Euro 2012 Schedule: Dates, Times, Match Listings and TV Info

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2012

MADRID, SPAIN - JUNE 30:  Fernando Torres and Xavi Hernandez hold the trophy aloft as the Spanish team celebrate with fans at Plaza Colon after winning the UEFA EURO 2008 Final match between Germany and Spain 2008 on June 30, 2008 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Euro 2012 will feature many of the world's top teams battling for UEFA supremacy. The European Championship is the second most prestigious international tournament behind only the World Cup, which makes it one of the sport's biggest events.

Spain will attempt to defend its title, which it won by defeating Germany in a nail-biting final four years ago. The unmatched depth of La Roja will once again give them the advantage, especially if Fernando Torres can build off his late-season form with Chelsea.

It won't be an easy journey for the Spaniards, however. Germany, France, England, Italy and the Netherlands all figure to be in the mix as well. That should make for some terrific action throughout the tournament, and whichever team does walk away with the trophy will have earned it.

Here's a look at the all the key information, a full schedule and players to watch for Euro 2012.

 

Where: Poland and Ukraine

When: June 8 – July 1

Watch: ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (all games)

 

Full Schedule

Friday, June 8

Poland vs. Greece (Group A): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Russia vs. Czech Republic (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Saturday, June 9

Netherlands vs. Denmark (Group B): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Germany vs. Portugal (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Sunday, June 10

Spain vs. Italy (Group C): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Ireland vs. Croatia (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Monday, June 11

France vs. England (Group D): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Ukraine vs. Sweden (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Tuesday, June 12

Greece vs. Czech Republic (Group A): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Poland vs. Russia (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Wednesday, June 13

Denmark vs. Portugal (Group B): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN

Netherlands vs. Germany (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Thursday, June 14

Italy vs. Croatia (Group C): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Spain vs. Ireland (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Friday, June 15

Ukraine vs. France (Group D): 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Sweden vs. England (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Saturday, June 16

Greece vs. Russia (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

Czech Republic vs. Poland (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Sunday, June 17

Portugal vs. Netherlands (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

Denmark vs. Germany (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Monday, June 18

Croatia vs. Spain (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

Italy vs. Ireland (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Tuesday, June 19

England vs. Ukraine (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

Sweden vs. France (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Thursday, June 21

Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up (Quarterfinal No. 1): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Friday, June 22

Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up (Quarterfinal No. 2): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Saturday, June 23

Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up (Quarterfinal No. 3): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN2

 

Sunday, June 24

Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up (Quarterfinal No. 4): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Wednesday, June 27

Quarterfinal No. 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal No. 3 winner (Semifinal No. 1): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Thursday, June 28

Quarterfinal No. 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal No. 4 winner (Semifinal No. 2): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Sunday, July 1

Semifinal No. 1 winner vs. Semifinal No. 2 winner (Championship Match): 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Players to Watch

Wayne Rooney (England)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 02:  Wayne Rooney of England prepares to take a free kick during the international friendly match between England and Belgium at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

England has a new manager in the likes of Roy Hodgson, which has raised hopes ahead of the tournament, but the Three Lions' fate still depends on Rooney. The talented Manchester United striker has 28 career goals for the national team.

As always, back lines will be keying in on Rooney, which will put extra pressure on him not only to score, but to create chances for his teammates as well. Only two other players on the England roster have more than six international goals.

The team's defense should be improved, especially with goalkeeper Joe Hart in fine form after winning the Premier League title with Manchester City. So, it will be up to Rooney to provide enough offense for England to make a deep run.

 

Mesut Ozil (Germany)

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 07:  Xabi Alonso of Spain and Mesut Oezil of Germany battle for the ball during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Germany and Spain at Durban Stadium on July 7, 2010 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo
Steve Haag/Getty Images

One of the world's elite playmakers, Ozil tallied 17 assists in league play for Real Madrid this season. He has amazing vision and always seems to see the game two or three plays ahead, allowing him to find space to produce opportunities.

The 23-year-old rising star and his teammates will face a tough challenge in the group stage. Germany landed in the toughest group, which also features the Netherlands, Portugal and an underrated Denmark side that could cause some problems.

The Germans should have enough offensive firepower to advance, but Ozil will have to be on top of his game throughout. He always seems to rise to the occasion, so anything less than an elite performance would be a major surprise.

 

Iker Casillas (Spain)

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 11:  Iker Casillas, captain of Spain, celebrates the late goal by Andres Iniesta during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesbur
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Casillas often gets overlooked because of all the talent on Spain's roster, but the team's run of dominance wouldn't have been possible without the man between the pipes. He's one of the best goalkeepers on the planet and is also a terrific leader.

The veteran had 14 clean sheets in 37 league games for Real Madrid and had one in Spain's final warmup match against China on Sunday. That's the kind of play La Roja will need from him if they are going to capture another major title.

While manager Vicente del Bosque has plenty of options throughout his lineup, Casillas will be the constant. He has earned his spot as the team's captain and should have another memorable tournament for the defending champions.