The UEFA European Under-19 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress.
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 26 qualifiers join the top two seeds, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.
The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Olympique Lyonnais goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has moved on to greater things, but the 25-year-old French international still gets misty-eyed when he looks back to the 2005 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, where his side beat England in the final in Belfast.
"We played against England in the opening game and we drew, then we met them again in the final and we won 3-1," he told UEFA.com in this video interview. "I have great memories of my time with the youth teams. The majority of the players who won that U19 title went on to get professional contracts so we meet up on the pitch in the French league or in Europe from time to time. It was a great generation, and a few of us are now regulars with the senior national team.
"You don't necessarily need to play with a youth national team to turn pro, but a lot of players come through the youth ranks and go on to have great careers. Playing in these competitions helps you to develop faster as a player. Top-level youth games give you a chance to play at an even higher standard, because domestic youth football can only take you so far.
"The team was a bunch of friends. We were all 18 or 19, and it was such a great thing just to be playing for France, and even more special to do so in a UEFA competition. We won that tournament because we were good, of course, but also because we really wanted to get that trophy."
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