EURO 2016, a major event to promote France’s influence
The EURO tournament is the third most important sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games and the soccer World Cup. The event united passionate soccer fans and first-time spectators alike.
Some 2.5 million fans attended matches at one of the ten participating stadiums (Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis — Stade de France, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse), 1 million of which came from other countries.
Hosting major sporting events in France is a priority for the national government and local communities, which seek to strengthen economic development, social cohesion, and the visibility and prominence of France abroad.
This competition, which was hosted by the Union of European Football Associations, expected to take in more than 1 billion euros in revenue. The 2016 EURO tournament provided an exceptional opportunity for France to promote innovation and expertise in a number of sectors, including transportation, the environment, construction, athletics, technology and tourism.
The EURO tournament in numbers:
- 10 host cities,
- 2.5 million spectators in the stadium,
- 51 games,
- 24 teams,
Portugal defeats France, wins Euro 2016 final
On June 19, France drew 0-0 with Switzerland to ensure first place in its group, after two victories against Romania (2-1) and Albania (2-0). Midfielder Dimitri Payet scored two goals over the course of two games and has been essential to the team throughout the opening two weeks.
These wins earned France a match against Ireland in the round of 16. The French team won 2-1 thanks to Antoine Griezmann, who fired two goals in a row against the "Boys in Green."
France returned to the Stade de France for a quarterfinal match against underdog team Iceland. With a 5-2 victory, they brought Iceland crashing back to reality and booked a spot in France’s first major-tournament semifinal in 10 years.
Against heavily fancied Germany, the French team scored two goals by Griezmann to qualify for the final (2-0). But in final, the substitute Éder won the European Championship for Portugal with a brilliant goal after Cristiano Ronaldo went off injured in the first half.