Under-21 EURO 2019: all you need to know

When and where are the finals, who plays who and what is the format?

The final will take place in Udine
The final will take place in Udine ©Getty Images

Who is playing who?

There are three groups of four teams; each of the group winners plus the best runner-up progress to the semi-finals.

Group A: Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Serbia, Austria
Group C: England, France, Romania, Croatia

The criteria for determining the best runner-up is outlined in the regulations (Article 18.03).

When are the games?

Watch classic Germany U21 goals
Watch classic Germany U21 goals

The 2019 U21 EURO takes place 16–30 June, with matches organised as follows:

Group A: 16, 19, 22 June
Group B: 17, 20, 23 June
Group C: 18, 21, 24 June

Semi-finals: 27 June
Possible Olympic play-off: 28 June
Final: 30 June

Where is it being played?

The tournament is being held in Italy and San Marino. The venues are:

A guide to the host cities
A guide to the host cities

Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna
Stadio Città del Tricolore, Reggio Emilia
Stadio Dino Manuzzi, Cesena
Stadio Nereo Rocco, Trieste
Stadio Friuli, Udine
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle

What is the format?

The four sides in each group face each other in a round-robin format, with the three group winners advancing to the semi-finals along with the best runner-up. It then becomes a knockout competition. Full explanation can be found in the regulations.

What is the link with the Olympics?

U21 rewind: Pirlo's final free-kick
U21 rewind: Pirlo's final free-kick

The finals serve as European qualifying for the 2020 Olympic football tournament, with the top four teams booking places in Japan. Should England (ineligible for the Olympic men's football tournament) qualify for the semi-finals, the second and third best runners-up will contest an Olympic play-off. The game will take place at 21:00 on Friday 28 June in Cesena.

How did the 12 contenders qualify?

Italy (hosts)
Croatia (Group 1 winners)
Spain (Group 2 winners)
Denmark (Group 3 winners)
England (Group 4 winners)
Germany (Group 5 winners, holders)
Belgium (Group 6 winners)
Serbia (Group 7 winners)
Romania (Group 8 winners)
France (Group 9 winners)
Poland (play-off winners)
Austria (play-off winners)

Who are the recent winners?

Watch every goal of the 2017 U21s
Watch every goal of the 2017 U21s

2017: Germany
2015: Sweden
2013: Spain
2011: Spain
2009: Germany

What's Andrea Pirlo's role?

The Italy great is tournament ambassador, refamiliarising himself with a tournament he illuminated in 2000, playing a starring role as the Azzurrini triumphed in the Czech Republic. The man who inspired T-shirts embossed with the slogan 'Keep calm and pass the ball to Pirlo' went on to win two UEFA Champions League titles, a FIFA World Cup and 116 senior caps.