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Viva Espana! Nice's Allianz Riviera stadium will welcome EURO champs Spain on 17th June (image courtesy of CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Viva Espana! Nice’s Allianz Riviera stadium will welcome EURO champs Spain on 17th June (image courtesy of CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Europe’s largest event of 2016 kicks off in Paris on June 10th. The EURO 2016 football fiesta sees 24 teams clash over 51 games in ten French cities. Nice will host the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cesc Fàbregas and Eden Hazard as big guns Sweden, Spain and Belgium play just minutes from the Promenade des Anglais.

No ticket? Fear not. Two giant FanZones are currently under construction on the Quai des Etats-Unis and in the Jardin Albert 1er. Here’s how enjoy the action alongside 100,000 other fans of all nations.

Just days ago local newspaper Nice-Matin advertised for 15 carpenters, 10 electricians and 50 English-speaking hosts to ensure the FanZones open in time. Each will screen the 51 EURO 2016 matches on a giant TV, including those games held in Nice.

(That means Poland vs Northern Ireland on 12th June. Spain vs Turkey on 17th June. Sweden vs Belgium on 22nd June. Plus a crunch round-of-16 playoff between the winners of Group B (quite possibly England) and runners-up in Group F (most likely Portugal) on 27th June.)

The Jardin Albert 1er FanZone will be the best for serious viewers. Open from 1pm to midnight every day, the action will be shown live on a 77m2 screen. In the FanZone’s centre sits the Theatre de Verdure, an alfresco amphitheatre that will offer a match-like atmosphere during the big games.

The Quai des Etats-Unis FanZone is all about animation. Backstage photos previewed by Pebbles prove that a beach soccer pitch plus a babyfoot table football competition area are already under way. It will also feature a mini grass pitch just metres from the sea, where some of the 300,000 visitors expected in Nice during EURO 2016 can play at Wayne Rooney and David de Gea.

Nice’s new Musée National du Sport also blew the whistle on a brand-new exhibition. GOOAL! remembers every UEFA EURO tournament since France first hosted the event in 1960 (they were knocked out in the opening round). Show highlights include a replica of the winners Trophée Henri Delaunay. This year’s EURO 2016 winner will hold aloft the same trophy when the tournament climaxes in Paris on July 10th.

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