Germany were handed the toughest possible Euro 2020 group. Current World Cup winners France and defending Euro champions Portugal join Joachim Löw’s team in Group F.
After an acrobatic display on stage in Bucharest, Romania, the draw finally got underway with a host of former players, including Philipp Lahm, involved. The fourth team in Germany’s group depends on the playoffs, and will be one of Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo or Belarus.
In an otherwise somewhat predictable draw, England facing Croatia in a 2018 World Cup semifinal rematch in Group D also sparked interest. Italy play Turkey in the tournament’s opening game.
The tournament has sparked controversy as it is not being held in one country, but instead across major European cities. There are reasons for it being a good call. Then again, there are concerns about travel and expense.
Twenty of the 24 teams have already qualified. The final four participants will earn qualification through the UEFA Nations League playoffs. This process is to be contested by 16 teams split into four groups (A to D), with the winner of each group qualifying for next summer’s tournament. The semifinal matchups of the Nations League playoffs are as follows:
A: Bulgaria vs. Hungary, Iceland vs. Romania
B: Bosnia-Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland, Slovakia vs. Republic of Ireland
C: Norway vs. Serbia, Scotland vs. Israel
D: Georgia vs. Belarus, North Macedonia vs. Kosovo
The playoff finals will take place March 30th, with each of the four winners earning a place at EURO 2020. Should they each qualify, Israel, Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia and Kosovo would join Finland as tournament debutants.