THE waiting is almost over and the Euros are finally upon us.
France and Romania get the party started this evening at the Stade de France with the first of 51 matches across ten venues before the European Champions are crowned in this same ground on July 10.
For every day of action, we’ll bring you a quick guide as to what to expect, a player to look out for and a little bit of French to bring the tournament to life.
Hosts with the most?
The host nation gets it all started tonight and for many people, France are the favourites to lift the title. They were the last team to win this tournament on home soil back in 1984 and also the last home winners of the World Cup in 1998, so they certainly have previous.
After two years of friendlies, it’s now time to get serious beginning with tonight’s game against the Romanians. The French public will want to see a strong performance from their team to give them belief that this can be another glorious summer for French football.
Is there another Gheorge Hagi for Romania?
THIS current squad seems a long way removed from the glory days of Romania when they were tournament regulars between 1990 and 2000 and the names rolled off the tongue – Hagi, Petrescu, Popescu, Dumitrescu.
Their only Premier League representative now is goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and he’s likely to be on the bench, just as he has been at Manchester City, Sunderland and Watford. But it is a shop window for all their players, such as striker Florin Andone who has just finished second top scorer in the Spanish Second Division for Cordoba with 21 goals.
Player of the day: Anthony Martial
THIS time 12 months ago, very few people outside of France had heard of Anthony Martial. Now the 20-year-old heads into Euro 2016 on the back of a fine first season at Manchester United where his pace and finishing caught the eye.
His style and tendency to drift out to the left have drawn comparisons with Thierry Henry and it’s worth noting that Henry was the same age as Martial at World Cup ’98. The Arsenal legend chipped in with three goals at that tournament as France went on to win. Will history repeat itself for Martial and the new generation?
French of the day
Allez Les Bleus! (Come on the Blues)
Opening ceremony followed by France v Romania, 7.15pm, ITV / STV / UTV