Two jewels that sparkle in the summer
Wednesday 27 December 1995
Euro 96 is most the important sports event to be held in the country since the World Cup in 1966. Once again the ball starts rolling at Wembley, with England kicking-off against Switzerland on 8 June, and the tournament will reach its climax there 22 days later. Will that final see England play Germany again? Or will Scotland find the inspiration to spoil the Auld Enemy's party?
For the first visit of these finals to England there are a record 16 teams taking part. Germany, the Netherlands and Italy will be strongly fancied, but England will be out to emulate the French side of 1984 which, inspired by Michel Platini, swept to victory on home soil.
Apart from Wembley, seven league grounds will be hosting matches - Old Trafford, Manchester; Villa Park, Birmingham; Hillsborough, Sheffield; Anfield, Liverpool; St James' Park, Newcastle; Elland Road, Leeds; and the City Ground, Nottingham. The expanded format has given fans around the country a chance to see the best of the continent's players at close hand, and the prospect is mouth-watering. Players to look out will be the likes of Jurgen Klinsmann, returning in Germany's colours; the brilliant young Dutch side; Italy's Alessandro del Piero; and, of course, Eric Cantona and David Ginola, if they can break back into the French side.
Hardly will sports lovers have had the chance to consider the successes and failures on the football field than it will be time to unite behind the British Olympic team in Atlanta. A new 83,000 capacity main stadium awaits them for the opening ceremony on 19 July of the 23rd modern Olympics, the Centennial Games.
Athletics, swimming and boxing will, as ever, command most attention, while the newer Olympic sports like beach volleyball and baseball will give the Games an American flavour. But there will be high hopes for the British contingent among the 10,000 competitors from almost 200 countries, with athletes like Jonathan Edwards, Colin Jackson, Sally Gunnell and, perhaps, Linford Christie, the sculler Stephen Redgrave, going for a fourth gold in four Games, and the pursuit cyclist Graeme Obree leading British medal challenge.
Latest in Sport
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...