Five months until the opening match in Rome: Italy in among the recordsOn 12 June the Olympic Stadium will host Italy vs. Turkey, the first game of the travelling tournament: Buffon, Del Piero and Balotelli all feature in the all-time records.
Monday, January 20, 2020
The gates to summer will open on 12 June at the Olympic Stadium as Italy take on Turkey in the opening match of UEFA EURO 2020. It will be the first ever touring European Championship, which will be played in twelve European cities, including Rome, and this fact will grab the imagination of fans and enthusiasts. This will be the 16th iteration of the tournament, and the Azzurri will make themselves felt in it, just like they do in the tournament record books.
In fact, three Italians are among the all-time record holders in the European Championship, and number one among those is Gianluigi Buffon: the former Azzurri number 1, who has returned to Juventus after his experience in France with Paris Saint-Germain, is the player with the third most appearances in the competition (17), behind his current Portuguese club teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo (21) and the German Bastian Schweinsteiger (18). If qualifying matches are included into that statistic, the former Azzurri captain then tops the list, with four more appearances than CR7 (58-54).
Buffon is one of the 16 players who have taken part in four iterations of the tournament (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016), alongside former Azzurri Alessandro Del Piero (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008).
Mario Balotelli, meanwhile, was one of the six top scorers at the 2012 tournament, where Italy, led by Cesare Prandelli, came second to Spain. Super Mario finished the tournament, which was held in Poland and the Ukraine, with three goals (including his memorable brace against Germany in the semi-finals), alongside Fernando Torres (Spain), Alan Dzagoev (Russia), Mario Gomez (Germany), Mario Mandžukić (Croatia) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), of course.
The Italian National Team as a whole, as a team, also hold a record: Italy (1968), are one of the three national teams to have the won the UEFA European Championships as a host nation, alongside Spain (164) and France (1984).