Under-21 EURO 2019: all you need to know

The Under-21 final tournament is now under way – who's involved, where is it and what's the format?

The official tournament ball out and about in Bologna
The official tournament ball out and about in Bologna ©Sportsfile

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).

Can I expect to see any star players?

Juve's Moise Kean is in Italy's squad
Juve's Moise Kean is in Italy's squad©Getty Images

Absolutely. This U21 EURO is packed with plenty of senior internationals as well as players you may recognise from the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and domestic football. UEFA.com picked out one player from each team to keep a special eye on.

The full list of all 12 squads is available here.

How can I watch the games?

Wherever you are, you can find out your local broadcast partner(s) here. Highlights of all matches will be available on UEFA.com and UEFA.tv from midnight CET. Selected matches will also be streamed live in certain territories on UEFA.tv. Please check the UEFA.tv schedule for more information.

What's the schedule?

The tournament runs from 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

Guide to the U21 EURO host cities
Guide to the U21 EURO host cities

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

The full fixture list is available here.

Where is it being played?

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

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?

Watch the top ten goals from 2017
Watch the top ten goals from 2017

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?

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.

Who are the recent winners?

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.