It's all over.Euro 2016 has finished with Portugal winning the tournament against the hosts France. In truth I thought it was largely a disappointing competition but as ever there were positives and negatives throughout. The new format meant that 24 teams all had the chance of competing for the trophy. I look at the good, the bad & the ugly from Euro 2016 as a whole.
With the new format meaning 8 more teams can qualify, it really did provide an opportunity for some smaller footballing nations to test themselves on a bigger scale. This from a neutral's point of view can be seen as the huge benefit from the changes made to the tournament with competitive matches constant throughout. Wales and Iceland were the standout teams with Wales reaching the Semi-Finals and minnows Iceland making a competitive debut reaching the Quarter-Finals by beating England. The likes of Northern Ireland were competitive and this made for some tight games and really raised interest for some unlikely nations. This can only give hope for future qualifications. We have found out that there is not such a vast difference in quality between the more highly ranked teams to the more lowly ranked teams. The fact that a team could qualify by finishing in third place in the group stages gave hope to sides who didn't start well in their opening couple of games meaning there was plenty to play for up until the third and final game.
For me personally, this has been a poor tournament. It certainly has had its fair share of positive stories but largely matches have been dull with the tournament never sparking into life. A huge influence of this is probably the rule where four third place teams could still get through the group stages. This reduced the motivation for teams to really go out for the win. Portugal are of course the prime example qualifying with just 3 points and without a win. That itself doesn't seem right for tournament football at all. Games were often low scoring but the approach was often cautious from many but also it was disappointing to see a lack of quality from teams where you expected more. With three games going on a day throughout the group stages, it for me became painful viewing at times.
With the likes of Wales qualifying for the Semi-Finals, it just leaves even more distaste as to how England ended up being dumped out of Euro 2016 by Iceland. Two good performances kicked off the tournament well but each game is huge in this fierce competition and the last two that followed were shambolic overall. Shocking tactics and a lack of inspiration from the players were put together to leave the Three Lions embarrassed. A promoting start turned sour very quickly and the Iceland game has got to be one of the worst performances by the National team ever.
What would your good, bad & ugly moments from Euro 2016 be? Let us know in the comments below!