UEFA Euro 2020 is about to begin, and there is excitement in the air as fans get ready for the sporting extravaganza. Some of the best players in the world will showcase their talent at Euro 2020, with one of the most prestigious titles in world football at stake. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kevin De Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba will all feature for their respective countries. Some extremely talented managers will be leading their sides as well. Europe’s football powerhouses tend to appoint big names as managers, and pressure will be on them to ensure that their teams have a good tournament.
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
The experienced Fernando Santos will be at the helm for Portugal at Euro 2020, and expectations will be high. Santos was the coach of the Portugal side that shocked the world by winning the Euros in 2016 and is a wily operator with bags of experience. The 66 years old has managed clubs like Porto, Sporting CP and Benfica in Portugal as well as AEK Athens, Panathinaikos and PAOK in Greece. The Portuguese has been the manager of his country’s senior side since 2014. With Portugal boasting an incredible squad for Euro 2020, they are among the favourites to win the competition once again. With superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias at his disposal, Santos will be keen to replicate the heroics of 2016.
Roberto Martinez (Belgium)
Belgium’s golden generation is nearing its end, and Euro 2020 is possibly the last tournament for the best generation of talent the country has ever produced. Roberto Martinez has been criticised for his lack of attention towards the defensive side of the game. The former Everton manager has the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard among a wealth of attacking options. But aging defenders like Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Thomas Vermaelen are a concern. Martinez, who won the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2013, has been linked with a move away from the Belgian national team setup after Euro 2020. The Spaniard has been linked with the Tottenham Hotspur job, but for now, his focus will be on ensuring that Belgium do well at Euro 2020.
Luis Enrique (Spain)
Spain manager Luis Enrique made news when he decided to name a 24-man squad for Euro 2020, below the limit of 26 players. Enrique is a highly-regarded coach who won the treble with Barcelona in his first season, and La Furia Roja have looked impressive under his management. However, with both Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente having tested positive for COVID-19, Spain’s preparations for Euro 2020 have been thrown into disarray. The decision to take only 24 players instead of 26 could backfire, with Enrique opting to leave out talismanic centre-back Sergio Ramos as well. Spain do not boast the talent they possessed a decade ago, but good performances from the giants are expected at Euro 2020 after a disappointing FIFA World Cup 2018.
Roberto Mancini (Italy)
Italy’s surprise failure to qualify for the World Cup in 2018 saw the Gli Azzurri sack Gian Piero Ventura and appoint Roberto Mancini as manager. Mancini will be one of the most decorated managers at Euro 2020. The Italian won Serie A thrice with Inter Milan and the Premier League once with Manchester City. There has been a clear improvement in performances and results since his appointment as manager of the Italy national team. The 56 years old recently extended his contract till 2026. Mancini is not afraid to experiment with his squad selection and Italy will certainly be a dangerous nation to face at Euro 2020.
Didier Deschamps (France)
Given France’s astonishing quality at every position, it is no surprise that they are considered to be the favourites to win Euro 2020. Despite a wealth of attacking talent at his disposal, France manager Didier Deschamps has preferred to employ a more pragmatic style of play. This has clearly worked so far, with France winning the World Cup in 2018 under Deschamps’ management. The Frenchman, who has been in charge of the senior squad since 2012, has previously managed Monaco, Juventus and Marseille. A well-regarded player during his prime, it will take something special to stop Deschamps’ France from winning Euro 2020.
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