While South America is the soul of soccer, Europe is the heart. Every four years, the best football teams across the central continent battle it out to see who’s the best. The UEFA European Championship, or Euro 2016, is underway.
Since it’s one of the premier competitions in the world of soccer, it’s no surprise that a slew of websites and apps have cropped up to capitalize on it. But which ones should you use? Much like our guide to follow the World Cup, we scoured the Internet to find the best tools to follow Euro 2016.
Tap In Guide to Euro 2016 (Web): Fast, beautiful, and mobile-friendly
Whether you’re on a PC or on your mobile, the site to go to when you need information about the matches in Euro 2016 is Tap In. Its Guide to Euro 2016 has the basic info you’ll need at any point, and it’s lightning fast in serving up pages.
The main page has a calendar of all the matches, displayed with your local time zone. Click any match to get expert analysis of who is likely to win that match, as well as the main players to watch out for. The Groups tab has the current standings, while the Teams tab has details of each country.
In a way, Tap In’s guide is the perfect companion for those who are new to Euro 2016, and it also serves as the quickest reference tool. Of course, if you already love the beautiful game, there are other super sites for soccer fans.
LiveSoccer (Android, iOS): Custom Notifications for Any On-Field Event
A lot of things happen in those 90 minutes on the field. You have incredible tackles, saved penalties, yellow cards and red cards, and the goals that set off an entire stadium in jubilation. If you can’t follow every minute of the action, LiveSoccer is the app you want, to know what’s happening on the field.
The app’s customizable notifications are simply brilliant. You can tell LiveSoccer what events you’d like to be notified about, like cards, goals, substitutions, or just the final result. If you can’t watch the game, also check out the cool “Match Visualization” feature that tries to simulate on-field happenings on your screen.
The app is also packed with a whole bunch of other data, like live commentary, statistics, analysis, news, and more. It’s the absolute best app for anyone who wants to follow the Euro Cup but can’t watch it. LiveScore is even better than using Twitter or RSS to get real-time scores.
Prediktr (Web): Are You the Nostradamus of Football?
Paul the Octopus became an overnight sensation in 2010 when he successfully predicted results of matches in the 2010 World Cup. Do you think you have similar abilities? Are you the “Oracle of Soccer”? Put yourself to the test with Prediktr, a simple web app in which you call the results of matches and see how right or wrong you are.
It’s pretty simple to use. Sign up for it, and then you’ll be presented with a grid of remaining matches. Under each team, there are plus and minus buttons. Click those to say how many goals you think they’ll score in the match. At the end of any match, Prediktr will update the result and show your standings in an overall leaderboard.
UFL (Android, iOS): The Best Daily Fantasy League App
Ultimate Fantasy Live, or UFL, a daily fantasy football league that you can play with your own friends or with strangers. Where Prediktr is more relaxed, UFL is an intense competition that draws you in.
Here’s how it works. Before the start of every game, everyone picks two players from the teams. You get points based on their on-field performance, which is updated in real time. And you can track everyone else’s scores too. Now here’s the kicker. You have bonus cards, like 2X Points or Freeze Time, which you can play for an allocation of 10 minutes. Think Ronaldo is going to turn it on in the last 10 minutes, but your closest rival has him? Play the Freeze card at the 80th minute and your opponent won’t get any of Ronaldo’s points for that time.
This isn’t a fantasy football game that you can just sit back after making a decision, it keeps you involved throughout the live game. It should come with a disclaimer: For true soccer fans only!
r/FootballHighlights (Web): Watch Highlights of Any Soccer Game
UEFA, the organization that rules international soccer, has come down hard on those places where you can watch GIFs and Vines of on-field action. So what do you do if you missed the game and want to watch the best parts quickly? The Reddit community at r/FootballHighlights collates highlight packages from different sources to let you catch up on the action.
The posts usually include one HD and one non-HD option, along with a bot that automatically sources video links from a couple of sites. The useful feature is that the total runtime of the clip is noted alongside, so you know how long that highlights package is before you start watching. The only thing missing right now is a goals-only package, but hey, you can’t get everything for free.
Who Should We Follow?
Today, sites and apps are just one part of the experience of watching a tournament. The big boost in live entertainment is following the right people on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so that you can talk with other fans or get rare insights into the action.
Tell us which soccer-related accounts we should follow on Twitter or Facebook, or which sports stars has the best Instagram feed!
Image Credit: man with smartphone by Syda Productions via Shutterstock