Indonesia Expat

The 2016 UEFA European Championship

Roga takes a look at predictions for the winning team and the top-scorer of the upcoming Euro 2016.

The 2016 UEFA European Championship (Euro 2016) is held every four years, and this year will be the 15th edition of this competition. The very first edition took place in 1960, back when only four countries could qualify for the tournament. In 1980, the UEFA decided that not four, but eight countries were allowed to qualify for the European Championship. In 1996, UEFA discovered the commercial gains of holding such an event and decided to expand this to 16 teams.

And now, for the first time in history, 24 teams will compete for the title.

The decision to expand the number of teams again is due to the fact that UEFA is convinced that it gives smaller countries a chance to qualify, which will inspire them to develop and stimulate the game of football within these countries. True, but we all know that for an organization such as UEFA or FIFA, the words ‘development’ and ‘stimulation’ can easily be translated to commercial benefits or in other words cold hard cash.

I can understand that not many people in Indonesia will stay awake to watch Slovakia, Albania or Northern Ireland. But give these nations a chance because, as history shows, Denmark shocked us all by winning the Euros in 1992, and Greece surprised everybody by winning in 2004.

Funny fact: there is a 12-year pattern in play here, whereby an unexpected nation wins the title every 12 years. So, could 2016 be a year of another surprise during the Euros? Why not? After Leicester City’s fairytale this season (where they beat all the football giants in the Barclays Premier League and became the champions), this could serve as inspiration for some of the players and coaches in the Euros.

Place your bets, please

So, who are the candidates to win the Euro 2016? I think France has a strong squad and have the home advantage. They have already proven twice that when they host a tournament, they can win it. They were the hosts of the Euros in 1984 and the World Cup in 1998, and at both events they were the proud winners. Speaking of patterns, they won the Euros in 1984 and 2000. When we follow this 16-year pattern, it should be their time again this year.

But we always have to look out for the Germans. No matter which players they select for the tournament, they always make it to the finals somehow. Spain is going to try to set a record by winning the Euro 2016 three consecutive times – and I believe they have the qualities to do so. The fact there was a Champions League final between two teams from Madrid should be considered a warning. I know that there were non-Spanish players in the Champions League final, but take the Spanish players of the Champions League final out and add the Spanish players of FC Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester United, and you will have a candidate for the title.

This year my money is going on Belgium. They have an extremely strong squad, even without their skipper Vincent Kompany, who unfortunately is injured. All the players have the perfect age to perform at their best this summer and I expect a lot from Eden Hazard.

Last September I was with Euro legend Ruud Gullit in Jakarta. He told me that one of the main reasons that he won the Euro in 1988 with The Netherlands was Marco van Basten.

Van Basten and Gullit were teammates at AC Milan and Van Basten was out with an injury during the season, but recovered right before the tournament.

“Because of that, he was super fit and I played a long and tough season with AC Milan before the start of the tournament. The fitness of Van Basten made a difference,” Ruud Gullit told me.

Eden Hazard managed fewer minutes than he did the seasons before at Chelsea. Therefore I believe he will be one of the few world-class players to attend the Euros with a fully charged battery and will make the difference for Belgium.

Top scorer

The all-time top-scorer of the Euros is Frenchman Michel Platini. He has held this record since 1984 with nine goals! Wayne Rooney (England, five goals), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, six goals) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, six goals) are the only active players in contention to break this record, however none of them have come close enough.

I don’t think Wayne Rooney will break this record because Vardy and Kane will most likely start in front and Rooney will probably be used as a midfielder, or even worse, not even be included in the starting line-up.

Ronaldo will be eager to break this record. He is able to break records and the title ‘all-time top-scorer’ of the Euros is a record that cannot be taken away from him by his Argentinean rival, Lionel Messi.

But he played a lot of games this season and the latest was the Champions League final on May 28. So will he be fit enough to do the trick?

That is why my money is on Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic; he has everything it takes to be a legend, and with the seasons he’s had at Paris Saint Germain, he’s already proven that he’s comfortable scoring goals on French territory. It will be his last masterpiece in the country where he scored a lot of goals for his former club, Paris Saint Germain.

There is one big difference between Platini and the active players. Platini just needs one tournament to set this record. This is going to be Rooney’s his third Euro tournament, and the fourth for Ronaldo and Zlatan.

All-in-all, I think this tournament is going to be fun and full of surprises! Enjoy!


[tab_item title=”WHERE TO WATCH”][/tab_item]

Matches kick off at 8pm, 11pm and 2am (WIB) and what better place to watch than in a lively sports bar with your mates? Watching at home is boring! Grab a cold one and some food, chat with your mates, get settled, and make the most of your bar visit!


Eastern Promise

Jl. Kemang Raya No. 5, Jakarta

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Phone: +62 (021) 717 90151



Kantor Taman E3.3, Jl. Mega Kuningan, Jakarta

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Phone: +62 21 576 4582



Jl. Kemang Raya No. 78 B, Lantai Ground, Jakarta

Phone: +62 (021) 719 2677

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Dungeon Pool Lounge

Jl. Kemang Raya No. 78B, Jakarta

Phone: +62 (021)  719 2673

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Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav C22, Jakarta

Phone: +62 (021) 527 3307

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