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A month-long football feast is nearing its end; Euro Cup and Copa America finals on July 11

This Sunday marks the end of a one-month wait to determine the top 2021 European and South American men’s football teams. The Euro Cup and the Copa America, two major international football tournaments that have enthralled football fans all over the world with thrilling games, puts shutter on the same day, July 11.

Both tournaments was originally scheduled for last year, but was forced to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The battle for the Euro Cup was between 24 teams, which has now been narrowed down to two, England and Italy, while the Copa America featured 10 teams, and now been narrowed down to Brazil and Argentina.

The UEFA Euro 2020 final will kick off at Wembley stadium in London on July 11 at 8 pm (July 12, 12:30 am IST).

The Copa America final will take place in Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 11 at 1 am (UK time) and 6:30 am (Indian time).

Euro Cup

This time the European Football Championship was held in 11 different countries. The tournament is co-hosted by Azerbaijan, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Scotland and Spain. But the semi-finals were held at England’s Wembley Stadium, and the final will be held there as well.

The 24 teams were split into six groups: A, B, C, D, E and F. Group F, which included Portugal, Germany, France, and Hungary, was deemed the deadliest of the six groups, but surprisingly none of them advanced to the quarter finals. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were defeated by Belgium by one goal in the pre-quarterfinals, France lost to Switzerland in the penalty shootout, and Germany was defeated by England by two goals.

Italy defeated Belgium 2-1 in the quarterfinals, Spain won the penalty shootout against Switzerland, England beat Ukraine by four goals, and Denmark defeated Czech Republic 2-1.

The first Euro Cup semi-finals were played between Italy and Spain. Both sides scored one goal each, and it was Roberto Mancini’s Italy who qualified to the finals by scoring four goals to two in the penalty shootout. Federico Chiesa scored in the 60th minute to give Italy a 1-0 lead, but Alvaro Morata of Spain equalised in the 80th. Both teams missed their first kick in the shootout. Morata missed the next-to-last kick, but Jorginho made no mistake with the final kick, sending Italy to the Euro 2020 finals.

Denmark took the first lead against England in the second semi-finals, thanks to Mikkel Damsgaard’s spectacular free kick goal. However, England equalised through Danish captain Simon Kjaer’s own goal, and English captain Harry Kane clinched the triumph in extra time.

The grand final between England and Italy will be held on Sunday at 12.30 pm (IST) at Wembley Stadium to crown the new Euro champions. England have qualified for the final of the Euro Cup after a long wait of 55 years. The last time they played the final of a major tournament was in 1966. It will be an exciting final as England thinks football is coming home, while Mancini’s Italy believes it is ‘coming Rome’, as the Azzurri are unbeaten in 33 matches.

Copa America

The highlight of the South American Football Championship has dimmed a little this time because the Euro Cup was also held at the same time. However, there is no doubt that the Copa America final will be ‘fully bright’, since the much-anticipated clash of the two best international teams will take place in the finals. Brazil will take on Argentina at Maracana Stadium on Sunday at 6:30 am (IST).

The Copa championship was originally scheduled to take place in Argentina, but due to COVID-19 situations, the venue was shifted to Brazil. The ‘South American World Cup’ included ten teams divided into two groups. Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Chile were in Group A, and Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia were in Group B.

Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile qualified from Group A to the quarterfinals, while Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia advanced from Group B. In the quarterfinals, Brazil defeated Chile 1-0, Argentina defeated Ecuador 3-0, and Peru and Colombia won in a shootout against Paraguay and Uruguay, respectively.

Brazil headed to the Copa America final with a first-half goal by Lucas Paqueta against Peru in the semi-finals, Argentina, on the other hand, marched to the finals after a penalty shootout victory.

The clash between Argentina and Brazil, or Messi and Neymar, is always exciting and eagerly anticipated by football fans. And this time it will be much more exciting because the encounter will take place in the tournament final. As two of the world’s best teams face off, it’s impossible to predict who will win the title. Let’s wait and see…

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