All you need to know about Euro 2016

The long wait for the 2016 European Champions finally comes to an end on Friday, when proceedings begin at the Stade de France, Paris, France.

Le Blues will kick-start an action parked one month filled with exciting football action when they face Romania.

In case you’re a little bit confused about the quadrennial event, here’s an excellent guide to help you through the tournament.

When is it?

The tournament will take place from June 10 to July 10 in France.

How many teams are there?

For the first time since the European Championship began in 1960, there will be 24 teams. The six group winners, six runners-up and four best third-placed teams will qualify for the round of 16.

Who are the debutants?

Five teams are making their tournament bows: Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales. Iceland, with 330,000 people, is the smallest nation ever at the Finals. A quarter of their population could fit into the Stade de France, which will host seven games including the final.

Who are the favourites?

France (3/1) are expected to win the title on home soil, just as they did when they last hosted the tournament in 1984. World champions Germany (7/2) and defending champions Spain (11/2) – the most successful teams with three wins each – are also tipped to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy.

And the underdogs?

Albania (300/1) are the biggest underdogs. But the bookmarkers have given them a much better chance of going all the way than they did Leicester City for the Premier League title (5000/1). They are deemed likelier winners by more than 16 times. Hungary (250/1) and Northern Ireland (250/1) have been given a bit more credit than Greece were due in 2004, when the eventual champions were 150-1 no-hopers.

Where are the match venues?

The 51 matches will be played across 10 venues: Stade de France, Parc des Princes (Paris), Stade Velodrome (Marseille), Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon), Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Lille), Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux (Bordeaux), Stadium Municipal (Toulouse), Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens), Allianz Riviera (Nice) and Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (Saint-Etienne).

Will any record be broken?

With the championship’s expansion resulting in eight more teams and 20 more matches, you can almost certainly expect the record goals in one tournament (85 in 2000) to be obliterated. There is also a good chance that the record of most wins in one tournament (five by France – twice – and Spain) will be eclipsed.

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Sweden Zlatan Ibrahimovic are both three goals shy of becoming the overall top scorer. Retired France midfielder Michel Platini tops the standings with nine goals. England captain Wayne Rooney is on five.

Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are also in a race to become the first player to score in four editions.

Hungary’s No. 1 Gabor Kiraly is set to become the tournament’s oldest ever player when Bernd Storck’s men take on Austria in their opener. The goalkeeper will be 40 years, two months, and 14 days old on June 14. German Lothar Matthaus (39 years and 91 days) currently holds the record. Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, Shay Given, just 19 days younger than Kiraly, has the chance of owning the mark for a few hours if he starts against Sweden on June 13.

Germany coach, Joachim Low, needs just one more appearance on the sidelines to manage the most matches in this competition. He is tied with fellow German, Berti Vogts, now a technical adviser to the US team, on 11.