We’re just weeks away from the soccer tournament of the year: Euro 2016, (often touted as a sign of things to come in the World Cup which will be held in 2018 in Russia) this year’s Euro Championship takes place in France, with current title-holders Spain hotly tipped to lose their crown after a disappointing run in international fixtures over the last few years.

Officially known as the UEFA European Championship, this year’s competition is the fifteenth installment of a tournament which has taken place once every four years since 1960

Back then, just seventeen European national teams entered the competition, which the Soviet Union getting the better of Yugoslavia in 2-1 final.

The competition underwent numerous changes in format, number of teams, and qualifying rounds over the next several decades, right up to the 2012 event in which the aforementioned Spain thrashed Italy in a 4-0 final in Kiev.

euro-16This year’s event moves to France, with the country’s national stadium, the Stade de France in Saint-Denis set to host the final on July 10th, and other stadiums including Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome and the Parc des Princes in Paris seeing both group stage and knock-out round action.

This years competition Kicks Off on Friday June 10th with France v Romania (2000 BST, Stade de France, Paris)

Irish interest starts on Monday June 13th when we will see Republic of Ireland take on Sweden (1700BST, Stade de France, Paris)

You can download the full UEFA Official fixture list here

Who will win?

Hosts France will start Euro 2016 as favourites in the betting. Whether they can steer clear of any in-fighting and deal with the loss of Karim Benzema will decide whether they can match expectations, however. Spain are looking to win a the Euros a record three times in a row, though they along with Germany have lost a few of their international stalwarts in recent years. England’s vibrant young guns and Belgium’s golden generation remain a ‘good bet’ too…

The team that boasts an undefeated streak in European championship qualifying matches that no team has managed to successfully replicate is Antonio Conte’s Italian squad, and with Conte at the helm likely to channel their recent winning performances in domestic competitions into a star performances in this tournament.

Ireland of course are looking to make amends for their dismal 2012 performance and at least get through the tough group stages… #COYBIG

Get involved

Make this years competition a little more interactive, with our Last Man (or Woman) Standing… for Just €10 you can choose a team in the first round and if they win you choose another team in the second round and so on… Funds raised (after costs & fees) will be split 50/50 with the outright winner and Kilmovee Info so the more entries the more you can win!

Who will you choose?

[symple_button url=”http://bit.ly/25dp2MS” color=”blue” size=”large” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Register Today[/symple_button]

Once you’re registered don’t forget to tell your family, friends or colleagues!

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the official Official FAI Euro 2016 Song ‘The Irish Roar’ which commemorates the stirring memories of the Irish team over the past 26 years and features a special tribute to the late, great and ultimate football man, Bill O’Herlihy above…