It’s exciting times for UK football fans, with the UEFA announcement that the country, alongside the Republic of Ireland, will host the 2028 European Championships.
It’s the first time the UK and Ireland as a collective have hosted the tournament, with England doing so in 1996, and then both Scotland and England hosting a number of games, including the Final, as part of the pan-European competition in 2020. Which begs the question, who’s going to win it?
We’ve five years to decide, which is quite the period of time in football, and you’ve more chance of gambling your way to a win on some slot games than you have with the bookies at this point.
Of course, there’s Germany’s Euro 2024 to contend with first, but we’ve decided to take a look four years beyond that and explore the main contenders to conquer at Wembley…
England will likely go into the tournament as favourites in 2028. They’ll be on home soil and many of the current crop of players will be very much in their prime. Declan Rice will be 29, Trent Alexander-Arnold 30, Bellingham 24, Foden 28, Saka 27. Even Harry Kane could be still firing at 34.
They go into the 2024 tournament as favourites with many bookmakers, but there’s every chance that there could be a period of dominance from the Three Lions.
Of course, France has plenty of their own young talent. In Kylian Mbappe they have one of the real-world stars, while a youthful midfield backs that up with Real Madrid’s Camavinga and Tchouaméni, both of whom have already hit great heights.
The French will continue to be the nation to beat in the coming years, and that could stretch all the way until 2028.
After dominating in and around the 2010s, Spain have dropped off in recent years, but are beginning to find their groove again and look well set in terms of talent for five years’ time. The current Spanish first-team crop is full of youth from their goalkeeper in Unai Simon, aged just 26, through the defence in Alejandro Balde, and then midfield and attack in Gavi, Pedri and Ferran Torres.
We should not be surprised if we see a Spanish resurgence over the next few years.
The Portuguese will have certainly left Cristiano Ronaldo behind in five years’ time, and that could be just what they need, given that perhaps PSG’s Goncalo Ramos will be left out of the side for him come the summer.
At 22, he’s certainly the future of Portugal’s front line, with Joao Felix and Diego Jota also well-aligned to be in good shape for the 2028 tournament. There are exciting young players running throughout Roberto Martinez’s side at present, and while he might not be in charge then, there’s a superb opportunity for any manager in charge come the UK tournament to go all the way.