Every four years, UEFA hosts the European Football Championships -- a prestigious international soccer championship that is considered by many to be second only to the World Cup Finals. The tournament pits European national teams against one another, all vying to earn their chance to call themselves the best club on the continent.
The format works like this -- 51 national clubs from Europe are randomly drawn together into nine groups. Teams play home and away matches against everyone in their group and the group winners, as well as the second-place team with the best record, move on to the Euro 2012 Finals.
The eight remaining second-place teams are paired up and play home and away matches. The four winners on aggregate join the aforementioned ten teams, Poland and the Ukraine (the tournament hosts) as entrants in the Euro 2012 Finals. These 16 teams will then begin play on June 8, 2012 in a format that looks a lot like the World Cup, culminating in the Euro 2012 Final on July 1, 2012.
For the last 13 months, teams have engaged in a grueling round of qualifying matches that have seen several upsets. Here in the United States, we Yanks love a good underdog story and since we can't get into the melee across the pond, the next best thing is to root for guys who have the best shot at throwing a wrench into the whole thing.