Who Will Become the New Measuring Stick?

Coming into international competition, everyone always seeks to be able to “measure up” to the best. But in 2016, many nations’ squads have been revamped, allowing for Euro 2016 to truly be a test of who’s the best team.

As of right now, there are a number of teams that people have predicted to win it all, but there are also a number of teams in this year’s tournament that could really surprise a lot of people. It’s upsets that truly make “The Beautiful Game” exciting, particularly on the international stage, and there have been teams in the past who have surprised the world, namely when Greece won the tournament in 2004.

That’s why Euro 2016 is as good a moment as any for a young or legendary team to emerge from the pack and claim European gold. Many teams in the tournament have hit the proverbial reset button recently, namely Spain, who won the Euros in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2010 World Cup, but performed horribly in the 2014 World Cup and have been in recovery since.

The best part about the tournament though, is that the underlying message remains the same: Who wants it badly enough? Is it the host country France? Or perhaps England wants to claim an international trophy for the first time in decades? Maybe Spain wants to create a three-peat or maybe a dark horse like Switzerland can shock everyone and win. Of course, every team has to respect the reigning World Cup champions, Germany, but even they’re not being predicted to be the surefire winners.

It’ll all come down to the basics of soccer:

  • Good strategy
  • Good ballhandling
  • Good teamwork

In principle, adhering to these three basic tenets seems easy but it eventually comes down to which teams are more passionate and which teams want to win more. That said, it’ll be interesting to see who wants the silverware the most. Whichever team can repeatedly and consistently accomplish these three things will win Euro 2016 and in doing so will become the new and latest standard bearer by which every other team will be compared.

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