Romania and Georgia will host, from 21 June to 8 July 2023, the final tournament of UEFA Under 21 Championship. The Romanian national team, which qualified automatically, already knows all its potential opponents!

Thus, 14 places were available for the best U21 national teams, which will join Romania and Georgia. For the 14 places at UEFA Under 21 Championship, 52 teams competed in the qualifiers, after Russia had been suspended. They were divided into 9 qualifier groups. The following will play the final tournament:

  • The winners of the 9 groups
  • The highest ranking of the 9 runner-ups.
  • The 4 winners of the two-leg playoffs played by the remaining runner-ups.

The final draw of UEFA Under 21 Championship will take place in Bucharest, at the Romanian Athenaeum, on 18 October!

Playoff for the last 4 places

On 21 June, in Nyon, took place the draw of the playoffs to decide the last 4 teams which will participate in next year’s UEFA Under 21 Championship. The two legs of the playoffs were played on 23 September and 27 September, with the following results:

  • Croatia Denmark 2-1 and 1-2, 5-4 after the penalty shoot-outs
  • Slovakia vs. Ukraine3-2 and 0-3
  • Ireland vs. Israel1-1 and 0-0, 1-3 after the penalty shoot-outs
  • Iceland vs. Czech Republic 1-2 and 0-0

Group A: Norway

The Scandinavians won the battle against Croatia for the first place by two points. The team, featuring the strikers Botheim and Strand Larsen, displayed a tour de force in June: 3-2 against Croatia, 2-0 in Finland and 2-1 at home, against Azerbaijan. Norway’s best achievements at an EURO final tournament were the semifinals played in 1998 and 2013.

Group B: Germany

The Germans confirmed their favorite team status and, after a qualifying campaign marked by several doubts, won the group 8 pints ahead of Israel. The squad’s top players include Burkhardt (Mainz), Moukoko (Dortmund) and Knauff (Frankfurt), all worth over EUR 10 million on! Germany is three-time winner of UEFA Under 21 Championship.

Group C: Spain 

It was an easy task for the Spaniards, with 8 wins out of 8 and 9 points ahead of Slovakia. Five times European champion in this age group, Spain still has an impressive pool of young talents. Most probably, we will see Bryan Gil (Valencia), Miranda (Betis), Vecendor (Bilbao), Abel Ruiz (Braga) or Manu Sanchez (Osasuna) in their squad for the European tournament.

Group D: Portugal

The qualifier phase was an easy ride for the Lusitanians, as they had 9 wins and only one draw in 10 matches, finally ranking 10 points above Iceland! Portugal played three U21 EURO finals, but lost all of them, which makes it clear that the goal of this generation will be to win the final tournament. And coach Rui Jorge’s squad has some strong arguments to support this goal: Fabio Vieira (Porto), Inacio (Sporting), Fabio Silva (Wolves), Nuno Tavares (Arsenal), Djalo (Lille) or Carvalho (Fulham)!

Group E: The Netherlands and Switzerland

The second-ranking team in this group also qualified directly, as the Swiss, with three points less than the Netherlands in the final rankings of the group, had the same number of points in the rankings of runners-up as Ukraine and Denmark, but better goal difference! We can expect to see exceptional players in the Netherlands’ squad (Botman – Lille, Bakker – Leverkusen, Boadu – Monaco, Brobbey and Rensch – Ajax), as well as in Switzerland’s (Mambimbi and Rieder – Young Boys, Sohm – Parma).

Group F: Italy 

Italy ended the groups round 5 points above Ireland and, in the context of the hesitations of the senior team, we can expect that the five-time European champion U21 national team will try to propose a valuable new generation.  In the Italian squad, we will probably see Rovella (Genoa), Lovato (Cagliari), Vignato (Bologna), Viti (Empoli) or Ricci (Salernitana), who are already well known in Serie A.

Group G: England

The Brits had a qualifying campaign maybe harder that they expected in the beginning of the groups stage, ending in the first position only 3 points ahead of the Czechs. A two-time U21 European champion, England will display at the final tournament a generation with already established stars like Smith Rowe (Arsenal), C. Jones and Elliott (Liverpool), Ramsey (Aston Villa), Gordon (Everton), Gibbs-White (Wolves).

Group H: France 

With two draws and eight wins in 10 matches, France had a rather difficult time, as Ukraine managed to keep it up almost to the end of the qualifiers and ended only 3 points behind. However, we will most probably see them more focused at the final tournament, with exceptional players as Kalulu (Milan), Camavinga (Real Madrid), Badiashile (Monaco), Gouiri (Nice) or Caqueret (Lyon) making the difference!

Group I: Belgium

In the only group of five teams, the Belgians ended the qualifier stage 3 points ahead of the Danes. Belgium, whose best achievement was the final of the UEFA Under 21 Championship played in 2008, has ambitious goals and relies on a squad of promising players like Vrankx (Wolfsburg), Siquet (Freiburg), Matazo (Monaco) or El Hajd (Anderlecht).