Who else will shine at Euro 2016?
Can Germany repeat their World Cup heroics or will Spain win a third straight European crown? Perhaps it will be France who triumph on home soil. Or will there be an underdog story to rival Leicester’s remarkable Premier League title success?
All these questions and many more will be answered in the coming month as 24 teams commence battle across France, starting tomorrow.
While logic may suggest that a bigger tournament means there is less chance of an upset, for once it seems there is no clear favourite. Germany still possess a squad capable of brushing anyone aside on their day, but they have looked vulnerable in the two years since their World Cup win.
Similarly there are clear issues in the Spanish squad – namely the lack of a goalscorer in the same vein as a David Villa or Fernando Torres at his peak.
Italy are always viewed as dangerous at major tournaments but they look a faded force, while Portugal are still over-reliant on Cristiano Ronaldo.
England of course have traditionally flattered to deceive, but this year there is cautious optimism among fans.
Roy Hodgson has a young, talented squad who on their day are capable of delivering incisive, free-flowing, attacking football. But there are major concerns over a defence that looks as creaky as the floorboards of their 14th century hotel.
Many see Belgium as serious contenders but there remain questions marks over whether their talented individuals can come together on the big stage. Of the major nations it is perhaps France who appear best placed to add to their trophy haul. The French have a handy habit of winning tournaments when held on home soil. They won the European Championships in 1984 - thanks in large to the magnificence of Michel Platini - and then the World Cup in 1998 when Zinedine Zidane showed his class. This time Les Bleus possess a hugely talented squad with a blend of youth and experience. In Dmitri Payet they have a dead-ball specialist; Antoine Griezmann offers pace and goals, Hugo Lloris is a world-class keeper and Paul Pogba has power, drive and bags of ability. In a tournament that was Platini’s parting gift from UEFA, it would be fitting if Pogba led France to glory in Paris on July 10. But don’t expect France and the traditional big boys to have it all their own way. Denmark’s victory in 1992 and Greece’s famous triumph over Portugal in 2004 showed that the underdogs cannot be overlooked. Several sides will be hoping to emulate these famous victories, with Austria, Iceland, Poland and Croatia looking particularly dangerous. Austria breezed through qualifying, securing nine wins and a draw, while Group F rivals Iceland impressed as they secured victories over Holland and Turkey. Poland possess the best striker at the tournament in Robert Lewandowski but it is Croatia who could prove the dark horses. With a formidable midfield that features Ivan Rakitic, Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic - plus the always dangerous Mario Mandzukic leading the line, Croatia could a few shocks along the way. With an air of unpredictability it promises to be a hugely entertaining tournament. Let’s hope it lives up to expectation.
TOP SCORER Robert Lewandowski BEST PLAYER Paul Pogba