

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